Pot Smoking and Nursing

Nurses General Nursing


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 of the Nurses I work with came back positive for marijuana use. My thought was "Well she should not be doing it anyways" I was actually glad to see her get in trouble.

After discusing it with the Doctors they came up with a new unwritten policy. They will overlook marijuana. Basiclly, you can smoke all the pot you want but just on the weekends not during "on call" days. I questioned one of the Doctors about it and his response was to "chill"

Does this seem wrong to anybody else? Do Nurses really smoke pot on there days off?


564 Posts

they will test positive for it, any day during the week. My guess is that that Doc likes his weed, and is willing to overlook it in someone else so his own use can be overlooked. Don't you wonder why the Manager began drug testing, including the Docs? The only thing is-she has to have a policy against use before she can enforce anything, and everyone has to be aware of it. Beware of substituted, contaminated, or diluted specimens from now on!:rolleyes:


648 Posts

Marijuana has a pretty benign reputation among some here on the board. I think it is not particularly deserved. I also refer to research that showed that airplane pilots who used pot were still impaired when flying a simulator 24 hours after use. They felt impaired immendiately after use, but judged themselves "okay" to use at 24 hours.

Marijuana proponents point to it's nearly non-existent (ridiculously high) LD50 as a sign of it's safety however anything that impairs judgement, potentially (and often actually) impairs safety. Marijuana users were over-represented in trauma center populations in at least one study.

However, I don't think there is any doubt that marijuana is getting a reputation as a drug that can be used recreationally.

The first and only time I ever was offered marijuana it was by a registered nurse who later lost her licensure due to chemical impairment (drug of choice was alcohol, I believe, for her).

I can certainly say I would not want a nurse caring for me to have used marijuana in the last 24 hours and I certainly wouldn't want my nurse to be a heavy or routine user of marijuana with a risk for impairment of short and long term memory.

the big turn off for me with marijuana is that it is smoked and I cannot think of any reason someone might want to suck smoke into their lungs. Yes smokers, I know the reason, but it's still a gross out to me.

BTW, I tend to agree with Nurse Cathy--doc likes to toke now and then, too.

Brave new world.


657 Posts

and i think what PEOPLE do outside of the work place is none of YOUR business.

so long as they are not impaired on the job or smoking (or drinking) at work, i have to agree with the doc...just CHILL.

you talk about the airline pilots that USED marijuana...how much did they use? a joint? an ounce? did they smoke from a pipe? did they use a bong? all of these things have an impact.

you can make studies say anything you want to.

i know that when i used to go out and get drunk i was impaired the next day as well.

and no im not a smoker,(i have the most boring urine in the world) but it does bother me that others are so quick to judge a pot smoker as they sip on their drinks. one is no better than the other.


6,011 Posts


In Re:

and i think what PEOPLE do outside of the work place is none of YOUR business.

so long as they are not impaired on the job or smoking (or drinking) at work, i have to agree with the doc...just CHILL.

Our recreational user admitted to pot.....never came to work (too) impaired.

However one early January am while on MJ and ETOH , she took her baby (4months old) and put her carrier on the front porch because her crying uspet her guests. She then got dressed at 6am and came to work....the police came to the floor and escorted her to jail.

Recreation, at home.....if it's legal like alcohol....or illegal like THC what they do with it in off hours affects what they do in the on hours.

judy ann

225 Posts

Specializes in obstetrics(high risk antepartum, L/D,etc.

If you want to use pot outside of work, okey. It's your lungs. But if I am your patient, kindly shower, shampoo, use good oral hygiene and wear clothing that was nowhere near the pot smoke. It gives me an acute asthma attack. Even a teensie amount. This is not too unusual, according to National Jewish Hospital in Denver, one of the top respiratory hospitals in the world.:o


712 Posts

Personally I could care less what people do outside their job just as long as they come to work not impaired. It is a shame though because it is not an legal substance anyhow. Next thing it will be acceptable to do crack during your days off? You let one thing slide then all hardcore drugs are acceptable. The most common reasons licensed individuals lose their license is drug use! If I were a pothead I would not be in a profession that I have someone life in my hands! :mad:

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

You are kidding me!!!! I have been a nurse for ten years, was in the military three years and have been drug tested umpteen times - all negative!!! Pot stays in your system up to 28 days and you should be fired for any positive drug test!!!!! I can't believe that "what you do when you're not on duty is okay BS". Come on guys - are you all smoking or what????!!!!

If you're found to be positive for any substance at our facility, you are offerred treatment and possible return to work, but immediate dismissal is done only if you refuse help.


577 Posts

Yep, TraumaRUs, same thing here!


70 Posts

Let's put the issues of impairment, health effects, compromised patient care, whetever, aside for a minute.

Let's just look at the fact that it's illegal... Maybe I'm a little overboard, but where do we draw the line on what's OK? If you don't agree with a law, you just do what you want? It's not hurting anyone, right?? WRONG... Our society is set up and structured for a reason.

OK, let's throw out all the laws that we don't like... I'm not paying taxes anymore... And, I'll be helping myself to your car whenever I want, because I don't believe that stealing is wrong. I mean why should you have something nicer that I have?

Laws are in place to protect society, and it's structure. Just because everyone can't see the BIG picture of why we have certain laws, doesn't mean that we should ignore the ones we don't like...



657 Posts

well ok you guys are right...lets not break any laws ok?

lets not speed...lets claim everything on our taxes (dont forget that 2 bucks you won on the scratch lottery) and as i recall some sex acts are still illegal (better stop doing those)

if we are going to obey ALL laws, then lets obey ALL laws (you do wear seatbelts dont you, it is the LAW)

and your kids are REALLY sick when they stay home from school because thats the LAW you know.

your dog has a license doesnt it? thats the LAW too.

and you do walk home from the bar dont you because the LAW says you cant drink and drive.

we can stretch this law thing forever, in my opinion, youd be better sticking to the health issues if you are going to argue over pot usage.

at least your points have some validity.

i dont think there is a problem with recreational use if recreational use is defined. im not talking about someone who puts their baby outside...thats NOT recreational use be it alcohol or weed.

and we all know that smoking weed leads to crack use on the job and off. come on...you know you cant generalize all smokers or all drinkers like that.

proponents of marijuana can say that

alcohol leads to marijuana leads to crack leads to heroin...that would be just as stupid.

i only have ONE point in all of this...it seems to me that so many of the anti marijuana people have no problem with alcohol. if one is illegal than the other should be as well.

i see alcohol as one of our biggest evils because its socially acceptable and easily available REGARDLESS OF AGE RESTRICTIONS.

i think we would be doing our society a favor by abolishing BOTH.. but thats not going to happen any time soon. legalizing marijuana wont happen either because, face the facts...theres TOO MUCH money involved.

drugs are big business in our country. lots of revenue to be made by the government in one way or another. think about it.

i say abolish them both


70 Posts

I'm ok with that...

thisnurse, you are right about alcohol... it can be just as bad, and often worse than other drugs... I guess one difference is that alcohol is regulated. It has to meet certain standards. You know the alcohol content of your beverage of choice... Pot is "like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get"... And your point about other "silly" laws is well taken. Not everything that is law makes sense, however I don't see drug laws as legislating morality, as much as I see them as a protection against a danger. Are we on target with all "evil products"? No, hence we still allow tobacco sales...

I guess my problem is that I have never understood anyone's need or desire to "get high"... To me it is an indicator of an underlying problem in their life. Maslow didn't include getting high on his heirarchy. I think the need to get high is to numb the pain of not fulfilling some of the higher needs that Maslow points toward... perhaps love, or self-fulfillment. Just my sober opinion...


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