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ALERT! Employed OMMP Cardholders and Those Who Give a Damn About Them; State-wide Rally for Working Registrants of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program

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Tue., Nov. 15, 8am to 11:30 a.m. , Medical Marijuana in the Workplace, Albany


WHERE: Albany Phoenix Inn 3410 Spicer Road SE, Albany, Oregon   (Next to I--5, exit 233)

WHEN: Tuesday November 15, 2005, 8 AM--11:30 AM
MEET at 8AM, CONFERENCE 9am -11:30am

WHAT: Rally to support employed cardholding patients (and educate employers) at Conference held by professional prohibitionists.

HOW: CALL 541-758-2642 To register for the "workshop" or email -then- contact Rally Organizer Nurse Ed at (541-745-3082, or eMail to to coordinate further.(!)

There is a public sidewalk in front of the Phoenix Inn.   By law, protesters are required to stay on it, off of private property.   We will try to meet at the Phoenix Inn cafeteria in the main lobby at 8am, however we may be asked to leave.  Please don't bring signs, etc. into the phoenix inn so that we may be able to have an organizational meeting.   At this time, it appears the workshop organizers are not anticipating much of a protest, if any ...   Depending on the number of protesters, one group can walk the sidewalk, while others, who have pre-registered, can hopefully join the workshop.

This is expected to be a completely legal event, everyone should please remain dignified in conduct - of course we are free to express our opinions, as I will do inside and/or outside.

I will notify media Monday.

State police office is next door so expect police to be present.   I spoke with Albany police - vaguely, about protesting.   We are protected by "King George's" constitutional protections on free speech as long as we do not block anyone, or create a nuisance.

I have 10 small signs and will bring 5 or 6 larger signs.   Wear warm clothes and anticipate rain.  Please call me for more specifics if needed (541) 745-3082

If you are a cannabis patient who is employed this seminar is for you. Please PRINT and POST our Flyers EVERYWHERE! See below.

Blessings to everyone!

Nurse Ed


In response to a court case, prohibitionist employers in Oregon are organizing to change the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA).  They are arguing that any detectable level of THC in the blood renders an employee unfit for employment- EVEN IF THE PATIENT IS USING CANNABIS LEGALLY.

The OMMA states that employers do not have to “accommodate the medical use of marijuana in the workplace.”  The test case, Washburn v. Columbia Forest Products will be heard by the Oregon Supreme Court on November 7.

Regardless of the outcome of this case, it is apparent that the Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) will be strongly pushing for legislation which allows registered patients to be fired from their jobs (AND DENIED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS), even though they are engaging in legally protected behavior.

The Oregon Nurses Foundation, a division of the Oregon Nurses Association, is joining with Worksource Oregon to present “Medical Marijuana in the Workplace.”  This workshop is intended to assist employers in understanding and responding to employees who are registered in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.



For more information please call Nurse Ed (541-745-3082)

! Flyers ! PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THESE FLYERS IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE.   Click here for Web (htm), here for WORD (doc), here for Adobe (PDF).

In the NEWs

“Employers face issue of medical marijuana” By Alex Paul for the Albany Democrat-Herald

The number of Oregonians carrying a medical marijuana card is growing each year and more than ever, employers are finding themselves walking a fine line between their companies' drug use policies and Oregon law.

Oregon employers and medical marijuana card holders await a November Court of Appeals decision about whether companies must accommodate employees with marijuana in their systems.  The decision stems from a lawsuit brought by a former employee of Columbia Forest Products in Klamath Falls.

The employee had obtained a medical marijuana card in 1999 and was later fired after a urine test indicated the presence of THC, the active chemical in marijuana.  The lawsuit contends a positive drug test based on a urine sample doesn't prove the employee used or had marijuana at the workplace.  A blood test is a more accurate measuring tool.  Another factor being considered is what constitutes 'reasonable accommodations.'

On Nov. 15, mid-valley employers can learn more about the issue during a free workshop, Medical Marijuana in the Workplace, to be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Inn, 3410 Spicer Road S.E.

"This has been building for the last couple years," said Jerry Gjesvold, employer services manager for Eugene-based Serenity Lane Treatment Center, and a workshop speaker.  "The number of medical marijuana cards in Oregon is now up to more than 11,000.  In the past, it was mostly people who weren't working, or were working on a limited basis.  That's changing every day."

At least 20 employers with whom Gjesvold works have had employees test positive for marijuana and then presented a medical marijuana card.

"Without a written policy, employers can't just fire them," Gjesvold said. "Employees have an obligation to notify their employers about this.  Perhaps, the employer can provide someone who has a card with a job that doesn’t put employees, or the employer, at risk."

“This is not a federal issue, it's a state issue," Gjesvold said.  "There is no known science-based information on the affect of THC ... when it's in a person's urine.  An employer has to be able to prove impairment on the part of the employee and that's not easy."

Gjesvold said he is encouraging employers at least to put some plan of action into their employee handbook.  If there is nothing written down, benefit of the doubt will almost certainly lean toward the employee, Gjesvold said.

"When this law was first considered, no one expected more than 11,000 cards to be issued," Gjesvold said.

Workshop speakers in addition to Gjesvold will be Paula Barran, an attorney and fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, who will address how legal issues affect company substance-abuse policies; and Rick Howell, Columbia Forest Products, director of organizational development and human resources, who will talk about the Portland-based company's experience with medical marijuana in the workplace.

The workshop is sponsored by WorkSource Oregon, the Region 4 Workforce Investment Board and Workdrugfree.  To register, call 758-2642, or email

By the numbers

  • Oregonians who hold medical marijuana cards: 11,100;
  • For example - Linn County, 281; Benton County, 131; Marion County, 467; Lane County, 1,442
  • Caregivers holding cards for patients: 5,406.
  • Pending applications as of July 1: 663.
  • Oregon-licensed physicians who have signed card applications: 1,946.

NOTE: Paula Barran is an employers attorney who, some time back (2 or 3 years ago) wrote a piece for the civil rights section of the Oregon State bar discussing employers' rights in states that have medical marijuana laws.  Suffice it to say, she is not our friend.

We think one positive impact patients can have at this, and at other similar events is to show up looking respectable, being calm, but firmly and politely dispelling these and other myths about who patients are and how they act.  The message has to be that marijuana is medicine and that the law requires it be treated like other medications.

One other event where this could happen is the oral argument before the Oregon Supreme Court in the Washburn case.  This hearing will begin at 8:45 on Monday, November 7th on the third floor of the Supreme Court Building (1163 State Street) in Salem. Seating is limited, so get there early.

Phil Lebenbaum, who has been heroically litigating these (patients rights in the workplace) cases will be arguing for Washburn.  He will also be speaking at Oregon NORML's Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards conference on November 26.

  Rally Bulletin Board  

Enter the NotePad! Make a comment, ask a question, see below for examples.   NOTE: Edit yourself before clicking on the [Leave Your Comments] tab, what you type is what you get!  

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Tuesday, December 13 at 11:10 AM:
a friend from around wrote:
"Albany paper's coverage Businesses face ‘gray area’ in pot law articles/2005/11/16/news/local /news02.txt "

Wednesday, November 9 at 11:22 AM:
Ed Glick from Contigo-Conmigo, Corvallis wrote:
"We'll meet early- probably at 0730 in the Breakfast Buffet area of the Phoenix INN, plan our strategy then go frrom there. I am wondering if there will be an inside group and an outside group- one group to attend the conference and another to stand outside. It's a hard choice!

I will also call Albany City and see what the rules are regarding groups of people congregating in public spaces...

See you all there!

Nurse Ed

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