Employers should have the right to dismiss an employee if that worker’s pot problem is affecting the work performance, even if that person only smokes medical marijuana away from work.
A bill by state Sen. Mark Leno, a Democrat who represents Marin County and parts of Sonoma County and San Francisco, would prohibit employers from firing or not hiring someone who consumes medical marijuana away from work.
Marijuana use can cause delusions, negatively affect motivation and prompt short-term memory loss. Sorry, but most bosses don’t want to employ people who are delusional, unmotivated and forgetful of their duties.
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in California, and it does wonderful things for certain patients, including cancer sufferers and glaucoma patients. But anyone familiar with the medical marijuana landscape in this state knows that many patients get their pot licenses for questionable reasons, including frayed nerves, menstrual cramps and headaches.
Leno’s bill would not apply to doctors, nurses, school bus drivers and heavy equipment operators and would not allow employees to get high at work or come to work stoned. While we agree with those provisions, if Leno’s bill goes into effect, it would not keep others impaired by marijuana’s short- and long-term effects from being at work in less-than-ideal condition.
We don’t believe we are unfairly focusing our attention on weed smokers in opposing Leno’s measure. We think employers should be allowed to test employees for other substances consumed away from the workplace that might be affecting their work performances, including alcohol, which, like medical marijuana, is legal for adults.
Some would argue that what people do away from work is their business alone. We would counter that if activities away from work negatively affect an employee’s work performance, it is expressly the business of the person issuing the paycheck.
Medical marijuana work bill.
Employers do have the right to have a say about employees.
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