Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Problem With Cultural Evolution

There's an interesting case coming up in Colorado.  I doubt if the national media will pick up on it or discuss it much.

The case relates to the state's new laws over medical marijuana, and a private company's rules on employment.  Company X (a satellite TV service) has an employee.  The employee is a quadriplegic who has been advised by a Colorado doctor to utilize medical marijuana, which is legally sold in the state.  The company has a drug-testing program, which marijuana is one of those drugs that is listed on the forbidden list.

The chief reason that the company will say is that they are fearful that employees might show up at the work-place, with lingering affects of the drug in their system, and cause safety issues (for themselves or the public).

The guy in this episode, had been with the company for three years, and the original drug test occurred in 2010, with dismissal as the result.  The original court episode resulted in the company being proven innocent...the dismissal was allowed.  The appeal?  Again went for the company.  So we are at the level of the state supreme court listening to the case.  Personally, I expect them to render for the company again, and the case will move to the national level for one last chance.

The medical experts tend to side mostly with the guy in this case.  His health has improved with the use of marijuana.  Safety experts will generally side with the company.

If you go to the Fortune 500 companies.....almost all of them have some type of drug testing requirement.  You could work for them for over forty years and never get tested.  You could be tested yearly.  What generally happens within the Fortune 500 companies is that an event occurs which makes a division chief question the individual in question.  The HR office will send a note to this guy and require him within X-number of hours to report to a nearby lab and give a sample.  Failure to do so.....results in automatic dismissal.  It's usually written into your contract.

The problem that we have an evolution going on with medical marijuana where one part of the nation has progressed on, and the standards of the remaining nation remain with certain rules.  There is more than ample proof that serious usage of marijuana disrupts your thinking process and could potentially cause an accident.  Hence.....even for buying medical marijuana.....they generally instruct or require you to leave the premises of the "store" and go home.  They don't even want you smoking this in their parking lot.

All of this leaves a regular user with limited options for employment.  A Piggly Wiggly shelf stocker, a gas station clerk, a french-fry guy at Burger King, or a pizza delivery guy.  At some point a decade down the line....some journalist is going to write up some big long story about the woeful problem with medical marijuana users and the unfairness of laws and forced drug-testing.  Some political party is going to promise a safe conversion for the nation, and we will all wonder a year or two later why accident rates have jumped a couple of percent.