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Is this legal?

Nurses   (4,103 Views 40 Comments)
by BeenThere2012 BeenThere2012 (Member) Writer

BeenThere2012 works as a Registered Nurse.

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Katillac has 18 years experience as a RN.

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That is the reason. They would loose reimbursement from federal programs as it is federally illegal.

This seems to be a commonly held belief. Does anybody have a shred of evidence it's true?

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[...]

Hospitals potentially carry enormous risk for allowing cannabis use by patients because cannabis is illegal under federal law. Because they are accredited through the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, hospitals could be found to be in violation, lose federal funding, and face penalties. Clinicians are also prohibited from prescribing or providing the drug in a hospital because it is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Yet, hospitals in more states are asked to create cannabis policies as voters decriminalize cannabis for medical use. There is no recognized supplier of medicinal cannabis, so hospitals are often asked to allow patients to bring in their own supply for their own use. Hospitals are then referred to The Joint Commission Standard MM.03.01.05 policy that states: "The hospital safely controls medications brought into the hospital by patients, their families, or licensed independent practitioners." This standard includes the following elements of performance:

[...]

Considerations for Hospital Policies Regarding Medical Cannabis Use

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kaylee. has 5 years experience.

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I recommend burning it.

Since you are burning it anyways, might as well get some use out it and hotbox the patient's bathroom :)

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kaylee. has 5 years experience.

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As a nurse who does home visits, we are specifically prohibited from requiring patients surrender medications they are no longer taking (although we educate and offer to destroy narcotics) because the meds are the patient's property. Why should a hospital be different?

Couldnt agree more. If a person goes into a store (pharmacy) and purchases merchandise (rx), that makes it THEIRS. We live in a society of capitalism and "personal property". So if one must abide by the rules of a dysfunctional economic system, then be damn sure no one should be authorized to confiscate what is theirs.

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We have a similar policy of either confiscating and destroying pot or telling the patient they can have someone take it home immediately. It is because we receive federal funding so we have to follow those rules as well. I'm uncertain of the legal justification, but I believe it is something along the lines of you are here voluntarily and can leave. If it's someone who denies having marijuana in the room despite obvious signs (or is caught with weapons, or suspected of having other drugs, including legal ones), we do a two RN search of the room and patient's belongings. Our hospital is connected with a university and has it's own police department, so they are allowed to be there for security purposes while searching but cannot actually search themselves. I've never had a patient refuse a search, but apparently if they refuse then we take their belongings and secure them somewhere where the patient will have supervised access.

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CapeCodMermaid has 30+ years experience and works as a DNS.

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I'm in Massachusetts where weed is now legal. My company just came out with a policy....residents with prescriptions for medical marijuana are allowed to keep edibles locked up in their room. NO smoking of anything, and no staff person is allowed to touch or administer any marijuana product.

This is a skilled facility

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BeenThere2012 works as a Registered Nurse.

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It's good that you are questioning this policy. Advocacy, IMHO, is an essential part of excellence in nursing.

I think there is zero standing based on where you receive federal funds (Payor) to follow federal S-I laws on this. Why become the pot police and take "ownership" of possession.

Treat it as secure personal property, as it it is quasi-legal in your state.

Don't start nothing, won't be nothing - is a a great rule. Your facility is inviting problems with their current grab and gab pot policy. IME, problems rarely need an invitation, they just march through destroying everything in their way. How does your facility know the cops can't ID the owner of the pot in some way, that admissions can't be tracked and names correlated. It could happen.

Anyway.

I think you are on the right path. I would ask Risk Mgmt for some clarification and maybe some hard questions. There is potential for badness in the current practice.

All it takes is one rogue cop getting one patient on the radar from info gleaned from your facility and BAM - it could be an issue.

Good Luck.

You Rock!

:angel:

Thank you for your support. I plan to talk to risk management about this. I was hoping to get some information first if anyone had any legal precedents I could site. None of this makes any sense to me and I am hoping to get clarity beforehand.

In any case, I truly appreciate all the input here and at least know I'm not the only one concerned about this. My co-workers don't comment when I bring this up other than to say..."This is the policy.You'll get in trouble if you don't follow it." (As if I wouldn't follow policy). Of course I have no choice at this point if I want to keep my job. Just feel compelled to advocate for the rights of my patients where I see potential injustice.

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BeenThere2012 works as a Registered Nurse.

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One more thing....

I am guessing this still needs clarification...

I work in a psych hospital. The patients are brought in on a hold. Many are homeless and carry everything they own in this world with them. They don't have the choice to turn around and walk out, nor do they have a family member at their side who can take contraband home for them.

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN ER.

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I suggest asking the patients to put it in their car, or hand it to their visitor, because hospital policy requires you confiscate it.

Or you can notify the patient that their "cooking spice" will be inventoried as such, and hopefully no one down the line will challenge that label. With a little luck it will be returned just like their other belongings.

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CapeCodMermaid has 30+ years experience and works as a DNS.

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We discussed this at our QAPI meeting recently. The practitioners say it's a controlled substance so it must be dispensed by licensed people. The company says no licensed person will touch anyone's marijuana product. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

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We discussed this at our QAPI meeting recently. The practitioners say it's a controlled substance so it must be dispensed by licensed people. The company says no licensed person will touch anyone's marijuana product.

Like licensed people prescribe/dispense LSD, heroin, ecstasy?

What practitioners are saying this?

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CapeCodMermaid has 30+ years experience and works as a DNS.

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Right? It's ridiculous

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