I attended a webcast offered by the Ohio State Bar Association this afternoon titled "Is the Grass Really Greener? Workplace Implications of Medical Marijuana. The webcast was very informative as I anticipate there will be a number of issues that I see in my law practice with respect to advising, counseling, and representing nurses before the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana Nursing Boards.
If you are an Ohio licensed nurse and practicing for an Ohio employer and plan to use medical marijuana pursuant to the Ohio law which takes effect on September 8, 2016, you should seek the advice and counsel a nurse license defense attorney and not necessarily rely on the advice and counsel provided by your employer especially with respect to the licensure and practice implications of medical marijuana use.
The advice and counsel of your own personal counsel who specializes in nursing law and licensure issues cannot be overemphasized now because there are instances where I see RNs and APRNs relying on the advice and counsel of general healthcare attorneys of a health system which is their employment, to the detriment of the nurse.
What am I saying? You may need to hire an attorney if you have a professional practice question but you may need a legal consultation with a lawyer who specializes in nursing law issues rather than relying on lay advice and counsel of well-meaning friends, family, and colleagues or even the legal advice of attorney who does not practice routinely in this area.
The American Association of Nurse Attorneys is an excellent resource for finding a license defense defense attorney, nursing practice lawyer, or nurse attorney in your state. See www.taana.org. Some lawyers offer legal consultations, which is a lower cost option than full scale and traditional legal representation, counseling, and advising. Also there is a professional association, the AMERICAN CANNABIS NURSES ASSOCIATION. See http://americancannabisnursesassociation.org.
Of course there will be a difference between medical marijuana use and the use of recreational marijuana for nurses and nurses it isn't the job, role, or responsibility of your employer to point out those distinctions. Maybe we will start to see CEs for nurses on the distinction of medical and recreational marijuana use from a federal and state perspective which mixes the licensure and workplace implications. I was joking last week when I postulated, without evidence, that Weed is Final Frontier but when you look at the implications that MM (medical marijuana) has from a federal, state, licensure, employment, professional practice, and ethical standpoints......
Maybe we will see CE for nurses and seminars for healthcare professionals on MM vs. recreational use of Marijuana offered by national, state, or specialty professional associations or even HCP unions over the next few months. If you know of any CLE or CE regarding MM or RM and use by licensed HCPs, email me at LDW@nursing-esquire.com. This is a very timely topic! See the links below for discussions in other forums: