Pot bill fails, new one in the works

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2008
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

Sun set

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night. 


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.


Read more...

No Boundaries

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Floor plans embrace the great wide open.


Read more...

Destination Resorts 2.0

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


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