California nurses and medical marijuana - page 4

We had an interesting topic in discussion today about how the State Board Of Nursing is pro medical marijuana. For many people suffering from chronic pain it's a great alternative to narcotics -... Read More

  1. by   delivern
    So far, State Boards of Nursing still do not allow any positive test for TCH. there is no allowance for a medical mj card. I have uncontrolled migraines and I'm going insane, but I can't even try that option. I value my license too much. I would love to fight it, but how do we even try without jeapordizing our careers? I can get an rx for all kinds of pain killers, thank goodness imitrex works best. I don't take mind altering drugs while at work. If pain is that bad, go home! BUT.... I know nurses that have. I know people with chronic pain that don't seem altered when they take their pain meds. are they? I don't know. You test positive for day, but they could do a blood test to check levels to see if you are actually impaired at work.
    maybe someday this will make more sense. Out of all the drugs for pain control, anxiety, etc, I don't think MJ is the worst thing!
  2. by   losbozos
    Interesting topic. I've wondered this for awhile, now. Although I feel anyone w/ a THC medical card should be allowed to exercise their right to intake, I also feel no medical professional should go to work impaired. Rarely (& years ago) I have imbibed & could not imagine going to work... or even wanting to, in that condition. That said, how could one prove they are not impaired if drug tested? No matter the legal substance found to be positive? Taking a med at bedtime is way different than just prior to work. And just to throw an off-topic comment, how many night shifters have gone to work "impaired" from lack of sleep?
  3. by   mellowdude
    I agree, smoking up before work is a bad idea. I couldn't function on it. It sucks but sometimes you have to suck up the pain. 12 hours would be a long time to deal with it. Just remember, when you get home you can smoke yourself to la la land. I'm curious to know if RNs can smoke up in Colorado and Washington state. I know it is legal but I'm sure there are some policies at work.
  4. by   db2xs
    As nurses, I would like to think we can use sound and logical judgment. Like anything that can impair judgment--marijuana, prescription narcotics medication, etc.--don't take it before going to work. I take muscle relaxers for chronic pain and I definitely don't go to work right after taking my medication. Not only would it affect my driving (another risk I am not willing to take), but it definitely makes me feel different at work (I tried it once and never again).

    And sure, some people do get high before work, but it is a slippery slope in our field. If we worked in catering or computer graphics, that is something else. But there are other people's lives in our hands. I say don't do it. Take as much THC or vicodin or ativan all you want on your off hours.
  5. by   ArthriticRN
    I am an RN with a medical cannabis card. I have rheumatoid arthritis. I called the Board of Nursing in the state I live,and was told by them that as far as they were concerned it was okay. Now I want to get a job across the boarder where medical cannabis is also legal. You can never reach the board in that state and they never get back to you. Herein lies the dilemma. Urine drug tests are bogus. They don't even test for the psychoactive component in the form of the metabolites. The test only targets the none psychoactive component. If you are using high concentrations of THC, it can take 90 + days to leave your system. A serum test can go back 7 days or so if you are a chronic user. I think saliva is like 2 days. I'm not sure if hair can detect by days. So I can be punished for something I did 3 months ago, with a prescription, in my own home, a few hours before I went to bed. I have not smoked in over a month and am still +.
    i think the board would be okay with it in the state I want to work in...but it comes down to individual organization policies.
    Hypothetically let's say I have an OTJ accident, hurt my back, med error, what ever. I pee + Percocet, and I still woul be ok because I have an RX. Let's say I was a totally irresponsible nurse and popped a few Percocet before work. I got tested after that and just tested + for my Percocet RX. Or let's say I had my all natural muscle relaxer a few hours before bed the night before, go into work completely sober, and not impaired, but I hurt my back let's say, I get tested, I test + for THC, I lose my job, a have to go on some kind of diversion and have a stain on my license.
    which scenerio is better. OBVIOUS. I use WAY less narcotics when I am using cannabis. I never go to work impaired on weed because it is just bad JuJu IMHO.
    you know how to make a million trillion $$$? Come up w/ a test that can tell if we are currently impaired.
    Give us a chance..we are not laxidazical idiots. You think that's how I got this far in nursing, a model employee by being irresponsible?
    in my experience, the chickens always come home to roost in the impaired employees. The ones who work impaired, have a few shots of vodka on their shift (because vodka won't smell like other boozes) or th.e ones who steal narcs from the Pyxis. These guys eventually get caught.
    but for us responsible users, we always get chastised for something we MIGHT do. No one has ever died from using cannabis, maybe that was in their death cocktail. But not cannabis by itself..NoT EVER. Never a documented case.
    So if I get lucky and am able to do a "tox flush" and pass my pee test, I will still never use it again until laws become either clearer, or more fair. So now guess what I get to do? Increase the amount of Percocet to push through my shifts. I am the breadwinner, I am the provider for my kids. I hurt everyday...but I HAVE to work. My tolerance is such that I no longer get "high" when I take a Percocet. But my desire to go to work narcotic free, and to use less narcotics in my life has just been derailed by a multi billion dollar drug testing industry. Nice, not only do I have a ****** disease, now I am forced to take more narcotics. That is if I managed to pass the pee test after my totally illegal rapid detox flush.

    Yay politicians
    Last edit by sirI on Aug 14, '15
  6. by   ArthriticRN
    Update: I managed to pass my rapid detox pee test. And I will still not ingest any more cannabis until the laws change. Again I am having to take more narcotics now to be able to participate in my kids lives. My hands/ feet/ toes get more achey than they use to when I smoked at night before bed.
    again, a product should come out that can tell if we are CURENTLY impaired w/ THC. But drug testing is a big business. And pharmaceutical companies want us to take their meds. FACT: their are more pharmaceutical lobbyist in Washington than with any other industry?!This is just a multilayered dysfunctional monster. And we are the ones that are victims of wealthy ,corporate,and political greed.
    My PCP, and Rhuematologist both want me to apply for disability. But I don't want my kids growing up in some low income housing unit/ apartments. Crime is rampant, amongst those with the entitlement gene. It is my sole purpose in life to bring them up to be socially responsible, functional, kind, productive, human beings. And I simply believe that the odds greatly improve if I provide them with the best education, life lessons, and standard of living I can. I am not saying I am going to raise spoiled brats, but I want to raise men. I can not invest in their future being on disability, with an income of around $1700 a month. As long as I take very good care of myself, they have a good chance.
    So folks who are against medical cannabis: Open your mind. Their are MORE responsible users out there than you can imagine. They stay hidden because they know your conservative judgment,close mindedness, can destroy their livelihood.
  7. by   yrhieniss
    As a PACU RN.. With "chronic" back pain. due to 30+yrs of being a L&D nurse, where your body mechanics are ****. There are days when I have to take a percocet... it's not mind altering I don't like to do it.. But when there are 30 cases scheduled and you're on your feet for the majority of the time. You do what you have to do... That being said. i've tried the topical CBD balms for my back. They help a little. there are also products that don't contain the THC which is mind altering, but have the pain med effect with the CBD. Personally I'd rather use the CBD than take a Percocet. This from a chronic pain patient. s/p lumbar fusion 2yrs ago. scheduled laminectomy on 9/7. But my question is where does the Board of RN's stand on medical marijuana? Chronic pain is a real issue with some RN's
  8. by   yrhieniss
    I agree... BUT.. as a chronic pain patient with severe arthritis in my facet joints. There are days I HAVE to take narcotics. But my tolerance is all ready so high it's like taking motrin... Which I add to my Percs. I am new to this whole pot thing. Im looking into it because getting narcotics is like going thru Fort Knox. This whole pot thing is a science that's for sure. What I've learned. THC makes you stoned.. CBD makes you mellow helps with the pain, but doesn't mess with your head... My concern was/is getting a Medical Marijuana card and having a RN license contradict? will big brother find out?
  9. by   yrhieniss
    That would be my question too.
  10. by   CCU BSN RN
    You can't smoke in states where recreational marijuana is legal, because there is no way to test if you are currently high or if you smoked 3 days ago. I am friends with multiple nurses out there, it's still a no-go, even though it's legal.