20,000 Card Holders Strong
November will be the 10th anniversary of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). The most progressive medical marijuana program in the country has been successful in aiding very ill people to exercise their right to choose an appropriate treatment for their condition. Some medical marijuana users are still able to work despite their conditions. The obvious conflict is how employers treat medical marijuana users in the workplace. Can people medicate during their legal breaks? What if you have a hazardous job? Do you have to disclose such information to your employer? What about drug tests in the workplace?
Continuing to work while managing a illness is quite honorable. People have their pride and find self fulfillment in their respective careers and prefer some financial independence. Unfortunately, a group in Oregon wants to target the OMMP.
Some employers have never been comfortable with the program, and now a coalition called the Drugfree Workplace Legislative Work Group is mounting a concerted effort to keep medical marijuana out of the job site and roll back major portions of the act.In my opinion, if you are driving, handling hazardous chemicals, using power tools, driving heavy equipment you should probably refrain from using medical marijuana until after work. Sandee Burbank, from Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMAS) has a very clever solution to the impairment issue...
“We are going to push hard this next session,” Dan Harmon, the work group’s chairman, told Albany Area Chamber of Commerce members Thursday. “We’ve told the legislative officers, ‘You’d better tape your socks on, because we’re going to come hard.’”
The executive vice president of Hoffman Corp., a large Portland construction firm, Harmon is also co-chairman of Associated Oregon Industries. The Drugfree Workplace Legislative Work Group is an offshoot of Workdrugfree, a program of the Oregon Nurses Foundation whose backers include 10 chambers of commerce and several regional business organizations. Corvallis-Gazette Times Link
Employers could readily accommodate medical users, she argued, if they tested workers for impairment rather than for metabolic traces of pot, which can stay in the urine for weeks after use. Corvallis G-T LinkSandee Burbank, founder of MAMAS spoke to the Oregon Governor's Council of Alcohol and Drugs and gave some compelling testimony in support of the OMMP. Her testimony is included in the October 2008 newsletter LINK (.pdf)
Finally, The Huffington Post had a personal account of medical marijuana users that is well worth the read.
I certainly was one of those people who thought that 'medical marijuana' was probably mostly a way for Americans to get around ridiculously punitive drug laws. It seemed like a reasonable strategy to me. But the very first time I walked into a WAMM [WoMen's Alliance for Medical Marijuana] membership meeting, looked around the room and saw people who were ghostly white and frail, people in wheelchairs, people huddled in small groups talking about a WAMM member who needed round the clock care, I realized that medical marijuana was no 'ruse.' These were very ill people. And, as I started doing interviews, the stories of the medicinal properties of pot blew me away. Huffington post LINK