BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WAFB) – The number of patients using medical marijuana is expected to increase rapidly now that the cost of the drug has been drastically reduced. However, enrolling in the program may put you in conflict with your employer.
Now that you can smoke your medical cannabis, you might feel like there is nothing else to worry about before you start. But you might want to think again. Most employers have a strict zero tolerance policy for drugs, including marijuana.
“This is a really complex issue, even in states that have fully legalized it has yet to be resolved,” said local lobbyist Peter Robins-Brown.
Peter Robins-Brown, with the Working for Louisiana Progress group, has studied this question closely.
“The big problem on the employer side, in particular, is that we don’t really have a good test for marijuana,” Robins-Brown said.
Drug tests used by companies can detect marijuana in a person’s system weeks ago, and in some cases even months. It is therefore almost impossible to detect whether someone is in a high position at work or not.
“So that makes it difficult for the people you need like drivers, commercial driver’s licenses, you use heavy machinery, so it’s like a workplace safety issue,” Robins-Brown continued.
Not knowing if you can take your medications while having a job can be an additional level of stress for patients.
“I don’t think people should be afraid of taking care of their mental health and then losing their jobs,” said Andie Andrews.
As a patient herself, Andrews said she knows firsthand the daily worries of using her medications.
“I know a lot of people who should have a medical card or who would benefit from having a medical card who probably drink a lot or use other things to heal themselves and they are terrified of being made redundant so they suffer,” Andrews said. .
If your job gives you a drug test and you’re positive even with a medical card, there can still be an uphill battle with your business unless it updates its policies with the latest law.
Experts said it was crucial for companies to move forward now and define their policy to avoid any future problems in this very gray area.
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