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

Man for All Seasons

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

Banking Perspective

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank.


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

Editor’s Note: It’s a Man’s World

Linda Baker
Thursday, April 30, 2015
lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue:  It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


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