Business Groups Campaign Against MJ Legalization
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Business Groups Campaign Against MJ Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on August 14, 2010 at 14:51:13 PT
By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- The California Chamber of Commerce and other groups representing employers are starting to line up to oppose the initiative to legalize marijuana, charging that Proposition 19 would allow pot smokers to light up on the job and operate dangerous equipment while stoned.Stepping up the campaign on Thursday, the chamber released a five-page analysis that starts: "Imagine a workplace where employees show up to work high on marijuana and there is nothing you can do about it."
Allan Zaremberg, the chamber's chief executive, criticized the measure, saying it would set a high bar for employers to act against workers using marijuana by requiring proof that they were actually impaired. "Prop. 19 creates a new protected class of California citizens," he said.The initiative's proponents dismissed those claims. "It's a lie that's designed to raise money from California employers and other hot-button organizations," said Dan Rush, a union official working for the campaign.Only a few sentences in the initiative refer to the workplace, but they are likely to inspire contentious debate. In addition to the chamber, the Assn. of California School Administrators and the League of California Cities have opposed the initiative for similar reasons. The chamber voted to oppose it months ago, but chamber officials said questions from its 15,000 member businesses led them to ask Jennifer Shaw, an employment lawyer, to take a closer look."Prop. 19 is going to add to employers' burdens," Shaw said, suggesting that it could make workplaces less safe, increase liability insurance costs and encourage worker lawsuits.The initiative would prevent employers from firing or disciplining workers who use marijuana unless it "actually impairs job performance." Laura Preston, legislative advocate for the school administrators, said officials could not stop a bus driver suspected of using pot until after an incident. "You can see the headlines," she said. "School principal lets bus driver drive while high."David Rosenfeld, a union lawyer with ties to the Proposition 19 campaign, said employers are riled up because they could not simply fire employees who test positive for marijuana, which can stay in the body for days, but would have to show that their work suffered. "There are lots of people out there who use marijuana responsibly," he said, "and it doesn't impact their work."In her analysis, Shaw concluded that employers would not be able to ban toking at work. Rush noted the initiative bars the use of marijuana "in public or in a public place." But Shaw said it's not clear workplaces are public places, citing a recent court decision that concluded grocery stores were not.Zaremberg also said businesses would not be able to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act, a requirement for receiving federal money. Analysts for the Assn. of California School Administrators and the League of California Cities agreed. The federal law requires employers to ensure that controlled substances, including marijuana, are not used in the workplace.If being drug-free is a job requirement, Rush said, then employers would have the right to prohibit employees from using marijuana. In that case, he said pot- smoking employees would meet the criteria of being impaired because they would fail to meet the job qualifications.Preston, who estimated that $9.4 billion in federal dollars comes to California's public schools and colleges, acknowledged that the issue was complicated, but said it is not worth the risk to see who is right.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:   John Hoeffel, Los Angeles TimesPublished: August 13, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #16 posted by Peter Carson on August 17, 2010 at 00:38:43 PT:
Why not EXPAND Prohibition
Why not EXPAND Prohibition TO INCLUDE : coffee, sugar, cold medicine, and all the mind / MOoOoOd altering SSRI meds such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Ritlin and especially LIQUOR. OK to drive a school-bus or transit bus while high on Prozac - even if the driver happens to go "postal". Would love to hear the Chamber sentiments if ALL the drugs were banned - to preclude them from indulging in a few martini's before their next meeting. These people are masquerading as if Bum-holier than thou, right up until their beer, wine, hard liquor and SSRI meds get caught in the crotch-hairs and taken away.
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Comment #15 posted by charmed quark on August 15, 2010 at 14:52:40 PT
Impairment Testing
There have been simple computer programs available for years that can detect physical and mental impairment. It just takes a minute or two moving a mouse around. If employers are seriously worried about safety issues, why don't they do routine impairment testing for safety-critical jobs? And use routine job performance review for non-safety-critical jobs?An employer shouldn't care whether your impairment is due to antihistamines ( my guess is these can be a lot more impairing than light marijuana use), a stroke, or marijuana (assuming it actually causes any impairment) if their concern is safety. The only difference is that they should, under the ADA law, try to accommodate someone who is impaired for medical reasons. They don't need to accommodate voluntary recreational impairment. The whole drug testing approach has actually hurt work place safety. First, it really only focuses on marijuana. And, secondly, because the federal government has put so mush emphasis on drug testing, it is usually the ONLY thing most employers do to "ensure" workplace safety. So drug testing has probably displaced methods that could actually improve workplace safety rather than just make safety some sort of morality play.It's tragic, in my opinion. 
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Comment #14 posted by dongenero on August 15, 2010 at 08:58:37 PT
Chamber of Commerce
The US Chamber of Commerce is no more than a conservative tool, along the lines of a right-wing political action committee. There is a reason companies like Apple have rejected the policies and left the US Chamber of Commerce and others like Nike are threatening to.I imagine the California Chamber of Commerce is no different. Just another prohibitionist right-wing attack.
As always with such attacks....fear, fear, fear. Hey, it worked great for them the last decade.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on August 15, 2010 at 06:04:01 PT
It won't be long until Farm-Aid. It's in Wisconsin this year. We have HD TV now so it will be really great to watch the concert since it will be in HD.
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Comment #12 posted by Canis420 on August 14, 2010 at 23:28:30 PT: we go
The prohibs are gearing up with their misinformation campaign. We all knew they would. Time to counter with non histeria, common sense, logical, science based refutiations to their nonsense. We can do it and we will prevail! I got 15 petitions signed tonight in a bar for ppl are fed up here in florida and we are not gonna take it anymore!
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on August 14, 2010 at 22:04:21 PT
 would gladly be 1ata5 FoM
-- Been watchen dir tv link 375 late 
show on saven seeds up in Canada.Percy Schmeiser man what a good show.Please Willie take that show to DC and back the Hemp Farming Act and stop the distruction of our national treasure of hemp seeds that have lived thru so much.Percy put the chill in me as he relayed his story of how the people were ratting on each other -- that was against all the farmers had stood for.Come on CA stand up as one its time all those wanting to see this plant saved work together let the chamber see the light of how many value added products are being made from hemp and not one [plant cannabis hemp is grown here what an outrage when the chamber says it is for jobs but will not support the farmer to grow and make the fiber for the mill for the sower for the user.i hope the Hemp trade show or expo will offer to host all those that want to end this war at least table space.
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Comment #10 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 14, 2010 at 21:38:11 PT
I wish they drug tested for alcohol metabolites,
if they are or were such things, that stayed in the body for several weeks, and tried to fire people for being impaired if they went to bar on their own time 2 weeks ago, then I think we'd see some changes in this drug testing BS.
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Comment #9 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 14, 2010 at 21:30:00 PT
There could be people working high on LSD!
And, oh my gosh! You can't even detect LSD in the body when people are acutely high on it! How will we ever know???!!!I mean, we'd have to do something nutty and just judge people by their actual job performance or something.
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Comment #8 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 14, 2010 at 21:21:50 PT
They already do, you just can't tell it.
"Imagine a workplace where employees show up to work high on marijuana and there is nothing you can do about it."Oooooo, and there's people working high on coffee and soft drinks and cigarettes and cold medicine, too!
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on August 14, 2010 at 20:36:50 PT:
This was never about 'impairment'
It's all about power and control. Namely, power and control over employees exerted by employers. In short, it's nothing but class warfare. With the Chamber of Commerce representing the Investor Class lording it over the workers.Here's a very good essay explaining why this has happened and why it continues to happen: The Docile American You won't like what you read. But this explains perfectly the Chamber of Commerce's anti-democratic actions with regards to 19...and why it arrogantly feels it has a 'right' to do so.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 14, 2010 at 19:23:29 PT
And thank you too for making CNews worthwhile.
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Comment #5 posted by MikeC on August 14, 2010 at 18:46:27 PT
Thank you FoM...
I visit this website at least ten times a day and have been doing so for years. I don't comment very often (maybe 50 times total), but I do visit often and appreciate the hard work you do in searching for and posting articles about one of my most passionate beliefs. I also enjoy the discussions that generally follow your posts.Anyway FoM, thank you very much. I deeply appreciate it! You are a true warrior for the cause!!!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 14, 2010 at 16:53:04 PT
I know but I was always taught to try to be fair. I'm a Mrs. FoM though. LOL!
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Comment #3 posted by vincent on August 14, 2010 at 16:43:47 PT:
Fairness isn't what prohibitionists are after.
Mr. FoM, that experiment you mentioned is a verey good idea but, do you REALLY believe that prohibitionists would accept the results? They are not reasonable people. Their only objective is to blot Marijuana out of society and they won't stop until they achieve it.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 14, 2010 at 16:14:29 PT
A Wish for Fairness
Instead of people saying things like are in this article they should do a test. They should have 10 people in a controlled enviornment and under observation. They should give 5 a six pack of beer and tell them to drink it by a desigated time in the evening maybe between 8 and 11:00 PM. The other 5 should smoke 3 joints between 8 and 11:00 PM too.Start the day early the next morning and have the people do similar chores. Some manual labor and others technical jobs and see which ones will do their job correctly. It's so very simple.Test for impairment and that would stop the what if questions.
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Comment #1 posted by Brandon Perera on August 14, 2010 at 16:03:24 PT:
How is that an opposition.It is categorized as alcohol but there giving more leniency to alcohol because its common sense not to show up to work drunk. They have a test that could tell if your high or not Id imagine so why would alcohol be better than pot. You wouldnt want to operate heavy machinery, etc. Jobs that require focus is understandable which should be common sense.
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