As medical and recreational marijuana is increasingly being legalized across more and more states in the USA, people are curious to know if there are nurses and doctors who smoke weed.
Nurse practitioners, doctors, physicians, etc., connect thousands of patients with medical marijuana. However, in some cases, these doctors may also require marijuana for their best treatment. Nurses and doctors can get marijuana cards, but they have many risks that do not affect the average citizen.
We will talk about the can doctors smoke weed and the situation between physicians and weed usage based on state laws and other risk factors and rules associated with doctors who smoke weed.
It is important to be familiar with general laws related to marijuana first of all. Even though weed is not federally legal, many states have legalized the use of medical and recreational cannabis.
Medical – A majority of states have legalized the use of medical marijuana with a valid medical card and doctor’s prescription. Only Idaho, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Nebraska have not legalized any form of weed. Any doctors or nurses who smoke here can lose their license.
Recreational – 20 states in the USA have legalized recreational marijuana, where users can smoke weed without any medical license or prescription, provided they are over 21 years old. When it comes to medical staff, the rules are different, and it mainly depends on their employers.
Every state has different rules regarding cannabis consumption and different protocols. In any state where no form of weed is legal, doctors or nurses who smoke weed will be automatically fired. In a state where weed is legal, the laws are different.
California is one of the most lenient states when it comes to weed, and they treat it almost similar to alcohol. The California Medical Board doesn’t have strict laws against weed use, but there are specific rules related to physicians working while under the influence of cannabis.
In Washington, cannabis is legal medically and recreationally, but there have been cases of doctors and nurses being fired for smoking during personal time. Physicians may fail drug tests and be subject to legal proceedings where they can lose their licenses.
The Colorado medical board is against the use of marijuana by doctors, and any physician using THC is deemed not fit for medical practice. Colorado revokes the medical license of doctors and nurses who smoke weed.
As the laws vary state by state, whether or not physicians can smoke really depends a lot on the employers.
Here are certain risks that physicians should consider before smoking cannabis –
- Legalization of recreational marijuana does not apply to all doctors and nurses
- Their license can be suspected in case of a failed drug screening
- DUI convictions can impact their medical license
- Refusal of a drug test can lead to license suspension
- Working under the influence or having drug residue is prohibited
- Healthcare employers can deny employment to cannabis users
As the legalization of marijuana is still in process across the nation and state laws matter, employment rules are different. Many states offer safeguards under Medical Cannabis Anti-Discrimination Employee Protection Program. It safeguards everyone with a medical card, but it is not a federally mandated program, and employers in some states may not follow it for their doctors, nurses, and other staff.
Also, as cannabis is legalized only on a state level, different states have different processes of testing for cannabis use. California planned to roll out Proposition 46 in 2014 for all doctors and nurses to undergo random alcohol and drug screenings. Every positive result would be made public, and most medical authorities rejected this proposition.
Most private doctors are not at risk of drug tests, but doctors who work in hospitals and government institutions are. Therefore, mainly the rules vary based on the state and the employer.
Healthcare workers may smoke weed in states where it is legal, like Colorado and California, but they do have to take care of certain things.
- They must not be impaired when treating or attending patients
- They must follow all employer’s drug policies and rules
- They must not work for the country’s Federal Government
- They must not violate any drug laws
The primary issue is that most employers prohibit the usage of cannabis even if it is legal in the state. Thus, healthcare workers can smoke weed in legal states, but it entirely depends on their employer.
Nurses can smoke weed with a medical card in legal states, but weed use should not come between their work. Nurses may use medical marijuana for treatment, but state boards may seek action if a nurse is caught under the influence of weed on the job.
You will be surprised to know what percent of doctors smoke weed in today’s time. Medical marijuana can help in many ways, but nurses and doctors should not let weed usage interfere with their work.
It is illegal to practice medical care under the influence of cannabis, and physicians can lose their licenses in case of a failed drug screening. Also, whether nurses and doctors can smoke weed or not in personal time depends on the state laws as well as their employer’s choice.