Have you noticed lately how the supporters of legalizing marijuana in Ohio are focusing on medical use as well as job creation and tax revenue to the State while conveniently pushing aside the pitfalls associated with recreational use. They are also trying to assure us that the monopolistic aspect contained in the bill is only temporary until the “bugs” are worked out of the system. That’s akin to believing that P&G or Coca-Cola are going to share all of their product secrets with their competitors. The real concern is that not enough people are truly considering the known dangers from recreational use gained from the experiences in states like Colorado.
I invite anyone who is truly concerned regarding the realities of what passage of this law will mean to us as employers, employees, and average citizens in Ohio to view the following two referenced articles. The articles are written from a secular workplace viewpoint, not a religious or political one, in a magazine with a fairly amoral perspective. The articles were written primarily for Occupational and Health Safety professionals who must deal in the corporate world with the aftermath of the effects of the recreational use of marijuana by employees.
The first article, written by Jo McGuire, the executive director of Substance Media serving on the Governor’s Task Force in Colorado, is titled “What Are the Costs Associated with Marijuana Legalization?” She headlines the articles with the following paragraph:
An employer who takes the view that Friday night use of marijuana is none of his concern will begin to see ramifications when impairment on Monday morning endangers workplace safety.
She goes on to cite four pages of examples and explanations incorporating information from 13 cited references.
The second article, written by Joe Reilly, a leading expert on workplace drug testing issues, is titled, “Drug Testing & Safety: What’s the Connection?” In his article, he cites the following, for instance:
The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), reported an estimated 23.9 million Americans ages 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users. This estimate represents 9.2 percent of the population ages 12 or older. Around 8.9 percent of those employed full time reported use of illicit drugs in our workplaces.
For those who are concerned regarding the ramifications of the passage of State Issue 3, I invite you to read the full articles and citations found in the September 2014 issue of Occupational Health & Safety magazine which is available online to anyone.
Donald R. Shrader