Nevada Mulls Drug Test Policy 

Nevada Mulls Drug Test Policy 
Posted by CN Staff on February 21, 2007 at 12:57:21 PT
By Joe Mullin, The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Carson City, Nev. -- Injured Nevada workers could face required drug tests to prevail in insurance disputes, under an industry-backed proposal debated Tuesday by state legislators.The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee heard testimony on SB54, which would change worker compensation rules so that any worker who refuses to take a post-accident drug test would be presumed intoxicated.
Injured workers still could contest the presumed drug use, but would have to prove they weren't intoxicated. Under current law, workers face no penalty for refusing a post-accident drug test.The bill's sponsor, Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, said it's meant to encourage personal responsibility and prevent insurance rates from going up for everyone.The current state law on how to treat workers who refuse to take drug tests is unclear, said Gary Milliken, a lobbyist for Builders Insurance Company. Builders handled 4,000 claims last year, and in about 125 of those cases a worker refused to take a post-accident drug test, he added."The law is gray on what to do if a worker refuses to take a test," said Milliken. "And we need to clarify that."A lobbyist for the Clark County School District, Rose McKinney-James, also supported the bill, saying it would make it easier for the district to manage paying its worker compensation expenses."You're not going to go to jail for it (not taking a test)," said Lee. "It's not a rampant problem, but it is a problem."Barbara Gruenewald, representing the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, opposed the bill, saying current Nevada law on worker compensation insurance balances rights of employers and employees, and the proposed law would shift that balance in the wrong direction."This bill changes that policy, that focus," said Gruenewald. "It puts the focus on whether the claimant took the drug test or not."Gruenewald told a story of a football player she represented who couldn't take a urine test because of a groin injury. When he offered to take a blood test, the insurance company refused, saying it was too expensive, Gruenewald said.Some legislators expressed concern about allowing employers to force drug testing in any circumstances."This doesn't differentiate between a sliced hand in a kitchen or a nail through a finger, or a broken leg, or a piece of machinery falling on you," said Sen. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas. "It runs the whole gamut, from a small injury to a devastating injury.""Someone could have smoked marijuana the day before" and test positive, said Sen. Joseph Heck, R-Henderson. "We have to look at how drug testing impacts worker compensation."The committee also considered two other bills about worker compensation insurance.The first, SB100, would force insurers to put compensation payments directly into an injured worker bank account, rather than issue a check, if the worker requests it.Lawmakers also heard additional testimony on SB3, which would allow surviving spouses of police and firefighters who die in the line of duty to remarry without losing benefits.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Joe Mullin, The Associated Press Published:  February 21, 2007Copyright: 2007 Associated Press CannabisNews Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on February 22, 2007 at 08:47:39 PT
Gained another %
YES-4422 = 85%No-775 = 15%VOTE!
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 21, 2007 at 15:52:46 PT
Has Democracy gone Bezerk?!
We need to start taking a closer look at our cruel and heartless Representatives in the Nevada Legislature. Senator John Lee, denying injured workers workmen's comp if a positive uranalysis is determined after an accident.Senator Joseph Heck, up to 15 years in prison for growing a plant around your own children. Good to see that there is another federal law suit challenging the federal government on medical marijuana. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 21, 2007 at 14:01:38 PT
Marijuana Sale and Possession Poll
Should the sale and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults be legalized? Current Results: Percentage of 4717 Votes 
Yes -- 3958 -- 84% No -- 759 -- 16% Please Vote:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 21, 2007 at 13:33:45 PT
Long-Term Marijuana Use May Impair Lung Function
Wednesday, February 21, 2007***(HealthDay News) -- People who smoke marijuana for a long time face many of the same kinds of respiratory problems -- such as phlegm, coughing and wheezing -- as long-term cigarette smokers, say researchers at the Yale School of Medicine.They reviewed previous studies from 1966 to 2005 that examined the association between marijuana and pulmonary function and respiratory complications. Some of the studies found a link between short-term marijuana use and relaxation and opening of the air passages. However, other studies identified an association between long-term marijuana use and increased risk of respiratory symptoms, suggestive of obstructive lung disease. The data did not show an association between long-term marijuana smoking and airflow obstruction (emphysema), the Yale researchers said.Their study is published in the current issue of the journalArchives of Internal Medicine.There were several common kinds of limitations in the studies they reviewed, the Yale researchers noted. These included: inadequate control of the complicating effect of tobacco smoking; lack of standardized measures for the amount or duration of marijuana use; and lack of standardized measures of the outcomes that were evaluated."Despite these limitations, clinicians should advise their patients of the potential negative impact of marijuana smoking on overall lung health," study first author Dr. Jeanette M. Tetrault, ambulatory care fellow at Yale School of Medicine and the Department of Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, said in a prepared statement.More informationThe American Academy of Family Physicians has more about the dangers of marijuana.SOURCE: Yale University, news release, February 2007Copyright: 2007 The Washington Post Company
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