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Proposition 19: California Chamber Of Commerce Argues Pot Law Would Allow Smoking At

By Wanderer, Aug 13, 2010 | Updated: Aug 13, 2010 | | |
  1. Wanderer
    Proposition 19: California Chamber Of Commerce Argues Pot Law Would Allow Smoking At Work

    SAN FRANCISCO — Supporters and opponents of a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in California are dueling over the law's possible effects on employers and the workplace.

    The California Chamber of Commerce claimed in a legal analysis released Thursday that Proposition 19 would lead to more workplace accidents by forcing employers to let workers smoke pot on the job.

    The analysis also contends the law would make California companies ineligible for federal contracts because employers could not guarantee a drug-free workplace.

    The proposition's supporters dispute the chamber's findings. They point to the state Legislative Analyst's Office's determination that employers would "retain existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs an employee's job performance."

    Mainly at issue is a section of the proposition that says no one can "be denied any right or privilege" because they engaged in legal conduct permitted by the act, such as smoking pot.

    The section continues: "The existing right of an employer to address consumption that actually impairs job performance by an employee shall not be affected."

    The chamber claims the proposition would create a new, ill-defined standard of "actual impairment" that would prevent employers from disciplining workers simply for consuming marijuana. Instead, according to the chamber's analysis, employers would have to prove that pot impaired an employee's job performance.

    "For example, if a forklift driver showed up reeking of marijuana smoke, an employer could not take disciplinary action until it could be proven that the employee's job performance was 'actually impaired' by the marijuana use (for example, after an accident occurred)," the chamber wrote.

    The Proposition 19 campaign said in a statement Thursday that employers under the law would still be able to prohibit and punish employees for marijuana consumption that impairs job performance just as they would for alcohol.

    Employers would still be able to ban possession or consumption of pot at work and keep rules in place that involve driving or operating dangerous machinery, the campaign said. Employers could still certify that they maintained a "drug-free" workplace by prohibiting marijuana possession or use on the job.

    "Presumably the Chamber does not prohibit its employees from drinking alcohol at home as long as it doesn't affect job performance?" the campaign said.

    Proposition 19 would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of pot for personal use. Individuals could grow up to 25-square-foot marijuana gardens on private property. Cities and counties would decide whether to allow sales and taxation of marijuana within their boundaries.

    Recent polls have shown California voters are closely divided over the measure.

    Associated Press
    Posted: 08/12/10 06:36 PM



  1. wanderingaimlessly
    Re: Proposition 19: California Chamber Of Commerce Argues Pot Law Would Allow Smoking

    This issue will probably cause problems, as a lot of irresponsible smokers will probably abuse the system. Swim has known smokers that were far better workers after smoking. He used to hang out with a mechanic who would struggle with the simplest of jobs without pot, but after smoking a joint, he could change out a transmission and have You back on the road without breaking a sweat. On the other hand, he has known smokers who get high and can't find their ass with both hands.Swim has had to work with a few of the latter type who were utterly worthless,once they got high. Really pisses him off, as it makes the responsible users look bad. Unfortunately, many smokers are not responsible enough to know or care what type they are. Hope they don't screw it up for the responsible users.
  2. Necronite
    Re: Proposition 19: California Chamber Of Commerce Argues Pot Law Would Allow Smoking

    One would think that one would have similar restrictions as alcohol would in the workplace. I'm not sure what laws regarding alcohol in the workplace are in place in California, but I would assume it would not be acceptable for an employee to show up completely hammered reeking of Jack and start driving a forklift around. After all, its certainly taboo to drink and drive or start a scene by getting drunk and starting a fight (not that I'm saying marijuana has a similar violence potential, but it certainly impairs ones reaction times while driving, for example), where its not completely illegal.

    I feel alcohol does far more long term damage and short term damage regarding abuse that marijuana does (not saying getting baked everyday is great for your health, but your liver will give out from alcohol before your ass gives out from sitting and watching TV because you're super baked).

    So in closing, I would say that an employer would certainly have the right to send an employee home for being too baked, same as a they would have the right to send an employee home for being too drunk. After all, an employee reeking of booze or marijuana certainly would give any establishment negative publicity that such an employee in their employ.

    My apologies for rambling, that's my two cents :)
  3. EscapeDummy
    Re: Proposition 19: California Chamber Of Commerce Argues Pot Law Would Allow Smoking

    Swim agrees with necronite. If you show up smelling like weed, it should be treated the same as alcohol, if the employer wishes. Most workplaces do not allow the usage of drugs, they could tell the employee that marijuana is to only be used on their own time.

    And if the person shows up high, but covers up the smell and puts in eyedrops, and does their job well... whats the problem?
  4. wanderingaimlessly
    Re: Proposition 19: California Chamber Of Commerce Argues Pot Law Would Allow Smoking

    The only problem is that they can easily determine if alcohol has been used recently, but with marijuana it is dificult to tell if it was used 2 hours ago, 2 days ago, or 2 weeks ago. Hopefully fair testing methods will be developed so people do not wrongly lose their jobs, get DUIs and other problems that could result from inefficient testing methods. Swim agrees that those who can do their job well under the influence of weed,should not be hassled. Those who can't, should know better, and wait till they get home to fire up.
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