Question about marijuana use as a nurse - page 3

by sasha_t 20,131 Views | 82 Comments

I used to use marijuana only as a recreational drug, recently it was prescribed to me due to anxiety and lack of appetite. If you have a prescription to marijuana and you test positive on a drug screening, would you still be... Read More


  1. 3
    Im willing to bet it isnt allowed. You may want to talk to your Doctor about a different presicription for your problems.
  2. 14
    Quote from JZ_RN
    I wouldn't want a nurse whose senses and response time are dulled by drug use, and I don't know many others who would either. If you wanna get high, take it up with the BON. We're professionals even when we're off the clock and we can't
    use dope If you are so ill that you can't function without pot and have panic attacks, or can't eat normally, maybe you shouldn't be working at all.
    No one is saying it's okay to come
    to work high. But just because someone smokes pot on occasion does not mean their senses or response time are "dulled" or something. No more than someone who gets drunk on occasion. Of course, someone who abuses pot will have long term effects that could affect their judgement. Same with alcoholics. But just because a person gets high on occasion on their own time does *not* mean
    they are a bumbling idiot 24/7.

    For whatever it's worth, I personally don't care for marijuana, never have. But, yeah, on some of my weekends off I might go out and
    party and get drunk. (not as much as i used to, ha ha) But I'm responsible about it. I think many of us do that. How are people who get high on occasion any different?



    I think you'd be very, very surprised how many of your coworkers/neighbors partake of pot and are fully responsible and functional adults. (of course, as I said earlier, all of this is irrelevant when it comes to drug testing and protecting your job)
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Sep 25, '12 : Reason: Disclaimer: weird spacing is due to iPad stupidity, not drug abuse....
  3. 0
    As others have stated, whether your BON will license you I do not know. In my state, as long as you are using MM as directed by your prescriber, it will not prevent you from being licensed. However, employers are not required to accomodate MM use, and can fire you for testing positive for THC, even if it is legally prescribed to you.
  4. 9
    Maybe I'm missing something here. The OP says she/he uses marijuana for anxiety issues, but doesn't believe it will affect him/her at work? How on earth can it NOT affect you at work? If you're smoking a mind-and-mood-altering drug to calm you down, then clearly it IS affecting you...and arguably in a negative way while you're supposed to be alert while taking responsible care of your patients.

    I'm glad that it takes the edge off your anxiety, but in so doing it's also dulling your senses....the very senses that you need for accurate patient assessment, dosage calculations, ANYTHING requiring you to be more alert than you likely are when you're under the influence of marijuana.

    This isn't a commentary on whether marijuana should be legal or whether the OP should use it as medication.

    But it does seem pretty clear to me that if it's WORKING to keep her anxiety in check, it's also keeping her, well....stoned at work. I use a PRN prescription painkiller to ease pain when I'm at home, but you can bet your very last dollar that the last dose I have will have worn off hours before I ever step foot in my unit! Will the OP indeed be smoking such that all possible effects will have worn off hours before starting work....or will her need to curb anxiety result in an affected job performance?
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    There are legal, prescription meds that will alleviate anxiety and to gain an appetite. My brother in law is on both as a Crohn's patient. Really, weed is all that works for you? I find that hard to believe.
  6. 1
    "Oh and he was given the Rx for anxiety, and it appears that serveral of his friends are also anxious people because he is always smoking outside with at least 5 or 6 of them."
    Now that is a coincidence.. and I am from Amsterdam, where it is legal, but I totally think its ridiculous.
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
  7. 6
    Quote from DutchRN09
    Now that is a coincidence.. and I am from Amsterdam, where it is legal, but I totally think its ridiculous.
    I'd be wiling that the poster was being sarcastic. But, Yes, California has a wide range of complaints for prescription usage of MJ, and unscrupulous primary providers to prescribe it, that makes it almost comical.

    I am a firm believer in medical marijuana. I think it is wrong to deny it to many patients that are on other "drugs" for pain relief that have much further reaching complications. BUt....

    OP......hospitals and facilities deny hiring people if the smoke, if they are on certain psych meds, certain pain meds, have certain diagnoses. They can deny whomever they wish. Just because it is legal doesn't mean the board will continue to allow you to have an active license....many states have mandatory reporting if a licensed person seeks psychiatric care.

    I'd be checking with the BON of California and an attorney. Just because it is legal doesn't mean they have to accept that you take it and they don't have to allow you to work.

    I wish you the best.
    timmedico, joanna73, pgnurse79, and 3 others like this.
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    A gentle reminder. Allnurses although is an anonymous site it is viewed by the public and is indexed to search engines such as Google.

    Please do not post anything you don't want as general, searchable information open to the public domain. The members privacy is AN's utmost concern.
    ALLNURSES.COM is a public site and is indexed by Google and other Search Engines on a daily basis. If there is something you are concerned about being public knowledge, you should not be posting it on ALLNURSES.COM or anywhere online.
    Kashia, FMF Corpsman, joanna73, and 4 others like this.
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    You had a lack of appetite and anxiety?

    I think a lack of appetite would be a good thing in nursing, cause chances are you won't get a lunch break, or you take breaks in 5 minute intervals throughout the day.

    Anxiety. I think if you are SO anxious you need medical marijuana because standard prescriptions do not work for you, perhaps being in a nursing environment is not for you at all.

    Anxiety as a nurse that is so debilitated by it (s)he uses marijuana to cope, that sounds absurd. I wouldn't want an "occasional" binge drinker as my nurse either. That doesn't sound safe as a whole, and I am willing to bet the BON feels the same way.

    Just think, with social media these days, there are nurses being fired for having pictures of themselves out drinking and partying and walking in a drunken stupor. So why would your marijuana use be any different?
  10. 12
    Employers have to consider the legal implications of having employees who may test positive on a drug screen. Even though a person may have not used for several days, a plaintiff's attorney would dance a jig if hospital employees involved in an incident had a positive drug screen.

    Personally, I don't care if people use marijuana at home if they work in food service, programming, landscaping, etc. However, there are some people who I want to be at the top of their game at work. Just a few examples are airline pilots, surgeons, nurses, nuclear plant workers, police, and firemen.


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