Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana in some form. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Some states allow residents to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to even grow up to six plants. While there have been various marijuana initiatives in Ohio, to-date it is illegal to possess, sell, or cultivate marijuana in Ohio.
Historically, the Ohio Board of Nursing has taken a strong position against marijuana usage. For example, where a positive test for marijuana in an employment drug screen is reported to the Board, the Board routinely places the nurse on probation for a period of at least one year, which typically includes random drug testing and can include narcotics as well as practice restrictions.
Even if a nurse has traveled outside of Ohio and consumed or smoked marijuana in a State where it is legal, if the nurse returns to Ohio and is reported to the Board for a positive drug screen, the nurse should expect to be subjected to discipline by the Board.
In our practice, we have seen nurses reported to the Board because they failed pre-employment drug tests who were subjected to discipline including at least one year random drug testing. A nurse does not have to be actively practicing nursing in order be found by the Board to be impaired. By simply testing positive for marijuana, a nurse can be subjected to discipline. Employers are required by law to report to the Board any suspected violation of the Ohio Nurse Practice Act.
Before you consider using marijuana on your next trip to Colorado or Washington, realize that if you test positive on a drug screen – even weeks later when you return to Ohio – you should anticipate that you will be reported to the Board and subjected to discipline.
As always, if you have any questions about this post of the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, please contact one of the attorneys at the Collis Law Group LLC at 614-486-3909.