Home Archives April 2007 We need drug-free workplaces

We need drug-free workplaces

| Print |  Email
Sunday, April 01, 2007

We find your February story [THE FIX] overdue. There is a great need in Oregon and all over the United States for a drug-free workplace and yet still having employees. I do not want my parents taken care of by a caregiver on meth or someone cooking my food or repairing my car while they are stoned out of their minds.

I have been told by chamber of commerce officials that business owners are afraid to lose employees by testing for drugs. What is wrong with this logic?

Bill Keefer
Global Awareness of Drugs
Phoenix

 

I voted for the medical marijuana measure in 1998 and I continue to support the right of the very seriously ill to use marijuana and its derivatives to combat their illness. However, I regret my vote. What began as a noble cause, unfortunately, like many things, has been corrupted.

I would not have voted for the measure had I known that nearly 19,000 people would obtain cards, that “debilitating” illnesses would be so broadly applied, and that cardholders could possess two pounds of marijuana. I doubt that many other Oregonians would have voted for it, either.

I support Senate Bill 465. The state needs clarity, and the Legislature should make it infinitely clear that under no circumstances is an employer required to accommodate medical marijuana, regardless of where its use occurs.

Requiring Oregon employers to accommodate medical marijuana will place them in a position of being “noncompliant” with federal drug-testing laws and will jeopardize Oregon employers’ federal contracting opportunities.

Medical marijuana cannot be safely accommodated in the workplace. Although certain advocates will try to persuade you that marijuana is safe, this is intellectually dishonest. Over the past 10 years, we have conducted nearly 200,000 pre-employment drug screens in Oregon. More than 4,000 individuals have failed for marijuana. Despite this screening effort, we have nearly 250 accidents involving drugs and alcohol and either injury to the individual, co-workers or property damage. Of those accidents, 36% (90 accidents) involved marijuana. Many have been hurt, but fortunately no one has died yet.

We have worked long and hard with our union partners to eradicate drugs and alcohol from the workplace. Accommodation of medical marijuana would undermine those efforts and is opposed by workers. Employers and workers should not be expected to assume the risk that someone using marijuana might cause injury or damage to our business. To do so would infringe on our rights to a safe workplace.

Dan D. Harmon
Chair, Drugfree Workplace Legislative Work Group
Hoffman Corporation, Portland


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

 

More Articles

Report Card

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strong public schools shore up the economy, survey respondents say. But local schools demonstrate lackluster performance.


Read more...

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...

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...

The Rail Baron

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Oil is gushing out of the U.S. and Canada, and much of it is coming from places that don’t have pipeline infrastructure. So it’s being shipped by rail.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

November/December Preview: Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

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


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


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