The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Medical Marijuana

Culture, Drugs, Medical, National, Marijuana

Wal-Mart worker fired over medical marijuana


Joseph Casias, 29, has doctor’s prescription for pot to treat his brain tumor


Casias, 29, just couldn’t understand how Wal-Mart or any employer for that matter could fire a worker for using medical marijuana, which was prescribed by his doctor and has been legal in Michigan since 2008.  He even has a card sanctioned by the state that says he can legally use the drug.


Fourteen states now have laws on the books legalizing marijuana. But many of the laws, which do protect users against criminal charges, are often unclear when it comes to protections in the workplace.


Michigan is another story.  The state’s law includes some legal shields for workers.


“You can’t discriminate against a person if you have a medical marijuana card, and if they use it for medicinal purposes,” said James McCurtis, a spokesman for Michigan’s Department of Community Health that oversees the medical marijuana program.


Drug testing at work


Most large corporations such as Wal-Mart have long-standing policies against drug use, and many screen prospective employees and conduct random drug testing on existing workers.


According to a 2006 report from the Society for Human Resource Management:


84 percent of employers do pre-employment drug screening.

73 percent do reasonable-suspicion testing.

58 percent do post-accident screening.

39 percent do random testing.


In the case of Casias, who has been using medical marijuana since last summer, a knee injury on the job prompted Wal-Mart to test him for drug use.


Difficult situation


Employment experts said companies across the country, especially those that operate in a number of states with different marijuana laws, face a Catch-22.


“The federal law says the drug is illegal, but the states are telling people they are allowed to smoke,” said Richard Meneghello, an attorney in Portland, Ore., who works for Fisher & Phillips, an employment law firm that represents companies.  If they accommodate marijuana use among some employees, he said, and a worker ends up injuring a customer, then they could face charges of negligence because they knew the employee was using the drug.


Most of his clients are choosing not to make such accommodations and are terminating workers.  And, he added, the courts are increasingly siding with employers in these matters.


One key case that many labor experts point to as seminal was Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, Inc., in which California’s Supreme Court decided in 2008 that the telecommunications firm was within its legal right to fire Gary Ross, an administrator at the company, even though he was legally using medical marijuana.


Source and Full Story: MSNBC


Now this is wrong of Wal-Mart.  It is state legal for medical purposes where he is and he has a prescription card and is working with a doctor.  Now it would be wrong to smoke it at work and the laws do tell you that just like other drugs, you cannot drive or operate machinery. 


This is a case where the company’s policies need to be tweaked for the states that allow it for medical uses.  You cannot go to work drunk or drink on the job and similar rules would apply.  I don’t think legalizing marijuana is the right thing to do, but the states that have it, should only allow it for medical use.


It is the THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) part that scientists are working to develop drugs from that show promise.  THC is found in hash and marijuana. 


They have already found the gene that produces it.


Finding the genes opens the path to either create drug-free hemp plants for industrial purposes, or to develop plants with much higher concentrations of the psychotropic chemical.


Publishing in the Journal of Experimental Botany, the researchers note that they specifically targeted the genes responsible for generating the drug-filled hairs highlighted in many a High Times photo spread.  By impairing or encouraging the growth of those hairs, scientists could gain precise control over the level of THC in the crop.


This development has important consequences for both the medicinal and industrial use of hemp.


On the industrial side, states like North Dakota have been looking to change state law to allow them to raise hemp as a cash crop, for oil and rope production.  The ability to create hemp that doesn't contain any banned substances would allow Dakotans to sow the crop without any changes in the law.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, precise control of the doses of THC found in pot could greatly enhance the medicinal marijuana industry.  Currently, dosage is controlled through haphazard breeding and selection, not precise measurements as with most other medications.


Click here for more on this finding.

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