Would I test positive for marijuana if my client smokes it

  1. More and more states are legalizing recreational Marijuana, although I still don't understand how it can be legal in a state when it is illegal at the federal level.

    Anyway, it stands to reason that we will be exposed to second-hand smoke. Is that enough to cause a person to test positive?

    (For the record, I don't smoke, drink alcohol, or do illicit drugs. My biggest drug is caffeine.)
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    About Kitiger, RN

    Joined: Jan '14; Posts: 822; Likes: 2,916

    9 Comments

  3. by   Emergent
    I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask someone to abstain from smoking around you.

    Yes, you can test positive from second hand smoke. We have the occasional call into CPS regarding a baby who tests positive, who is brought in by parents complaining of its lethargy.
  4. by   Kitiger
    Quote from Emergent
    I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask someone to abstain from smoking around you.

    Yes, you can test positive from second hand smoke. We have the occasional call into CPS regarding a baby who tests positive, who is brought in by parents complaining of its lethargy.
    Thank you for your quick answer.

    If they normally smoke in their house, but not in your presence, could you test positive then?
  5. by   Mr. Murse
    It is highly unlikely for you to test positive from second hand smoke unless either the smoker is blowing it directly in your face or you are in a small enclosed space with them, like a car. Honestly, anyone who knows anything about smoking would laugh if you used that as an excuse for testing positive.

    Either way, there's no harm in asking them not to smoke around you, or if they seem to need it for medicinal use then just don't sit near them or stay in a small space with them.
  6. by   KelRN215
    Why does it "stand to reason" that you will be exposed to second hand smoke just because it's legal? It's been legal in my state for 2 years (though recreational dispensaries just opened today) and I've never been concerned about testing positive because of exposure to second hand smoke. I have neighbors that literally are outside smoking 10 hours/day and there was definitely a huge cloud of marijuana smoke over the Red Sox victory parade this year but I've literally never been exposed to it in a closed space since it was legalized. Nor do I see why I would be.
  7. by   Nascar nurse
    Makes me think of my time being in hospice. Went to a home of a patient & their family that I really liked despite the fact they were a little "off". I was running early that day when I knocked on the door. I could hear the panic thru the house that "Nascar is here. Get that out". When they finally let me in, the whole house reeked of pot with a thick cloud of smoke....and at some point that visit the German Shepard also bit my rear. I couldn't help but call the boss on my way back to the office telling her I would be late. Needed to find a bandaid for my butt and a couple of brownies to cure the munchies. The whole office roaring with laughter when I got back in. No drug test required. Told to take my coat back out to my car. (and PS - the dog just nipped me, didn't break my skin. Never showed up there early again).
  8. by   Kitiger
    Quote from KelRN215
    Why does it "stand to reason" that you will be exposed to second hand smoke just because it's legal? It's been legal in my state for 2 years (though recreational dispensaries just opened today) and I've never been concerned about testing positive because of exposure to second hand smoke. I have neighbors that literally are outside smoking 10 hours/day and there was definitely a huge cloud of marijuana smoke over the Red Sox victory parade this year but I've literally never been exposed to it in a closed space since it was legalized. Nor do I see why I would be.
    I was thinking that I could be exposed at work, since I work in private homes. I didn't realize that it had to be in an enclosed space (like a car).

    I have worked in homes where the parents smoked cigarettes, and - even when they didn't smoke in my presence - the cigarette smell permeated their house and my clothes picked up the smell. My husband smelled it as soon as I walked into our house (neither of us smoke).

    My concern is that the same thing would happen with marijuana.

    My solution will probably be to decline any assignments where marijuana is smoked, and to let new clients know that I will take myself off the schedule if they or their friends smoke in the house. That's what I do for cigarette smoking.

    I am relieved to hear that it is not likely to cause me to test positive. I've been reading here about how the Board of Nursing handles drug use ....
  9. by   CalicoKitty
    I have tested positive for marijuana despite not smoking it. It was 20 or so years ago when I was in a program to quit smoking cigarettes (still quit!). But, I had gone to a friend's house, I forget if it was a party or just a lot of pot smoke. But, the windows were closed in the house/apartment/room (fuzzy memory). But, it was just one day. I forget how long after was the urine test, but it did come back positive.

    I think when I see urine tests, the "normal" for many medications is "low positive", so not sure if there is a cutoff that implies actual ingestion.
  10. by   gettingbsn2msn
    One of the docs I worked with in the past told me that poppy seeds can lead to a positive marijuana urine test.
    I had never heard this before. I quit buying poppy seed buns at the market.
  11. by   Emergent
    Quote from gettingbsn2msn
    One of the docs I worked with in the past told me that poppy seeds can lead to a positive marijuana urine test.
    I had never heard this before. I quit buying poppy seed buns at the market.
    That's opiates, actually. Opium comes from the opium poppy, which is related to other poppies.

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