Will marijuana ever be okay in nursing? - page 3

Okay I realize my username isn't the best for this topic... anyways :woot: Let's talk about marijuana. The fact that it's illegal is mindblowing. Let's ban a plant but not life crippling... Read More

  1. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Bakingismylife
    Sure of course, but there is honestly nothing wrong with marijuana.
    Completely aside from the argument about whether or not marijuana is okay "for nursing," I fail to see how you can make the statement above without quite a bit more study and data. Some studies have certainly found some evidence to show that there are some dangers or negatives to the consumption of marijuana. I think more research needs to be done before we know for sure one way or another.
  2. by   Cuttykupcake
    As someone who doesn't drink or smoke, I find it hipocritical for someone who drinks to frown upon marijuana use in general (regardless of legality) as they are both mind-altering substances.

    I highly doubt it will ever be ok for nurses to smoke, though, due to it being schedule I and there not being a test to measure when it was last consumed.
  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    FWIW, I don't think marijuana will *ever* be acceptable in nursing, at least not in my lifetime. Tobacco is legal on both state and federal levels, yet many employers are refusing to hire nurses who use it. MJ is still illegal on the federal level, and with the mood in the current administration it is likely to stay a Schedule I drug for the foreseeable future. Personally, I don't see much wrong with MJ, and since I've been retired/disabled I've been known to use it in moderation. But if I were still working in nursing, I wouldn't touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole...it's just not worth it if one wants to continue their career.
  4. by   klone
    I do take issue to the statement that there is "nothing wrong" with marijuana. Marijuana alters brain chemistry. It has serious longterm effects on children/teens/young adults who are exposed to it.

    In animal testing, it's been found to alter the genetic makeup of those animals exposed to it, which actually causes them to pass on an addiction gene to their offspring, even when there was no in utero exposure. That's pretty sobering.

    I think marijuana has many benefits to treat certain conditions and symptoms. I think it should be made legal so that actual research can be done. But anyone who thinks that it's perfectly safe and perfectly harmless is foolish, naïve, deluded, or all the of the above.
  5. by   klone
    Quote from Cuttykupcake
    I highly doubt it will ever be ok for nurses to smoke, though, due to it being schedule I and there not being a test to measure when it was last consumed.
    The Oregon Board of Nursing has stated that it's "okay" as long as the nurse is not working impaired.

    However, I am not aware of any healthcare employers who have taken that stance.
  6. by   ashley_bird
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    FWIW, I don't think marijuana will *ever* be acceptable in nursing, at least not in my lifetime. Tobacco is legal on both state and federal levels, yet many employers are refusing to hire nurses who use it. MJ is still illegal on the federal level, and with the mood in the current administration it is likely to stay a Schedule I drug for the foreseeable future. Personally, I don't see much wrong with MJ, and since I've been retired/disabled I've been known to use it in moderation. But if I were still working in nursing, I wouldn't touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole...it's just not worth it if one wants to continue their career.
    I feel like the major reason why employers refuse to hire nurses who smoke is for medical insurance purposes. It is cheaper to cover a non-smoker than a smoker; less of a liability. Since, as of right now, there are no major health risks correlated that come with smoking weed like there are smoking, I guess I could see it happening. However, we only know what major risks there are with smoking cigarettes because we studied it so intensely, so until we begin doing the same for smoking marijuana, we are back to a "no".
  7. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    Yes, marijuana isn't for children and adolescents; yes it CAN BE a "gateway drug". My husband worked w/ the Sheriff's Dept. said he'd whole lot rather deal with someone high on pot, than to have to deal with someone who is drunk. The folks who were smoked up were a lot less likely to be belligerent.

    Look, I grew up in the 50's and 60's, but didn't start using pot until the 1970's. I graduated nursing school in 1971. It was during what was referred to as "The Hippie Haydays"...drugs of all kinds were prevalent almost everywhere. I admit to trying a lot of them, though nothing considered a "hard" drug. Most of the pills made me fall asleep or feel sick from feeling dizzy, some made me feel like a bowl of creamed spinach, and some were downright FUN, very enjoyable with a lot of laughter. Mostly we'd just gather in the evening and smoke, play music and talk...and laugh.
    I never got high before going to work, I never drove high; I 'used it' as some here have described, as someone would have a beer or a glass of wine after work, as a pleasant way to unwind and decompress.
    Drinking made me throw up. My dad was an alcoholic. I remember the day my younger brother told our dad that he should try smoking pot instead of drinking
    I would have rather he smoked pot, too.

    So anyway, I tried a lot of different stuff, and I never got hooked on any of it. I wasn't interested in losing control or losing myself to the point of nodding and passing out. I think it's a shame to tar and feather everyone for the 'sins' of the MISusers. Everyone is afraid to prescribe opiods and try instead to push meds without the 'addicting factor', but that might not work as well. Sure I enjoy the initial buzz after taking a Vicodin for pain, but it doesn't last and the idea of having to lie and/or go out on the street to buy some is totally unappealing.
    I can live without drug-highs, but if I have true genuine pain I want the opiods for a few days. And I have lived just fine through long periods of time without marijuana, either due to cost or supply. Back in the 80's when Nancy Reagan introduced her "Just say no" campaign, I used to say,"MY problem is I can't find any drugs to say 'no' to!"
    I don't believe in getting or being high at work, for or from whatever cause or reason, is a good idea at all. But I think that more people than you would expect are actually able to be moderate and sensible about smoking pot, including a lot of professionals all the way to the top.

    So I don't ever expect the BoN anywhere to "approve" of pot for healthcare workers. IMO there are a lot of healthcare workers who divert but don't get caught, and the ones who do get caught, well, I have been surprised by colleagues I NEVER would have expected to, losing their license for that. Also there are a lot of healthcare alcoholics who justify it by saying "at least it's legal" like that makes any difference to their livers if it's overdone. And I don't want someone with a perpetual hangover or the shakes taking care of me!

    By the way, there are cannabanoids (oil) that can be given/taken for various medical reasons without imparting a high. But if the government is freaked out about allowing farmer's to raise hemp, just because it is in the same 'family' as marijuana, even though it makes an incredible amount of sense to be able to grow and use hemp (save trees, etc) ... politicians are always going to be on the stump for dunning any 'use' because it's too much competition for Big Pharma, which being BIG and RICH and NOT wanting to give that up. Well, I also think that lobbyists should be banned if all they do is 'buy' favor for their employer.

    Blah-de-blah-blah. How I do carry on. But I had $2 to add, not two cents, so there ya go.
    Never addicted, never arrested, no inclination to over-do, but yes, I smoke pot sometimes now that I am retired. I smoked for the first 30 years of my nursing career, but gave it up entirely during the past 18 years because I was afraid if I got injured at work, there was a mandatory pee-test. And when you go to be seen for a work injury... well, in the clutches of Workman's Comp, if you refuse a pee-test, that's an admission of guilt regardless.

    It's like with everything: food, drink, drugs, sex; there are always those who overdo and do unwisely. But there are just as many who don't overdo or use unwisely ... you just don't hear about THEM because they are DISCREET and sensible, like an intelligent responsible adult who knows their limits.
  8. by   Persephone Paige
    The problem is that we chose a profession that doesn't tolerate any sort of weakness. We are supposed to be "on" even when we're off. There is very little to be done about that. I do believe there are people out there whose lives are so devoted to the THC culture that they chose professions where they don't need to worry about being scrutinized. That would've been the thing to do... Not try and get the BONs to change their stance on what is considered impairment, or if it's okay to be a nurse and smoke pot.
    I'm in recovery and I tried to smoke pot while I was waiting to get into treatment. I had never tried it before then. I was so stoned that I couldn't move. It did help me eat, but boy oh boy. You can say there's nothing wrong with it, maybe it stops being such and intense high once you get used to it. But, I could say the same thing about opiates.
    I say if you want to smoke pot with impunity become a painter, or a college philosophy professor. If we have a procedure, we should be requesting time off from work until we are finished with the opiate prescription or the pain is gone. Same concept in my book... But, that's just me.
  9. by   Accolay
    I'm not a user and I don't personally have a beef with marijuana. Despite the apparent symptom relief some patients experience, I think I'll have to echo the commenters that have taken umbrage with the statement that there is "nothing wrong" with marijuana. It's a drug and has good and bad attributes. Opiods are derived from plants, as is tobacco. So the argument that marijuana is "all natural" and therefore better than other drugs doesn't really do it for me (although it's way better than say, heroine or meth. Cocaine is kinda from a plant too, but look up how they get it out of the leaves)

    1. How much stronger have the levels of THC in modern marijuana plants become due to breeding compared to the weed of the 1970s?
    2. A problem Colorado has had with Mary Jane is when it is put into foods. It takes longer for the high, so people double up the dose and users may feel some pretty strong effects. They wont die, probably, but it doesn't seem very pleasant either.
    3. Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
    4. Clandestine growers are growing it in public areas- national parks, protected forests etc. and using a lot of chemical pesticides harming the environment leaving it trashed and killing endangered species among other animals.
    5. We don't really know how bad marijuana smoke is for the lungs (among other organs)since most don't smoke it as much as cigarettes. Common sense tells me it's probably not real great for you though. Time will tell.
    6. Going along with #2: Accidental pediatric poisoning i.e. marijuana candies

    I think the modern world will eventually come around to treating marijuana like alcohol. To answer your question: Use your best nursing judgment. Unfortunately it's still illegal in most places so if you do use it, make sure you are on your day off and don't be surprised if you're fired from your place of work if you're required to take a drug test.
    Last edit by Accolay on Apr 5
  10. by   SobreRN
    It is legal in California but still schedule 1 @ federal level (absurd I know but drug scheduling laws were signed in by Nixon to aid law enforcement, they are comical; marijuana a schedule 1???)
    Anyway I was advised that as an employee of a county jail it is illegal for me, that is ok with me as it never floated my boat in youth and I abstain from anything stronger than caffeine.
    Now, I do not know if California nurses in the private sector are still being tested for THC. I should think given it is legal they should be able to use it. It has such a long half-life I would expect it to show in a tox screen. If they elected to have a medical marijuana card I do not see how that is any different from an Rx excepting that asinine federal scheduling. I suspect they do prohibit it based upon that, from what I have seen on recovery pages the BON is moralistic.
  11. by   SobreRN
    I would say marijuana is not likely to lead to addiction in people not prone to it. Although I did not care for it when I was young and drank I would not chance it but I am addiction-prone. I doubt that anyone who drinks a glass of wine with dinner would go nuts on it.
  12. by   Dixie Darlin
    I honestly think it should be. With it becoming legal all over. Alcohol is legal but its addicting dangerous life threatening at times. With the side effects of the things that are legal compared to the side effects pot Im lost to why it isnt legal yet. I know if it were legal Id smoked. But just like any mind altering substance it shouldn't be taken while caring for patients.
  13. by   CrunchRN
    I think it is unfortunate that nurses cannot use it for symptom relief and/or anti-anxiety to a limited degree (not before work etc.). It seems safer than many of the legal drugs used for these purposes.

    However, since it is illegal I certainly wouldn't stay in any area where anyone was using it so as not to ever risk my license.

    I think some day it will be legal, but I still doubt the BON will ever allow it for nurses.

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