Feds Refuse To Allow Civilian Employees To Use State-Approved Medical Marijuana

Roman Samborskyi / shutterstock.com
Roman Samborskyi / shutterstock.com

The separation of state’s rights versus federal laws is incredibly separated when it comes to avoiding any advancements in mindsets and actions. Following the Ronald Regan push to ensure federal employees cannot use schedule I or II drugs, lawmakers are stuck. With the federal government refusing to reclass marijuana, they got locked into a singular answer, no marijuana, medicinal or not, for federal employees.

According to notices published in the Federal Register on October 12th, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) had made amendments to the new saliva and urine testing, so cannabis policy was clarified. This publication comes on the heels of strenuous objections when the proposal was first announced last year.

One major change is the inclusion of passive exposure or unintentionally ingesting a drug would be no excuse while a federal employee.

“Although an increased number of States have authorized marijuana use for medical purposes, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance and cannot be prescribed under Federal law,” it said in both notices. “For purposes of the Federal drug-free workplace program, Federal law pertaining to marijuana control supersedes State marijuana laws, and therefore, a physician’s recommendation for marijuana use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a positive marijuana test. Current Federal law requires Federal agencies to test for marijuana under E.O. 12564 in their workplace drug testing programs.”

Mind you, there is one glaring problem here. Should someone test positive following being slipped a blackout drug or other narcotic that they do not remember ingesting, they are potentially liable for it. This is a horrific message to send to prospective federal employees. Especially our young women.

The new language for Sections 13.5(c)(2) and 13.5(d)(2) of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs:

  1. Passive exposure to a drug (e.g., exposure to marijuana smoke) is not a legitimate medical explanation for a positive drug test result.
  2. Ingestion of food products containing a drug (e.g., products containing marijuana, poppy seeds containing codeine, and/or morphine) is not a legitimate medical explanation for a positive urine drug test result.
  3. A physician’s authorization or medical recommendation for a Schedule 1 controlled substance is not a legitimate medical explanation for a positive drug test result.

These changes aren’t anything too surprising, but it’s overall the wrong direction. Telling the states that they have the right to give people medicinal relief, is a good thing. To yank that permission back so quickly because they want to work for the federal government while getting appropriate medicinal care for what ails them is a horrible standard to set.

Given the number of veterans who are seeking federal employment, and the number who utilize medicinal marijuana for PTSD, cancer, and destroyed bodies. Coming as a result of the defense of this country, all they want is some comfort without the addiction to the pain pills and psychiatric meds the VA is well known for.

Multiple elected officials have tried handling this in various ways through the Senate and the House. While the lack of bipartisan support on a singular has been a huge roadblock, they are getting more and more members to cross over and look at the greater good slowly but surely. This is an issue with incredibly far-reaching implications, and simply reclassifying marijuana won’t address it completely.

Denying these Americans their medical freedom so they can answer the call to serve their country is incredibly distasteful. We should be embracing them and encouraging them to step forward and do their country proud. Considering how many positions and departments are being stripped due to a lack of qualified candidates, they could fix this by allowing medicinal marijuana use. From failed tests for employment or being honest on a national security questionnaire, they are trapped everywhere.

We know we have leaders dictating policy and guiding the nation who are using various substances. From Viagra to pain pills, drugs, and other vices are all over politics., and have been for decades. At this point, they can at least give federal employees a plant since they won’t pay them their worth.