Last week I wrote about Prop 19 in California and the kooky provision that doesn’t allow employers to discriminate against pot users the same way they can discriminate against the users of other legal products:

If it doesn’t affect job performance, I believe it should be a non-issue. However, it not-infrequently is going to cause problems in the workplace the same way that alcohol consumption does. Adding a layer making it more difficult to fire people that smoke pot compared to people that don’t is highly concerning.

Mike Hunt noted in the comments:

Can we admit that the whole medical marijuana thing is a scam?

I never responded to that snippit, but my response was going to be “Maybe. But it’s not just a scam. It’s also a start.”

As if to bring these two thoughts together, I ran across this article about how the new medicinal marijuana law in Arizona puts employers in the same bind as employers in California would have been if the law had passed:

“If the positive drug test is of a person who’s a cardholder, the law has a presumption that the marijuana use was for medical purposes, not recreational,” Phoenix attorney David Selden.

That, Selden said, presents a new hurdle for a company that wants to fire a worker: proving impairment.

“One of the most common ways is through symptoms,” he said, “a delayed reaction, a lack of perception, loss of energy, bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils – those kinds of things that people remember from college,” Selden said.

“It’s turning employers into the equivalent of a field sobriety test,” he continued. “There is a not a scientific measurement of impairment the way there is for alcohol.”

This is where the fact that medicinal marijuana is a scam is problematic. If medicinal marijuana were regulated like other drugs with prescriptions and all those other buzzkills, I might actually agree with this provision. If someone has a condition for which they need the drug, perhaps they should not be discriminated against unless their job performance suffers. But… come on. It’s not being used that way. This is something that Arapaho learned very quickly after implementing their system. It’s a backdoor to legalization. And as such, I think that discrimination against card-holders (on the basis of a failed drug test) ought to be legal unless they’re willing to undergo the exact same procedures that other people do for other medications. Or at the very least have put together a proposal to make really look like it was for dying cancer patients.

Of course, for that to happen, you would probably have to get pharmaceutical companies involved rather than letting people grow it on their own. Which defeats the real purpose of it. And lets profits go to the “bad guys” who non-libertarian supporters of medmar hate. And is just generally a buzzkill. Of course, if it ever really becomes legal, the profits will start going to you know who. Which will be a buzzkill even before they start putting pictures of people dying on the boxes.

Category: Statehouse

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2 Responses to Potheads Writing Laws, Revisted

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    Thanks for the reference. Yes, it is a start; camel’s nose and all that.

    Here in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, we are trying to do it right. In fact, our gov wanted to designate Rutgers as the only place where it could be grown, but they backed out for fear of losing federal funding.

  2. Maria says:

    In fact, our gov wanted to designate Rutgers as the only place where it could be grown, but they backed out for fear of losing federal funding.

    The trouble is that the US has a lot of spare, empty land that we don’t have the manpower to properly police, and the drug cartels know it. So even if we restricted growing to certain venues, there would still be a black market and still be a problem with having the resources to enforce such restrictions.

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