Stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, 54, of Ft. Lauderdale, has a marijuana cigarette before work, then goes to a smoking area for another after he gets to the office. By day’s end, he has smoked a half-dozen joints – and handled millions of dollars’ in clients’ holdings, says USA Today. He has a condition that causes benign tumors in the long bones of his body. After trying to control pain by taking narcotics, he joined a U.S. government test program that gives marijuana to people with certain illnesses. His pain is now manageable.
The use of medical marijuana is expanding. This month, New Mexico became the 12th state to allow it. The issue is raising ethical and liability questions for employers across the nation. Some companies fire those who test positive for the drug, even when its use is sanctioned by their state for medical purposes. A few companies have embraced the notion of employees using medical marijuana at work. There are questions about whether medical marijuana laws would offer protection to employers if a worker who used marijuana to treat pain injured others or made a mistake on the job. It’s unclear whether such an incident has occurred. Marijuana’s effectiveness as a pain reliever is debated, and the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it for medical use.