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Companies Try To Comply With New Laws

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
On a typical weekday, stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld has a marijuana cigarette before work, then goes to his firm's smoking area for another after he gets to the office. By day's end, he usually has smoked more than a half-dozen joints -- and handled millions of dollars' in clients' holdings.

There's nothing illegal about it. Rosenfeld, 54, of Fort Lauderdale, has a condition that causes benign tumors in the long bones of his body. After trying to control pain by taking narcotics such as Dilaudid, he persuaded the U.S. government to put him in a test program that gives marijuana to people with certain illnesses. His pain is now manageable, he says.

"I've smoked 10 to 12 marijuana cigarettes a day for 25 years," says Rosenfeld, adding he gets no euphoric effect from the drug. "All my clients know I use it. Without it, I wouldn't be able to work." His firm, Newbridge Securities, supports his use of marijuana and says it hasn't hurt his performance.

In Florida, Rosenfeld is an exception to state law that bans marijuana's use in any situation. But at a time when the use of medical marijuana is expanding -- this month, New Mexico became the 12th state to allow it -- the issue is raising a range of ethical and liability questions for employers across the nation.

Some companies, wary of marijuana's impact on employee performance, continue to fire those who test positive for the drug, even when its use is sanctioned by their state for medical purposes.

Those companies include Columbia Forest Products, a manufacturer of hardwoods based in Oregon, one of the states that allows medical marijuana. Even as the company maintains its zero-tolerance policy toward drug use, it has faced legal action because its company rules conflict with Oregon's medical marijuana law.

A few companies, such as Newbridge Securities, have embraced the notion of employees using medical marijuana at work.

Meanwhile, there are questions about whether medical marijuana laws would offer any protection to employers if a worker who used marijuana to treat pain wound up injuring others or making a mistake on the job. It's unclear whether such an incident has occurred.

"The rights of an employer to ensure productivity and safety around machinery and on the job has to take precedence," says Mark Levitt, a labor and employment lawyer in Tampa. "The use of marijuana has an effect on employees' ability to perform. That's a big concern for employers."

News Hawk- User 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: CourierPostOnline.com
Contact: CourierPostOnline :: South Jersey's Web Site
Copyright: 2007 CourierPostOnline.com
Website: Companies try to comply with medical marijuana law


New Member
"offer any protection to employers"

how about protecting mmj people from open discrimination? ppl should start sueing these companies.
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