Home Archives April 2008 Pot bill fails, new one in the works

Pot bill fails, new one in the works

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Marijuana.jpg

SALEM Of the business-related legislation that died in this year’s special legislative session, it was a workplace medical marijuana bill that may have had the most mixed support from Oregon’s business community.

Backed by the Oregon-Columbia chapter of the Associated General Contractors, the bill was a pared-down version of bills restricting medical marijuana in the workplace that died in previous sessions. That failed legislation encompassed all businesses. But the 2008 special-session bill stated that only companies with workers who performed potentially hazardous duties — for example, using explosives or construction equipment, logging, roofing, operating power tools or a car — would not be required to accommodate employees who used medical marijuana.

Even with its narrow focus, the bill was opposed by civil liberties groups who felt it impinged on the state’s 1998 medical marijuana act. But it was also opposed by Associated Oregon Industries. And by The Oregonian, which ran an editorial titled “Don’t make a bad marijuana law worse.”

The fear was that by only focusing on one class of worker, the bill implicitly gave tens of thousands of other workers in non-hazardous jobs the right to use medical marijuana on the job.

Richard Meneghello is a partner at the Portland office of Fisher & Phillips, which represents employers in labor cases. “It would have been very easy for someone to torture the [bill’s] language and end up there. I think we would have had numerous lawsuits that would have probably gone in favor of medical marijuana advocates” he says.

That was one of AOI’s biggest concerns, says J.L. Wilson, vice president of government affairs for AOI.

With 2008’s failure for businesses and organizations working to limit medical marijuana in the workplace, the focus turns to the 2009 legislative session.

Ryan Deckert, president of the Oregon Business Association, says internal subcommittees are looking at marijuana in the workplace and the group as a whole will take a position later this year.

AOI and the Associated General Contractors are already collaborating on a new bill. Wilson thinks that a possible change in House leadership following the November election will cement support.

“There were only a few legislators who derailed the process [for a bill in 2007],” he says. “This time it won’t be an issue.”                    

ABRAHAM HYATT



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


Read more...

Two sides of the coin

Contributed Blogs
Monday, August 25, 2014
0825 thumb moneyBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS