Question about marijuana use as a nurse - page 6

by sasha_t

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. 5
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Yeah......my SIL and dh sometimes sit out on the back porch and smoke a bowl. I used to go out there and sniff the air when they lit up, just because I do love the smell......at least until my psych told me to stop because any contact with MJ is apt to make my bipolar worse. (I still don't know how the man wrung that confession out of me---he'd have made a great detective.) Well, that's the last thing in the world I need, so I stay away from the stuff completely now and have given up the idea that I can ever go back to it, even after I retire. It's not worth risking my license OR my mental health.
    You might want to ask him that question again. New research points to marijuana improving cognitive function in bipolar patients.

    In any case as long as you have a prescription for a substance, live and work in a state where it is legal, it is protected health information. For example - let's say you were taking Adderall and then tested positive for amphetamines, the lab calls, you provide prescription, problem solved and no one knows but you and the lab.

    I'm still not sure what all the uproar about marijuana is - the brain has its own sort of THC anyway.
    Last edit by Crazed on Sep 26, '12
    NurseDiva08, Kashia, RRWilson,RN2, and 2 others like this.
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    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.
    poppycat, redhead_NURSE98!, and TJ'sMOM like this.
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    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.
  4. 3
    Quote from mrsmac0710
    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.
    And the associated side effects of Buspar, Klonopin, and Xanax are?

    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.)
    Kashia, citylights89, and ~*Stargazer*~ like this.
  5. 3
    being 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.
    JZ_RN, citylights89, and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    I hope I never get you as a nurse. Why would you post something like this?
    JZ_RN likes this.
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    I 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.
    JZ_RN, duskyjewel, poppycat, and 9 others like this.
  8. 4
    Some 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.
  9. 3
    OP, I also advise you not to finish reading some of the negative comments on AN. May make you feel more stressed and anxious.
    timmedico, JMBnurse, and Elladora like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from Crazed
    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.
    Actually, 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.

    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.
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.


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