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...

A Recipe for Success

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Two businesswomen, two iconic food brands and one food-obsessed city. We thought this sounded like a recipe for good conversation. So in late August, Oregon Business sat down with Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, to discuss their rapidly expanding businesses and Oregon’s trendsetting food scene.


Read more...

Shipping News

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

In 2012 The Dalles, a city of some 14,400 located 75 miles east of Portland and often seen as the poor cousin to adjacent Hood River, completed a massive project to revitalize its dock.


Read more...

November/December Preview: Revenge Forestry

News
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

Seneca AW46A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


Read more...

Startup or Grow Up?

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL

Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


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