Federal Marijuana Ban Lift Effects on Nursing - page 2

I am a newly employed RN in Florida who gave up medical marijuana (I had my medical card) prior to starting nursing school. I had accepted the fact that I would not be able to benefit from marijuana... Read More

  1. by   Orca
    My state legalized marijuana, and there are dispensaries all around my city where I could buy it if I were so inclined. As soon as the measure passed on the state ballot, my employer reminded employees that marijuana use is still against agency policy, and that we are subject to random drug testing.
  2. by   michelle4SN
    In Florida RN's still can't smoke weed. If you test positive, even with a prescription, you WILL be reported to the board and have to go through IPN
  3. by   Neats
    I do not use drugs to include pot but once I give up my licenses when I retire this will be another story.
    I live in Idaho and am surrounded by states that have legalized pot. Do not drive in Idaho with pot or you could seriously end up in prison.
    Most states have laws that say something akin to laws stating "regulating licensed health care professionals prohibits practicing with an impairment or while impaired". And also "Impairment" means a potentially impairing health condition that is the result of the misuse or abuse of alcohol, drugs, or both, or a mental or physical condition that could affect a practitioner's ability to practice with skill and safety".

    Even though this maybe legal in the state you live in the federal government continues to say it is illegal to have use pot.
    I think it is going to take the Federal approval and FDA to approve this plant as an actual medicinal option with full prescribing information that includes dose amount, schedules...before any significant changes occur at the state levels.

    I have worked with licensed and non-licensed staff in the healthcare arena who have some sort of dependence issue. It is not pretty and I do get concerned for patient and staff safety. Their dependency issues must be resolved before they return to work. I also get the same feeling with staff members who are on medication "legally" prescribed by their providers. I will not allow return to work until they have completed their prescription authorization. When both these scenarios return to work I closely monitor for a few day just to make sure you have a successful return to work experience. If a staff member has prescription for long term medication that has the bottle warning for operating machines/driving I ask the staff member write an agreement letter they will abide by those recommendation for liability purposes. What causes me concern is when that staff member drives themselves to work, starts a piece of equipment without another person...I will ask you not return back to work until you have your providers permission and to me it becomes a potential termination issue after I have gone down the road for staff compliance with you.

    Both have the same feeling for me and that is I have to protect the patients and staff safety. So when I say no to you please do not look at it as discrimination, look at it as my boss is protecting the safety of patients and staff. For that I make no apologies.
  4. by   CBlover
    Quote from michelle4SN
    In Florida RN's still can't smoke weed. If you test positive, even with a prescription, you WILL be reported to the board and have to go through IPN
    I don't think anyone can smoke weed legally in Florida.
  5. by   Possum_RN
    I assume that it would make no difference to nurses if it was legalized or not. Facility policies are still going to use screening tests to judge impairment. I've never seen a saliva test (which tests for the parent drug, not the metabolites) done for cannabis - only the urine screenings that test for fat-soluble cannabinoids - you can test positive for weeks, even months after using, long past when any "impairing effects" would be in play. A saliva test would be a better indicator of recent use/impairment....but I don't see that becoming policy. I don't think its exactly fair, but it is what it is.
    Last edit by Possum_RN on Jul 13
  6. by   azhiker96
    Quote from bluma5
    This post is not about enabling illicit drug use or subsequent impaired performance, but about the potential case of disability discrimination if/when marijuana is medically legal in Florida without the opposition from federal law. Any nurse taking illegal/non-prescription substances, especially those which result in impaired work performance, is at risk of serious consequences to their career.
    I don't think disability discrimination comes into it. People with chronic pain can legally take narcotics with a prescription. However, BONs and employers don't allow nurses to work while under the influence of narcotics.
  7. by   Luchador
    I had a very bad tibia plateau fracture years ago and I'm on a short fuse to a knee replacement but every surgeon says I'm "too young."

    Having started RN school I can tell it's really going to be a struggle being on my feet for 8 hours during clinicals.

    Before I started RN school if my knee was really vexing me a single 10mg THC gummy bear would really help when mobic or volataren would not do anything.

    But now, like you, I can't use it.

    These laws are ridiculous.
    Last edit by Luchador on Aug 25 : Reason: word missing
  8. by   Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD
    Every state that I know of that allows marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes has specifically prohibited its use for nurses. Be careful with CBD oil too and make sure it is pure with no THC.
  9. by   MunoRN
    Quote from Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD
    Every state that I know of that allows marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes has specifically prohibited its use for nurses. Be careful with CBD oil too and make sure it is pure with no THC.
    No states that have passed medical or recreational marijuana use have specifically prohibited it's use by nurses, I'm not sure where you're getting that from.

    All state's boards of nursing continue to prohibit on-the-job impairment due to marijuana. Washington, Oregon, and Colorado have all come out with position statements that their concern is only with evidence of on-the-job impairment, and that evidence of use that does not specifically indicate impairment at work will not necessarily be dealt with as a licensure issue.
  10. by   broughden
    Quote from Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD
    Every state that I know of that allows marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes has specifically prohibited its use for nurses. Be careful with CBD oil too and make sure it is pure with no THC.
    Not true. Oregon specifically just revamped the BON position, stating that they are only concerned with on the job impairment as Munro said.

    The BON acknowledges that a private employer can still test for and fire you for private usage, but that unless there are allegations of impairment it is not a licensing issue.

    https://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pdfs/mar...FAQs_FINAL.pdf

    If my medical provider recommends use of medical marijuana, can I use medical marijuana and still practice?
    Yes;
  11. by   herring_RN
    Cannabis and RNs in California
    BRN's mission is to protect and advocate for the health and safety of the
    public by ensuring the highest quality registered nurses in the state of
    California. RNs are expected to be cognitively, mentally, and physically intact
    in their personal and professional lives. Russell and Beaver (2013)* expressed
    that professionalism extends beyond the workplace and that all RNs are
    obligated to be professional in all aspects of their lives.
    A person who holds an RN license has a responsibility and obligation to
    ensure public safety. Drugs such as cannabis (aka marijuana), opioids, and
    alcohol may impair an RN's ability to make decisions that may affect the life
    and safety of the public and have negative outcomes. This action constitutes
    conduct that would be considered unprofessional nursing practice.
    The NCSBN Marijuana Regulatory Guidelines Committee is charged with
    developing:

    * Model guidelines for the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)
    authorization of cannabis in patient care.
    * Model guidelines for APRN and RN care of patients using cannabis.
    * Recommendations for cannabis-specific curriculum content in APRN and
    RN education programs.
    * Model guidelines for assessing RN licensees who are using cannabis and
    their safeness to practice.
    Although medical and recreational cannabis may be legal in California, the
    federal government considers cannabis a schedule I controlled substance.

    To become more informed about cannabis, consider referring to the following
    resources...
    https://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/forms/brnfall2017.pdf

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