Pot Smoking and Nursing - page 13

Im angry. I work for a small clinic in Northern CA. There are three RN's on staff at all time. Recently our Office Manager decided to start drug testing of all staff including Doctors. Well, one... Read More

  1. by   iheartyou
    Quote from John Boy 2002

    You will be surprised what all the controversy is about. It is definately NOT health related but money motivated.
    John Boy 2002, I agree with you 100% that it IS money related. Maryjane does NOT lead to harder drugs, it does NOT cause violence like other drugs, and is VERY, VERY, VERY useful for alot of diseases/conditions. But the fact is that it is still illegal. There are tons of laws that I don't agree with, but living in a civilized society, I must follow laws to keep order. Without laws there would be chaos and anarchy. If all of the midnight tokers would just put their energy into helping to legalize MJ instead of blatantly breaking the law, then maybe they could help to CHANGE the law instead of just BREAKING IT.
  2. by   iheartyou
    Quote from kids
    I wrote a very long, very intense response to this thread. Then deleted it because I just don't trust people outside my family with this kind of stuff.
    I just did the exact same thing!
  3. by   Dixiecup
    Quote from TRAUMA_RN2000
    This has been a subject of debate for many years now..... Here are the facts: 1. It is considered an illegal substance.
    2. Yes, you may be impared for 24 hours. at a declining rate. therefore the longer it has been since you toked the less impared one is.
    3. Alcohol is just as bad if not worse than smokin a doobie. I am a ER Nurse and I have seen Hundreds if not thousands of cases where people have cause injury and death to others by thier drinking. I can not think of any cases that i was involved with personaly where people were killed due to someone smoking pot.

    Is it right??? People keep saying that it is in your system for 28 days, NOT SO. It will be in your system for 28 days if you are a habitual user. If you smoke pot once in 1 day it is gone. Now if you do an ounce at one time it will be there but just a few hits from a pipe or a joint NOT.

    Also hospitals are quick to jump all over people when they test positive for MJ. I will let you in on a story that happened to me. I was drug screened and I tested positive for pot. Here is the kick, I dont use. I was forced to resign from my job. I was turned in to my state board, sent to a 10 day in patient evaluation for chemicaldependency, Had numerous drug tests ( which were all negative) had a hair follicle test taken which showed up negative. # doctors who deemed me not chemically dependant. Had a DNA sample test performed on the original sample taken by the hospital. But guess what, the hospital failed to maintain that sample so therefor it could not be tested for my DNA nor could it be re drug tested. I ended up getting screwed by my state board. I would have been better off if i would have smoked.

    I know a lot of nurses who partake in this kind of event. Smoking a doob. Never once have i ever smelled it on them at work, or saw any indication of usage. i know they use but It never effected thier job performance. I work in a Level I trauma center in a charity hospital. I know what people look like when they are high, i know the behavior patterns. Nurse who use AFTER work are not necasarily impaired to where patient safety becomes an issue. I would let most of them be my nurse any day of the week. Those that i wouldnt, well i wouldn't let them be my nurse even if they didnt toke. Will the laws ever change. NO
    Will any nursing board look the other way NO. If you are going to do it, Dont do it before work and for gods sake dont get caught you will be in the ringer and there isnt anything one can do about it. I jumpede through all the hoops came out perfect and still got screwed by the board.


    Wow, what a nightmare! I am so sorry that happened to you!
  4. by   JR816
    I wonder if they are hiring??? just kidding.
  5. by   TazziRN
    Originally Posted by sasseynurse

    But on the other hand, suppose there is an employee just returning from vacation or extended time away from work-who happens to be back at work the day drug testing is done. A positive test for MJ use comes back and the employee ends up loosing their job or even worse their entire working or education privilidges? How fair is that?

    Okay, repeat that entire statement, but change "MJ" to "cocaine" or "heroin"......would you still feel the same way?
  6. by   CritterLover
    i know this is a really old thread, but i'm going to chime in anyway.

    many posters made the point that nurses should not be held accountable to their employers on their days off, even if they are doing something illegal. after all, nurses speed, fail to use their turn signals, without consequences from their employers. these are illegal activities.

    one poster brought up the point that in some states, certain sexual activities are illegal.

    i'm sorry, but these are not the same as using illegal drugs on one's days off.

    speeding/other minor traffic violations are not offenses that one can be arrested for. they are not criminal offenses. maybe, if a nurse were to accumulate enough points on his/her license it might become an issue. if the offense escalated to "reckless driving" rather than a minor traffic citation, then it really would have the potential to become an issue with either an employer or the bon.

    if anyone was unlucky enough to get arrested for having sex in a non-missionary position, i'd be willing to bet that law would eventually be declared unconstitutional, should the individuals choose to fight any conviction that might come of the arrest.

    as for the poster that brought up "fudging" one's income on tax returns.......i do believe some nurses have had their license status affected by tax issues. (i believe one posted here a few months ago; i think the issue was something as simple as her tax preparer forgot to send in her state return one year)

    there are many, many, many illegal activities people can do in the privacy of their own homes that the bon would take issue with, even though they don't impair the nurse at work: viewing child porn, rape, manufacturing (but not using) drugs, counterfiting.

    the problem with using marijuana is that it is illegal, and its use is considered to be a criminal offense.

    i'm not going to debate whether it should be illegal or not; i have mixed feelings on that subject.

    as another poster pointed out, part of the problem is there is no test to determine if one is currently impaired from using marijuana. if it were legal, and someone came up positive on a drug test at work, there would be no way to tell if they had smoked it the day before while at home, vs had smoked before leaving for work that night.

    to me, though, the bottom line is that when we decide we are going to become nurses, there are certain sacrifices we make. we understand that we arn't going to be able to spend all of the holidays with our families. we understand that we will (at some point) probably have to work some weekends. we understand that in all likelyhood, we will probably be puked on /peed on at some point in our career. and we need to understand that we will be held to "higher" moral standards.
    Last edit by CritterLover on Jul 19, '07
  7. by   Diary/Dairy
    Uhhh, yeah there are nurses who do smoke on their days off. I know some. I do not do this myself because I do not want to loose my license...I value being able to support myself and look for other things to support me if I need it! Nothing that will impair my work though.
  8. by   CritterLover
    Quote from sasseynurse
    but on the other hand, suppose there is an employee just returning from vacation or extended time away from work-who happens to be back at work the day drug testing is done. a positive test for mj use comes back and the employee ends up loosing their job or even worse their entire working or education privilidges? how fair is that?

    the only way i see any issue with that is if they were vacationing in amsterdam, or somewhere else where marijuana was legal.

    then, i can see some room for argument.

    however, i still think the employee would lose, since it is more than likely in their employee handbook that testing positive for any illegal drug is grounds for termination.

    it is all about choices: you know the consequences; if you choose to partake anyway, then that is the decision that you have made.
  9. by   traumalover
    I Have Seen Io Twice-once On A Trauma Pt Who Had One Extremitiy Off At Scene, And Was Very Cold/clamped Down We Could Only Get The Other Femoral Line In-we Were Transfusing Ivf By Liters, Blood Products, Ffp, Epi Gtt, Dopamine Gtt, Bicarb Gtt Etc... We Desperately Needed Access Right Away...we Have The Gun Too And Have Been Inserviced....
    The Other Was Present Already.
  10. by   donsize
    I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years. I am NOT a pot smoker but I have smoked in the past. I grew up in the 70's and it was the thing to do. I was an excellent student, in the band, cheerleading and sports. I was a GOOD KID!! But yes, I have smoked my share of pot in the past.

    I think RANDOM testing is just as much a violation of privacy as breaking HIPPA! If there is a reason to test then, by all means, test. But random testing is wrong. We can go back to the ETOH thing. As far as your judgement etc....... from my past, experience a daily "Happy Hour" joint has no more affect than those daily "Happy Hour" drinks. Lets get real! I know people who still smoke pot who are good friends. I have just chosen not to continue the habit into my adult life. (and no I don't feel I did it to hide from my problems etc...... I did it for a good time just like going out drinking with your friends. It is no different really.) I am a very stable person and have always been a stable person even when I chose to indulge in pot smoking.

    I have a friend who was recently positive with random testing. (NO he is not a nurse). He works for a manufacturing company. He smokes maybe several times a week. Not every day. Maybe 3 times per week. He could not return to work until his THC level registered "0". This was in a urine specimen. He was off work (PAID LEAVE OF ABSENCE!!!) for 7 WEEKS!!!!! Yes, that is paid time off for SEVEN weeks!! He had to go through counseling etc....... If you want to call it counseling. They discussed more about their mutual musical interests and talents than anything to do with drug use or addictive behaviors.

    There is not a single person here who could convince me that his work and judgement was impaired for 7 weeks from the last time he smoked a joint. That is absolutely ridiculous!!! So apparently it stays for longer than a month. That is due to the way it is stored in the cells. It has nothing to do with how long you are high or impaired.

    So that is my opinion as a stable, mature, sensible and excellent nurse!
  11. by   oneLoneNurse
    I never smoked pot alot. And haven't done any for over 15 years. I live in the US where it could become very difficult for me, if my urine proved to be positive.

    Question: since pot is legal in Canada can Canadian RNs smoke it without receiving a drug test that would allow people to fire them?
  12. by   woknblues
    I guess I will chime in here.

    I think people have an interesting tendency to make moral arguments towards something that has no moral implications. Pot is a legal issue. Legality is not morality. In the 1940's all Japanese legally had to register for internment camps. Was that moral? If pot is made legal tomorrow, would it then be moral?

    The truth of the matter as far as I am concerned is that "The War on Drugs" in general has way too many "public interests" tied up in it. Entire government departments would be wiped out in a single sweep, prisons would be closed, etc., if this stuff was made legal. We are #1 on earth for people per capita in prison , and our MJ usage as a country? 3rd most in the developed world with 12.3%, (as compared to say the Netherlands, with legal drugs and only 5.24% using cannabis)

    Another real interesting site is the drug war clock, like the national debt clock, it tallies monies spent by state, federal institutions, and incarcerations BY YEAR. Also of note near the bottom is the HIV infected clock, that was put on to illustrate the funding freeze on the needle exchange programs, one of the few federal government programs that actually curtailed the HIV infection from spreading (10 per day as estimated). It would seem a better alternative to lock people up, than give them clean needles to use.

    I hope in my lifetime, I can look back and tell my grandchildren that "Back in my day we actually made things that people chose to do with their bodies of their own free will, illegal" and laugh about it with them, as they can't believe it, much like I could not believe it hearing that people have been put into slavery, concentration camps or internment camps.

    I am not obligated to a company, and nor is that company obligated to me. I am in a partnership with that company to perform a duty in exchange for money. That company profits from my efforts, and I profit from the company.

    No advocacy for endangerment is implied or given. As a free individual, I should have the right to exercise my freedom in any way without the approval of any person, entity, or 'government'. As such, I am eager and willing to accept all consequences for my actions, should they harm anyone, or impede on their rights, such as patients rights in our cases.

    For the record, I am not admitting to any particular behavior or practice. I am merely reacting to the topic as a concerned free person.

    Looking at this post, I have too much time on my hands, apparently. Back to the books!
  13. by   BradleyRN
    Quote from woknblues
    In the 1940's all Japanese legally had to register for internment camps. Was that moral? If pot is made legal tomorrow, would it then be moral?
    Alcohol and tobacco, IMO, are much, much worse than marijuana.
    As previously stated, there are many laws on the books that are ridiculous. As educated Americans, we have the responsibility to sift through those laws and form our own opinions on what is right instead of just taking our governments' word for everything. It is a good thing that not everybody just blindly accepts what they are told to believe or this country would be a much different place.

    How can states pass laws legalizing medical marijuana, and then fall victim to the federal government still coming in and arresting those who have filled prescriptions? Is that democracy?