Media Release SayNopeToDope NZ 28 July 2020The Say Nope To Dope campaign says that despite the sales pitch from the Drug Foundation that employers are overreacting and Andrew Little claiming that cannabis use is already ‘widely available’, employers have every reason to be concerned about attempts to legalise the recreational use of cannabis.In the US, marijuana legalisation has had serious ramifications for businesses. Increased marijuana availability and use has increased the number of employees testing positive for marijuana in the workforce.Marijuana is the most commonly detected substance and has the highest drug positivity rate among all other tested substances across the majority of industry sectors in the U.S. (Quest Diagnostics, 2017). Among the top-ranking industries for the highest rates of positive marijuana testing, transportation and warehousing was number one with 33.3%. Meanwhile the construction industry had an average of 26.7% positive marijuana testing (Quest Diagnostics, 2018).“Contrary to the Drug Foundation’s claims about Canada where legalisation has been only recent and good research not readily available on trends, in the three-year period following legalisation in Colorado and Washington, positive oral-fluid test results for marijuana use increased almost 75%, from 5.1% to 8.9%. Marijuana urine test results in Washington and Colorado are now double the national average,” says spokesperson Aaron Ironside.One in four marijuana users who are employed admit to getting high at work within the past year, according to a new survey of cannabis consumers in Washington, Oregon and Colorado, three states where recreational weed is legal. Workforce marijuana-positivity rates in all “legal” states but one (Alaska) are above the national average. For example, 2018 positivity rates in Maine (5.0%), Oregon (4.3%), Nevada (4.0%), Massachusetts (3.3%), Colorado (3.0%), California (2.5%), and Washington (2.4%) are higher than the national average (2.3%) (Quest Diagnostics, 2019). Most states that have legalised marijuana show an increasing trend in positivity rates.Insurance claims have become a growing concern among companies in US states that have legalised marijuana because if marijuana use is allowed or drug testing ignored, employers are at risk of liability claims when a marijuana-related injury or illness occurs onsite. Studies consistently show marijuana users have significantly lower levels of commitment to their work than non-users, and are absent more often. Even when controlling for alcohol use, pot users are 106% more likely to have missed at least one day of work in the last month because they “just didn’t want to be there.”Ironically, on the NZ Drug Foundation’s website, their fact sheet on driving while high says “For regular smokers, the news is worse. A new study shows that chronic, heavy users of cannabis are not, as one might think, less impaired due to higher tolerance but in fact may be constantly impaired – even for some weeks after ceasing altogether.” (our emphasis added)“Where there is more accessibility there will be an increase in use, whatever substance that is. When something is legal it is the ‘green’ light to use it with no consequences. This is why workplace drug testing acts as a deterrent from this unsafe behaviour.”
By Stephen DienerAmongst all of the debates to ensue during the Coronavirus pandemic, there is one that has stood above all the rest.And no, it’s not whether or not Trump wants us to eat Lysol, or how many ice cream bars Pelosi has in her freezer.The most hotly contested issue has been whether or not the lockdown was necessary, or if it was even worth it considering the economic toll it has taken on millions of Americans.I’m not going to pretend like this is an easy question with an easy answer, because it’s not. Both the question and answer have many layers and sub layers to it. So I will boil it down to these simple points…You can get a job back, but you can’t get a life back.The economy will bounce back, but those who lost a loved one because of this virus, young or old, will never see them again.Make no mistake about it, this country has been fighting a war since March 11th and we were all asked to play a part in the battle. Our role was to stay home and to stop the spread of infection. That was the mission and now we are finally turning the tide.I know it has been extremely difficult, maybe for some more than others, but this was the best battle strategy for the situation that we were presented with.Some opponents of this strategy have pointed to Sweden in their success of herd immunity. They kept schools open, bars open, and life moving on. The result so far?… Twenty one thousand cases and close to three thousand deaths. Those in favor of this strategy would say that is a win all things considered.But keep one very important fact in mind when making the Sweden argument.Their population compared to ours does not even begin to compare. At last check, Sweden has a population of 10 million people. To put that into perspective, Florida and New York combine for 40 million Americans alone.Lest we forget the whole point of the “stay home, stay safe” strategy in the first place was to avoid the country’s medical system from becoming overwhelmed with the over 330 million Americans. Could you imagine the entire country looking like New York did at their height of the virus? Not a pretty picture.And now that it hasn’t happened, our reaction is, “well, that wasn’t as bad as they said it was going to be. We did this all for nothing.”Understand something, the plan worked!The worst predictions did not come to pass because we all bought into social distancing and staying home. You win any war by sticking to a battle plan, this has been no different.
“When you’ve never been there or know what it takes (to win at a high level), sometimes you’re afraid to get uncomfortable,” James said about the Lakers. “You’ve got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Lakers this summer. He’s averaging 26.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game in his first season in Los Angeles. LeBron James isn’t blameless in the Lakers’ recent struggles, according to at least one league executive.Los Angeles has dealt with injuries to multiple key players and enters play Monday three games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The team was also at the center of trade rumors surrounding Pelicans star Anthony Davis, with James endorsing a potential move. “He killed the (Lakers’) chemistry,” one anonymous NBA executive told Bleacher Report about James. “He shouldn’t have been so public about it. Even during the All-Star draft, he laughed about (wanting Davis to be his teammate).”James strained his groin in late December and was sidelined for 17 games. Rajon Rondo has also missed extended time this season while Lonzo Ball is currently out with a sprained ankle. Related News LeBron James questions urgency as Lakers’ playoff hopes take hit NBA trade rumors: Celtics told Pelicans ‘everyone can be available’ in potential Anthony Davis deal “I’m so huge on … chemistry and camaraderie throughout the course of the season,” James said. “The injuries have taken a toll on our team.”The Lakers will have 22 games remaining on the schedule after their matchup Monday against the Grizzlies. They hold a 29-30 record.