Question about marijuana use as a nurse

  1. 3 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 allowed to work? Would an application for employment be denied?

    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.

    Honestly, I feel more in control of myself and a lot safer when using marijuana over drinking alcohol. Going into the nursing field really does take a special kind of person that wants to help people. If we didn't have the genuine desire to help, most likely, we would not have made it through school.

    I would never come into work high any more than I would come into work drunk, so it wouldn't affect the way that I treat patients. Why would I enter a field to help people, just to hinder my performance and actually put them in harms way? There are restrictions on marijuana just like there are on any other prescription drug, just like the "do not operate heavy machinery" restriction. If it is legal, prescribed, and not affecting me at work, I don't think that my license should be at stake.
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 25, '12 : Reason: spacing; Capitalization
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  3. Visit  sasha_t profile page

    About sasha_t

    Joined May '12; Posts: 3; Likes: 4.

    82 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Luckyyou profile page
    33
    What you believe and what the BON in your state believes can be two very different things, and if you have to go before the board, I'm sure they won't care what you think. Unfortunate, but true.
    willowita, timmedico, Nyknick, and 30 others like this.
  5. Visit  sasha_t profile page
    1
    you didn't answer my question....why did you post anything at all?
    natnat122 likes this.
  6. Visit  Luckyyou profile page
    0
    It is always best to contact your particular board of nursing, but these two threads may be of help.

    http://allnurses.com/nursing-activism-healthcare/cam-nurses-use-739526.html

    http://allnurses.com/general-nursing...ns-348279.html
  7. Visit  xoemmylouox profile page
    30
    You have some nerve. Be glad anyone responded at all. You may not like the answer, but it remains the same. The only way to know the actual answer is for YOU to contact YOUR BON.
    Syrenia, kimbap, willowita, and 27 others like this.
  8. Visit  roser13 profile page
    16
    Quote from sasha_t
    you didn't answer my question....why did you post anything at all?
    What question? You obviously only care to hear opinions that coincide with yours. I don't even see a question in your post - I just see this:"if it is legal, prescribed, and not affecting me at work, i don't think that my license should be at stake."That's fine. That's your belief. But others are allowed to differ.
  9. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    17
    As other posters have pointed out - what we think is irrelevant, its what the BON in your state rules. I would contact them.
  10. Visit  Whispera profile page
    10
    It would be a rare prescriber who would prescribe marijuana for anxiety and lack of appetite unless all other options had been exhausted and/or there were extenuating circumstances. Do contact your Board of Nursing about this.
    timmedico, natnat122, Nascar nurse, and 7 others like this.
  11. Visit  CrunchRN profile page
    5
    Let us know what the BON tells you ok? It is an interesting scenario and I can see both sides.
    NurseDiva08, timmedico, natnat122, and 2 others like this.
  12. Visit  classicdame profile page
    39
    you did not pose a question for us to answer. So we assume you want opinions. Mine is, don't be my nurse if you are on dope
  13. Visit  itsnowornever profile page
    8
    Quote from 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 allowed to work? Would an application for employment be denied?
    This is the only post that poses a question. Yes, you may be allowed to work, however, you would be under sanctions and have limits (medication administration) and your employer may still choose to fire you. Yes, if you get sanctions or can't pass a drug test you may be denied employment. Bottom line, what you think should be allowed and what the state deems legal can differ and employment decisions are based on law, not what you think is right. In the same sense, an employer can also ask that you take sick time if you are taking medications (oxy for pain) that are legally prescribed because it can impair your thinking.
  14. Visit  Meriwhen profile page
    13
    Quote from 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 allowed to work? Would an application for employment be denied?
    There are two things to consider in the answer to your question.

    First, even with prescription in hand, your state BON may choose NOT to license you as a nurse in your state...and yes, this includes California. So you need to check with your state BON to determine if you will be able to be licensed (or keep your license if you are already).

    Second, if you are able to get/keep your license, that does not guarantee that an employer has to hire you. Employers have their own guidelines regarding drug use in their employees. Having a prescription in hand--and this applies not only to marijuana but for benzos and other medications as well--is not bulletproof protection against a positive drug test. The company may choose to deny you employment if you test positive for a drug, and you would have little legal recourse against it.

    Most facilities--including those in California--will not hire someone who tests positive for THC regardless of whether a legal prescription is involved. I know because I work for two of them.

    Not going to pass judgment on your views regarding MJ use. But it is a fact that--as harsh as this may sound--what you think about your MJ use doesn't matter one bit. What the BON and employers think about it matters far more because they can control if you can work as a nurse. And they are within their rights to deny you licensure/employment based on your drug test results.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.
  15. Visit  eatmysoxRN profile page
    16
    I wouldn't want someone who was caring for me or my family to be under the influence of any drug. If you truly want to smoke weed or need to because it is all that will relieve anxiety and increase your appetite, you need to speak with your BON and your employer. If the need to smoke exceeds your need to be a nurse, perhaps getting a job that requires less critical thinking should be an option.


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