Question about marijuana use as a nurse - page 4

by sasha_t 19,789 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. 7
    Sorry, regardless of anything, I have a brother and sister who are abusers of marijuana. Even when they are not high, I can see a huge change in them compared to who they were prior to smoking pot. I noticed that their memory is a bit shot, and my brother especially is a bit dull. Neither are quite as sharp. Not to say they aren't smart- but something changed in both of them. I would not want the nurse caring for me to be on marijuana, for any reason.
  2. 7
    I live in a state with medical marijuana laws, and total legality is on the ballot this Nov. (unlikely to pass, but hey, we're trying).
    The deal with our state is that legally authorized medical use is not a protection against arrest, it is only an affirmative defense in court should you be arrested. This is because while legal in the view of the state, it remains Federally illegal, which trumps state law.
    Because it is technically not legal, there is no need for employers to recognize it as medication or anything else besides an illicit street drug.
    That said, it will depend on your employer. I've worked for a place that "allowed" it. The medical director was a medical cannabis advocate, so admin was relaxed about it. However, I saw admin use their medical status against an employee. If they know about and look the other way from your use, they can hold it above your head. If you say something wrong, look at them funny, or they just hate your face that day, all they have to do is call you in for a "random" drug test and then fire you for testing positive - like they knew you would.

    My advice: do not use cannabis while looking for a job. Do not test positive on a pre-employment drug test. Do not tell your new co-workers and managers that you have a prescription. Do not do anything to endanger your patients or yourself (i.e.: GO TO WORK HIGH). Do not give your employers any reason to suspect anything and randomly test you. Most places will not spend the money for regular 'random' testing if they have no suspicions.

    Basically, don't be dumb.
    Kashia, RRWilson,RN2, joanna73, and 4 others like this.
  3. 1
    The answer is NO -you cannot pass a drug test. MJ is in your hair forever until you cut it off.
  4. 16
    Sometimes we have difficult choices to make in life....smoke weed or become a nurse.
    the healer's art, roser13, duskyjewel, and 13 others like this.
  5. 15
    In my state, where we have liberal medical marijuana laws and can obtain a card that allows us to purchase and use cannabis, it is still incompatible with a nursing license.

    In all honesty, I used to be a regular consumer and I still love the smell of the stuff, but the choice between being around MJ vs. keeping my RN license is no choice at all. Hmmmm......smoking weed, or being able to put food on the table? Smoking weed, or having a job I can be proud of and living like a decent human being? Dunno about anyone else, but it's a no-brainer for me.
  6. 0
    many facilities in my state not only test for controlled substances, but also alcohol and nicotine. applicants are denied if they are alcohol or nicotine positive. so yes, you will most likely be denied for positive marijuana screening. not sure if they would report you to the board of nursing, but i would think they would.
  7. 0
    I was asked a while ago about reliability of EMIT bioassay tests and found out that, at least theoretically, things like NSAIDs, proton pump inhibitors like Protonix and high doses of B2 vitamin can cause false-positives for MJ. I then asked several of professors and instructors about the matter, and they all say the same thing: if you tested positively for whatever drug, you, in theory, are entitled to having secondary testing under controlled circumstances. But it is expensive for employer and promises legal mess ahead, and there are probably 50 more willing candidates who have no such worries... go figure and up to your retirement day choose alternative drugs and treatments when available.
    The talk was in state where MM is legal and its use is common.
  8. 1
    I don't know the answer, but I'm sure most places would frown on marijuana even if prescribed. Seems to be an unusual treatment for anxiety, in fact, it can cause a paranoid reaction. Also is associated with memory problems which would make school difficult! Lastly if you have an anxiety problem you will most likely find nursing very stressful and anxiety producing. I would consider a different way to make a living.
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from sasha_t

    Personally, I think that you should be able to. I believe that you should be able to do whatever you want during your off hours, as long as it is not affecting your performance at work, whether that is going home and having a few beers, or smoking a joint.
    I am but a nursing student still, but I have worked in a hospital and a home health setting as a pharmacy tech for three years and the colleagues I worked with - fellow pharmacy techs, pharmacists, and nurses alike would all agree - that yes, you are free to do what you wish, but it would be wise to monitor what you do, because after all, you are in a very transparent field and the health care social circle is a small world.

    In other words, that is your reputation on the line.

    As to how this applies to your situation, as many others have stated in this forum, it is best to check with not only the BON, but your employer's policies. If they don't seem to mesh with your current situation, then you should consider two options: change it (as in, go on another prescription) or choose another field that will tolerate it.

    Best of luck to you either way.
    Last edit by Beautiful Mind- on Sep 25, '12 : Reason: Typo
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
  10. 11
    Someone who drinks regularly becomes slow, they lose brain cells. Have you ever met someone who regularly smokes marijuana? They're not the brightest or the fastest to the draw on anything. I say no pothead nurses. If you wanna toke up, go work at Taco Bell.

    And like I said before, if the only thing that helps your "anxiety" and "appetite" is marijuana, you've got serious problems to deal with to begin with. My guess is just that it's a big fat EXCUSE. Especially since you used it recreationally before and admitted it.


    Professionals are held to a higher standard. I don't want people who smoke weed working with me or with any patients. It's a safety issue, besides that I find it to be morally abhorrent, personally. So many people think drugs are the end all be all. I say get a life. If you can't have fun without getting high, you got problems.


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