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Apr-16-2010 00:35printcomments

Oregon Supreme Court Medical Marijuana Ruling Proves States Rights Do Not Exist

Not that you thought your vote mattered, but...

Medical marijuana
It's legal, sort of, unless the feds or the employers want to bust you for it. Welcome to Oregon, the land of half-laws that sort of comprise the rules, unless the feds seek to intervene, at which point Oregon will assist them, but hey... it's legal! Courtesy: hempnews.tv

(SALEM, Ore.) - Business rights trump state law in Oregon. It isn't exactly earth shattering news, but for the record, Oregon has no guts when it comes to backing the wishes of the state's voters.

An Oregon Supreme Court decision issued Thursday effectively states that a person can be sick, use medical marijuana, and have no rights when they are fired at work through invasive urine testing, a favorite pastime of government officials, big scale corporate employers, and their minions in the 'piss test' business.

Might as well call it what it is.

It was decided in the case of Emerald Steel Fabricators Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries- "that employers do not have to accommodate an employee's disability through the use of medical marijuana because the use of marijuana is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act."

The stuff is totally harmless, and the state of Oregon and people in over a dozen other states want to see it used by sick people; the government has zero integrity, it is a big silly joke; bound in interest to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Their stupidity makes me want to reach for a bucket, I don't know about you.

The state Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a news release, "The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program has always been clear with cardholders that the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act does not offer individuals any protection from federal law."

Yeah, thanks for caring about the wishes of the voters here. The Oregon Supreme Court doesn't have any consideration for this thing called state law and the notion of state's rights as outlined by this country's Founding Fathers, is utterly and totally being dismissed.

Big business, that is what matters to these judges. The people of Oregon have spoken, and they aren't listening. The worst part beyond the simple fact that drug testing is a massive violation of our personal rights, is that it spurred another industry that allows people to trick the tests. The kits cost thirty bucks and can be purchased at any head shop. Any person with half a brain can make their own.

Did you know that when it comes to hair testing for drugs, that black males will hold several times the amount of white drugs, for a longer period, than a blond female? I know, I had a friend in Las Vegas who learned the hard way. His misfortune led to my current understanding of this heinous practice.

Then there is the simple fact that marijuana, a complete and total pussycat in the world of intoxicants, remains in a person's system for thirty days or more, whereas methamphetamine is gone generally after three days or so.

All of the government's years of lying to kids, lying to everyone about the "danger of marijuana" created a system where families are split up, kids go into state custody with an inadequate foster care system likely placing them in homes where abuse takes place. Men and women who never broken a law in their lives are sent to prison for years and years for growing a simple plant that God placed on this earth for our use.

Marijuana laws are rooted in racism, and so is the practice of drug testing. No wonder people laugh at the laws regarding it and dismiss them as if they don't exist.

To clarify, if a person uses medical marijuana to treat an illness legally under state law, they can still be fired by an employer for using it, with no protection from Oregon, which issues the permit in the first place.

"This ruling only addresses employers and employees. According to the Oregon Department of Justice the ruling does not appear to affect the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, which registers and issues medical marijuana cards to medical marijuana patients, caregivers and growers."

That was nice of them, I hadn't considered that this decision would undermine the entire program, apparently they felt they had to address it.

"The program will continue to register cardholders and issue medical marijuana cards. The confidentiality of medical marijuana users, caregivers and growers is still protected under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act."

Again, most of us didn't think that this case would somehow eliminate the right to privacy or violate medical confidentiality laws. Nice of them to clarify, I guess.

So yeah, don't think that you can believe in the garbage that you are taught in school. The good side of American politics is mostly fantasy anyway, this whole nation has gone to crap in the eyes of the world, and now Oregon is sure to side with the federal government, rather than considering the needs and wishes of the people. No, that would not fit their program at all.

Jack Herer & Salem-News.com's Bonnie
King at Hempstalk 2008 in Portland, Ore.

Oregon lost a hero Thursday who would absolutely hate this news. Author and noted hemp activist Jack Herer, passed away at the age of 70 in Eugene. He had absolutely no use or tolerance for these government contradictions, always and forever bound to the wishes and needs of big business and nothing else at all, ever!

It is a fact that there is zero evidence of marijuana having any real ill effects, no recorded deaths in history, but the government only recently took it out of the category with heroin, meth and cocaine. People like Jack who also refused to accept the idea of taxing marijuana or seeing it go retail, are the stewards of common sense, co-existing with a government that is corrupt and dirty.

The government is full of mental midgets, sadly unable to do what is right, and they are leading us all toward a cliff. Activists commenting on our story about Jack's passing say it is time for the majority of people who use and support marijuana to come out of the closet and let his/her life and message matter. Time will tell if people in America have the guts to do something about it.

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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Metalpress.tv April 21, 2010 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

Irvin Rosenfeld has been using medical cannabis for 28 years provided by the feds on a patient study program. He is one of four surviving patients who receive 300 joints per month directly from the federal government. Be sure and read about this incredible advocate and marijuana success story. This man sets an example.

Vic April 18, 2010 6:44 am (Pacific time)

Boycott Emerald Steel and anyone who uses them...

Ersun Warncke April 17, 2010 11:07 am (Pacific time)

"Billy" is absolutely wrong. This ruling upheld the firing of a man, who was never intoxicated at work, who voluntarily disclosed to his employer that he was a medical marijuana patient. The firing upheld here was completely without cause, and no drug test ever even took place. The man was going to be drug tested upon moving from temporary to full time employment, but was fired after he disclosed his patient status. What the court upheld is the right of employers to fire a person simply for being a medical marijuana patient. Under this ruling, a patient may have never even consumed the drug, and they could still be fired simply for declaring their patient status. This is an insane ruling from an incompetent activist court that is far out of touch with the mainstream in this State. Read the opinion for yourself if you care to: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S056265.htm

Billy April 17, 2010 7:05 am (Pacific time)

This ruling states that you must test positive for drug, and show impairment. That's the key here people! Ya can't be stoned at work. It's the same as any other medication or drug use at work. Remember the "don't operate heavy machinery" labels? Same idea. There's no huge conspiracy here, just common sense when it comes to persons being under the influence of any substance while at work.

Anonymous April 17, 2010 12:12 am (Pacific time)

One of the problems is that people using, say, oxycodone for pain are allowed to test "clean" as long as they possess a prescription for it. And since medical records are private, the only way the testing companies can release the information is with patient permission. Read the fine print, and make sure that they treat MJ the same as any other prescription drug, and then SUE the hell out of them if they release information that has not been permitted. I don't know if this would work, but we have to be creative if we are going to fix this problem. I don't use MJ, but if I needed it for some medical reason, I would be PISSED if the "system" said it was wrong. I know of several Salem police that use MJ routinely. They have some system in place that allows them advance warning or something, because they are never afraid of lighting up. Of course they use it for pleasure, not for medical reasons.

dylanfreak76 April 16, 2010 6:10 pm (Pacific time)

Just one more thing, from reading that argument up there, are we talking about going to work stoned or being stoned at home? Because we're piss tested as if both are the same thing. If your employee is such an idiot that he/she incapacitates him/herself before coming to work where a serious injury or death could be an issue, then you've got a real idiot on your hands (and it aint got nothing to do with the cannabis, sista! Brotha! Whatever you are.) Workplace accidents occur all the time because of simple human error. I hardly think a medical marijuana patient poses much more risk than anyone else, so long as they do it at home, in the privacy of such. Most responsible, adult users should know the difference between work time and relaxation time. Oh, and by the way, does that mean we don't get to work on pills the doctor gives us either? I sure hope so cuz' doctor's pills are far more likely to cause a lapse in careful concentration at the peak of the high!

dylanfreak76 April 16, 2010 6:01 pm (Pacific time)

Love the handicapped placard! lol I want one. I was surprised to read that we have the right to free speech, and then the right to be absolutely prosecuted for whatever we freely spoke, too. (Under the sedition act.) I'd say that this country is one big fat joke (read Zinn's A People's History of the US) but I'd be committing an act of sedition by doing such. I guess all we can say is "GAWRD BLESS THE USA!"

Mike H. April 16, 2010 4:19 pm (Pacific time)

Why doesn't the state just start manufacturing their own and distributing it? Make people buy permits then sell it at local government distribution centers or something...Oh, I know why...the huge corps that sell the bad medicine pay people off and all of a sudden it's not allowed. Am I too far off here?

Stephen April 16, 2010 2:24 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for the article Tim, I feel your pain. My overall opinion is, government should stay out of anything to do with private businesses, and all drugs should be legalized. There is stuff you can buy, that, within just a few hours, will give you a clean urine test. Prohibition did not work then, and it doesnt work now. Which leads me to believe, the CIA/Military industrial complex, simply does not want the competition of a free market system. I just thought of a term, but I bet it has been used before; education, not legislation. Problem is, the wrong people own the media and the education system..we are sooooo screwed :-) Maybe not tho, mainstream media needs a bailout, while websites such as salem-news are growing..maybe there is hope, keep up the good work Tim. please take time to read this link..thanks http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/afghanistan-troops-guarding-the-poppy-fields/blog-217341/

Hess April 16, 2010 9:44 am (Pacific time)

This ruling is the only way a responsible judiciary could rule. I have a number of employees that perform tasks that entail highly focused concentration, and at times there is a chance of serious injury, even death if they do not stay focused during different tasks. If by law I become required to make allowances for someone legally sanctioned to be under the influence of any mind altering substance, then I would be compelled to shut down if I could not suspend/terminate that employee. No doubt there are occupations when someone could function okay under medical marijuana, but to catalogue what jobs this would entail would be argued in courts for years. No doubt when the court rules in one's favor, the world is right, and for employers, this is a responsible ruling. So my advice is you who feel outraged, then convince your congressman to change the law, for remember there are countless cases when the voters have passed referendums by huge majorities, only to have just one activist judge over rule the people. These workplace laws will be involved in legal redress for a very long time, so buckle up.

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