Question about marijuana use as a nurse - page 5
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... Read More
4Sep 26, '12 by DEE S.If you have a prescription for this drug and test positive you could get in trouble. First of all most drug tests have you list what you have taken, so you can list it. However in this case you should notify HR that you have a prescription for marijuana, only because its a drug that the hospital considers as grounds for termination I am sure.
Honestly I am not into this marijuana for every medical cure, cancer and aides patients or pain relief. But anxiety and lack of eating? There are tons of medications out there for that. You have just been given a legal way to get high. If something should happen to a patient under your care and you are tested for drugs and it shows up you will be terminated for sure. If I was the patient I would file a lawsuit, prescription or not. Its a mind altering drug, its not like its Motrin or Lasix. If you can't drive under the influence I would not risk having that drug in my system period as a nurse. I think its a very very BAD call on your part knowing the stigma associated with this drug and the fact you are a nurse, not when you have options for medications to treat weight loss and anxiety.
3Sep 26, '12 by CrazedQuote from mrsmac0710And the associated side effects of Buspar, Klonopin, and Xanax are?I'm not sure where you live, but in California anyone can get a prescription. There are Drs along the beach I know that have vendors harassing the public outside of their "clinic" to get a prescription for business. As a nurse you should know that there are other drug therapies that are much more effective. Buspar, Klonopin, Xanax. With marijuana you don't always know what's in it, at least with pills you know what's there. Employers can make whatever decision they want, as well as the BON. I've known nurses that have traveled out of country and smoked where it is legal and then failed a drug test. With that in mind, how can you prove your not using it for recreational purposes or in a place/situation where its legal . You can't. If I were you, and wanted a job, I would not be wasting my time on a drug that is contoversial and pushing it when there are clearly other choices.
Just because a medication is FDA approved does not automatically mean that it's better for treatment of an illness. I understand that it sounds like I am advocating drug use but really I am simply an obsessive researcher. Marijuana has a deep and interesting history as does the "war on drugs." Drugs once thought to be safe have been taken off the market before.
This isn't an issue of what's ethically right, however if the OP lives and works in a state where the drug is legal, prescribed, and the OP obtains it from a licensed dispenser/pharmacy it is protected health information. In short, according to Ashcroft vs. Raich the high court has cleared the exception of medical marijuana in states where the drug is legal, however the use does fall under the ADA and the OP does risk being classified as disabled, in which the OP's employer must decided what falls under reasonable accommodation. The OP needs to clarify the drug policy of the facility specifically how it pertains to medical marijuana.
What is far more likely than the OP being terminated is to be given a job that is not direct patient care. (Which honestly, if the OP is suffering this badly from anxiety may not want anyway.)
3Sep 26, '12 by classicdame Guidebeing legal does not mean people can work with it. That includes all drugs/substances. Someone who is impaired should not be working. They could take OTC med like Benadryl and be impaired. It is the action of the substance on the individual that matters.
12Sep 26, '12 by nurse1952funI worked in the Chemical dependency unit for many years and have found that the people who rationalize their drug use the most are usually the ones who have the worst drug abuse issue. If you only smoke when you are anxious and don't smoke when you work you must never have anxiety at work. The whole thing sounds fishy to me. Sounds like you are looking for justification to continue your habit.
4Sep 26, '12 by OnlybyHisgraceRNSome of the memebers are a little judgemental OP. Not sure why others have an attitude about this. I advise you the same as some others which is to contact your BON. If its' prescribed, then I don't see any reason there should be a problem. I take a prescription med for anxiety. Would I take it at work, no because it would not be safe. I take is as prescribed by my physician.
I bet if you inserted the word Ativan or xanax instead of marijuana, you've gotten a different response.
1Sep 26, '12 by Anna FlaxisQuote from CrazedActually, the use of medical marijuana does NOT fall under ADA protection. Even if the person is disabled, their use of medical marijuana is still in violation of Federal law. The Federal Government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.This isn't an issue of what's ethically right, however if the OP lives and works in a state where the drug is legal, prescribed, and the OP obtains it from a licensed dispenser/pharmacy it is protected health information. In short, according to Ashcroft vs. Raich the high court has cleared the exception of medical marijuana in states where the drug is legal, however the use does fall under the ADA and the OP does risk being classified as disabled, in which the OP's employer must decided what falls under reasonable accommodation. The OP needs to clarify the drug policy of the facility specifically how it pertains to medical marijuana.
Again, State BONs may issue licenses to those with legal prescriptions for medical marijuana, so long as it is used as directed by the prescriber. However, employers are allowed to enforce "drug free workplace" policies, in which testing positive for THC is grounds for termination, legally prescribed or not.
If the OP wants to practice as a nurse with a prescription for medical marijuana, it is possible for her/him to obtain licensure from her/his State BON, depending on that State BON's policies. However, obtaining employment may be a different matter altogether.
5Sep 26, '12 by edmiaQuote from NurseDirtyBirdYup, completely agree.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.
The only thing I will add OP, is that if your anxiety is as severe as it sounds, you should be extremely careful about what jobs you apply for. Definitely don't put yourself in an acute care setting, or LTC where you will be alone in no time as it may put you over the edge. Nursing is SO stressful that I would be really careful about choosing a position.
And yeah, don't test positive in pre-employment testing. I'm in complete agreement with BrandonLPN on this, marihuana is not the terrible drug people (mainly DEA) have made it out to be. Nor is it a gateway drug for more potent stuff. Addicts will be addicts no matter what restrictions you put on pharmaceuticals and it doesn't matter what they are abusing. I've met many completely competent, successful, normal people (yes, even nurses!) who occasionally smoke pot -- and they are not dim or walk around like zombies. It is not uncommon. But, laws are behind the times, so don't be stupid.
Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
7Sep 26, '12 by texasRN_14I have a feeling many of you actually know very little about marijuana and it's benefits, not to mention the fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol and many, many prescription drugs. No one has ever died from using marijuana alone- in any form. Many people have become severely addicted to and died using Xanax, Oxycontin, etc. (Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., Times analysis shows - Los Angeles Times) These are all perfectly legal and "accepted" drugs. Try to find an article about a person dying from marijuana.
Should a nurse use marijuana prior to a shift? Absolutely not. Nor should they drink alcohol or use any altering medications. But you've gotta be kidding me if you think it's ok for you to have several beers/glasses of wine on a Friday night and it's somehow different to a person smoking a joint or eating an edible on a Friday. What we need is a more accurate drug testing system that could somehow detect last ingestion of a medication/alcohol/drug. A person could snort several lines of cocaine on Friday and come up clean on a drug test on Monday. Or A person could smoke marijuana on Oct 1, get drug tested on Oct 15 and still show up positive. I find that unfair.
Marijuana should be legalized, period. Unfortunately at this time, no matter if in your state it is legal, you will be under unfair hypocrisy over this drug vs others and honestly, if you want to stay in this profession, it may be best to abstain from use until it is finally legalized, or you find an employer who sees your Rx as any other.
2Sep 26, '12 by joanna73 GuideWhile I can see your side of things OP (and I disagree with your logic), the BON, as well as your employer is mainly concerned with nurses upholding the standards and ethics of nursing. Smoking pot during your off hours is a slippery slope. You can't guarantee them that your using won't affect your performance, at some point. I do not take any drugs, although I have experimented with pot in my younger days. Even smoking a minute amount of pot left me tired and I had a hangover from it a day later. Sure, you may be different. However, is this worth risking when people's lives are at stake? No.
4Sep 26, '12 by needshaldolInteresting. First of all just go out on a weekend night to a club and see how much alcohol is being consumed. These people enjoying their night out do not drink before coming to work or drink at work. It is the same with pot. Their professional judgement is not impaired because they had a drink or two or three two nights ago. I am in CA and I will say that our hospital would never test for THC why? Because too many people would test positive. It is very easy to get a medical card in this state. I work with staff who have them. I am not advocating for pot or alcohol or anything else. Just stating that for those of you here who are so against pot because of it being a drug, you just have little clue as to how prevalent it is. You all know how it is at a major football or baseball game with many drinking beer? Well that is exactly how it is at most concerts with pot and beer. Perhaps I am just used to it having been around it my whole life (CA native) so I do not know how it is in other states?
2Sep 26, '12 by joanna73 GuideI won't disagree that pot and many other drugs are widely used. I'm not naďve by any means. However, I'm still not in favour of nurses, policeman, fireman, or other professionals who are in the business of saving lives smoking pot. Do they do it? Absolutely! Doesn't mean I agree, and for sure I wouldn't broadcast using drugs to coworkers or employers. Also, marijuana has been known to cause psychosis, memory lapse, and hallucinations. It isn't necessarily the harmless drug some would think.