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American Society of Safety Engineers Comment on Oregon Bill Prohibiting Use of Medical Marijuana in Workplace

Posted in on Thu, Mar 1, 2007

Des Plaines, IL (March 1, 2007) — The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently submitted comments to Oregon legislators urging them to support Senate Bill 465, a bill that would expand the ability of an employer to prohibit the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.

“This bill would give employers needed protections against unintended consequences of Oregon’s efforts to make marijuana available to those with appropriate medical needs,” ASSE President Donald S. Jones Jr., P.E., CSP, noted in his letter to Oregon legislators. “Our members are occupational safety and health professionals given responsibility for helping ensure workplace safety and health in a variety of industries by employers across Oregon.”

In his letter Jones cites a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-sponsored survey that found drug-using employees are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident, five times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim, 2.2 times more likely to request early dismissal or time off, 2.5 times more likely to have absences of eight days or more, and three times more likely to be late for work.

“The use of a drug like marijuana by a worker makes a workplace unsafe and drives up the costs of doing business,” Jones said.

Founded in 1911, ASSE is the oldest and largest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. ASSE’s more than 30,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members (with close to 1,000 in Oregon) manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues. For a full copy of the letter and for more information please go to www.asse.org.



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