Can doctors and nurses smoke marijuana? (Licensing FAQ) (2023)

Recreational and Medical Uses of Marijuana, CBD and Cannabis Productslegal in many statesacross the United States. However, there are issues that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals should be aware of before smoking marijuana, hash oil, honey oil or using medical marijuana or other psychoactive drugs. THC.

Licensed healthcare professionals are subject to stricter marijuana use standards than the general public, even with a health card and even in legal states like California, Colorado and Washington. OurCriminal defense attorney licensepublished this guide to help you avoid disciplinary actions by the admissions board or employer that could harm your career.

Can doctors and nurses smoke marijuana? (Licensing FAQ) (1)

Marijuana, CBD and sick leave FAQ

here ournursing license lawyerprovides an overview of seven common questions practitioners have about cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and medical marijuana:

  1. Can a nurse smoke weed?
  2. Can doctors smoke weed?
  3. Doctors smoke weed?
  4. Can doctors or nurses use CBD oil?
  5. Where is marijuana legal in the United States?
  6. Do nursing and medical schools require drug testing?
  7. Can a nurse or doctor with a green card or visa use marijuana?

1) Can nurses smoke marijuana?

Nurses can smoke weedrule of law, such as California and Colorado, provided that:

  • the nurse is not affected by the treatment of patients,
  • follow your employer's drug policy,
  • do not work for the federal government, and
  • They do not violate DUI or other drug statutes.

The main problem for nurses is that most employers of nurses prohibit the use of marijuana, even if it is legal. Even if a state's laws permit the use of medical or recreational marijuana, employers have the right to maintain a drug-free workplace for safety-sensitive positions. Nurses who smoke marijuana can be fired for failing a drug test, even if they have a medical card. Each employer puts hisPolicy on drug use in the workplace, and you should contact Human Resources to understand yours. Employers have the right to require a pre-employment drug test as a condition of employment.

The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. Federal employees are not permitted to use medical or recreational marijuana, regardless of state law and whether they have a medical card. The Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies can fire nurses for marijuana use.

THC spoilage tests are complexbecause no drug test reliably measures whether someone is currently disabled. Unlike alcohol use, a nurse can test positive for marijuana use weeks after the last use.

(Video) Marijuana and healthcare compliance | 420 facts | travel nurses, techs, therapists - Atlas Daily 733

Arguing that THC affects someone often requires combining drug test results with other objective signs of deficiency to create a body of evidence. Marijuana use may increase the risk for nurses that, in the event of an incident at work, the employer or nursing authority will claim that the incident was due to a drug-related incapacity for work.

Traveling nurses from various states should take special care to learn the marijuana laws in each state in which they are licensed. Legal use in one state may result in failure of a drug test on a new assignment in another.

When levels of marijuana use become a substance abuse problem that affects a nurse's job performance, the Board of Nursing can interveneDisciplinary Actions of the Nursing License.

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TIED TOGETHER:NCSBN National Care Guidelines for Medical Marijuana
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2) Can doctors smoke weed?

Doctors can smoke weed in legal stateslike californiaand Colorado if:

  • do not practice medicine when incapacitated,
  • follow your employer's drug policy,
  • Will not violate DUI or other drug statutes and
  • You don't work for the federal government.

State medical boards treat legal cannabis use essentially like alcohol; they only care if a doctor is incapacitated at work. For example, the Medical Board of California (MBC) has no rules regarding the use of cannabis by a physician for recreational or medicinal purposes. But the MBC has strict rules for practicing with disabilities and patient safety. If the MBC receives a complaint from an invalid physician,Medical examination and evaluationcan be ordered (BPC § 820).

Doctors who smoke marijuana can cause a workplace violation if their employer has a drug-free workplace policy. Doctors are considered sensitive security positions. Employers have the right to require pre-employment drug testing and to establish a drug-free workplace. If you are not self-employed, it is important to understand your employer's policies.

The federal government still defines marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, even when it is legal under state law. As a result, the federal government prohibits its employees from using medical and recreational marijuana. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal agencies can fire doctors when they fail.federal workplace drug testing.

Given the complexity, cost, and serious potential risks of board investigations, physicians should resort to alicensed medical defense attorneyto receive advice when contacted by your Board of Directors. Having THC in your system can increase the practice's risk when a patient event occurs that triggers an in-depth review; The patient or the panel may claim that this was due to drug interference. Due to the risks, many doctors opt for the conservative side and avoid THC.

(Video) Nurses and Drugs Screens at Work

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TIED TOGETHER:MBC guidelines for recommending cannabis for medical use
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3) Do doctors smoke marijuana?

Three percent of physicians smoke marijuana, according to a Medscape survey of physicians on marijuana use in the past 12 months (1🇧🇷 By contrast, in a 2019 national Gallup poll, 12% of the general population said they currently use marijuana (2🇧🇷 As a result, physicians use marijuana at a rate of about a quarter of the general population.

A physician's history of marijuana use varies by medical specialty. Medscape research found that emergency medical professionals report the highest historical rate of marijuana use at 31%, followed by plastic surgery at 29%. The lowest reported rates of historical marijuana use are found in nephrology at 15% and endocrinology at 16%. In comparison, 38% of Americans say they've tried marijuana, according to the 2019 Gallup poll.

Marijuana Use by Physicians by Specialty

Can doctors and nurses smoke marijuana? (Licensing FAQ) (2)

Quelle: Medscape Lifestyle Report Research on Medical Marijuana Use

4) Can doctors or nurses use CBD oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is widely used and marketed as beneficial for arthritis, glaucoma, insomnia, anxiety and other conditions. Since the 2018 Farm Bill went into effect on January 1, 2019, all 50 states have legalized the use of hemp-based CBD products. By definition, industrial hemp plants must have a delta-9-THC content of no more than 0.3% dry weight.

Nurses and doctors can use hemp-based CBD oil in all 50 states as long as the oil does not contain THC. But many CBD oils may contain THC, even if they are labeled THC-free. A 2017 study published in JAMA by Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller, a substance abuse expert at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, found this out.18 out of 84 different CBD oils tested contained THC.

If a doctor or nurse consumes CBD oil containing THC, there is a risk of a positive drug test. If your employer or state prohibits the use of THC, you could be fired, denied employment, or fined for failing a drug test.

Doctors and nurses need to research and be careful about the CBD they consume and rely on. Although most CBD products claim less than 0.3% THC, these claims can be unreliable. The FDA does not regulate CBD levels and THC is usually not listed on the bottle. Vaping or consuming certain CBD oils can put your job and license at risk.

(Video) Five Things Medical Marijuana Won't Tell You | Medical Marijana

Can doctors and nurses smoke marijuana? (Licensing FAQ) (3)

5) Where is marijuana legal in the United States?

Marijuana laws are rapidly changing across the United States. Possession and recreational use of marijuana is currently legal for people over 21 inches15 states and Washington, D.C.: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

The medicinal use of cannabis withmedical recomendationIt's legal in 35 states, including the states listed above, plus: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma , Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia.

Under theNarcotics LawAs of the 1970s, possession and use of cannabis is still illegal under federal law. Some derivative compounds such as Cesamet (nabilone), Epididiolex (cannabidiol), Marinol and Syndros (THC) have been approved by the FDA for prescription use.

6) Do nursing and medical schools require drug testing?

Most degree programs in nursing and medicine require drug testing during the admissions process. The requirement stems from the fact that schools must comply with rules, regulations and accreditation standards set by health organizations.

Because medical school programs include clinical immersion experiences that engage students in health care delivery, medical students undergo preclinical testing through urine drug screening (UDS). Each school's drug testing requirements must meet the regulatory and accreditation requirements of its affiliated health organizations.

Urine from the school of nursing and medicinedrug testtypically discusses the following drugs: amphetamine (methamphetamine), barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, methadone, methaqualone, opiates (codeine and morphine), phencyclidine, propoxyphene, and oxycodone. Some schools perform drug tests on hair follicles to determine long-term drug use. Positive tests for prescription drugs often require review of supporting documentation for the prescribing.

7) Can a nurse or doctor with a green card or visa use marijuana?

Doctors and nurses who hold a visa or green card cannot legally use marijuana due to federal law.immigration laws, even if it is legal under the laws of your state. Non-US citizens are subject to federal laws that make it illegal to possess and use cannabis, including for medical purposes.

States that have legalized marijuana do not require you to be a US citizen to use marijuana. But using marijuana can jeopardize your permanent federal resident status. If convicted of violating federal law related to the use of marijuana or other controlled substance (beyond simply possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana), visa and green card holders may do sobecome deportable. (USCIS policy)

(Video) Can your medical marijuana get you fired?

Can doctors and nurses smoke marijuana? (Licensing FAQ) (4)

About Chudnovsky's law

Chudnovsky's law is aawardedCalifornia criminal defense andlaw firm professional license🇧🇷 The three defense attorneys at the law firm of Robert K. Weinberg,Susanne Crout, and Tsion Chudnovsky, have more than 65 years of legal practice.

The company provides effective and vigorous license defense for licensed companies and all healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses,dentists,pharmaceutical, youchiropractor.

attorneyRobert K. Weinbergis a former prosecutor with over 30 years experience in professional license defense, criminal defense at the federal, DEA, and state levels. Robert is an authority on the complex intersection of licensing and criminal law for licensed professionals and healthcare organizations. He has handled over 5,000 cases, licensing administrative hearings and grand juries.

learn moreLigue (844) 325-1444 to make an appointment.

· · ·


  • Can pharmacists, dentists smoke weed?
  • California Physician's Guide to a Patient's Right to Know (SB1448)
  • CA Limits Criminal Sentencing for Sick Leave (AB-2138)
  • California Medical Board Complaint Trends
  • US Department of Consumer Investigation Guide.
  • Nursing Complaint Statistics Registered with the California Board


This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed and appropriate counsel should be consulted before taking any action. Contact us to advise you in your case.

· · ·

Written byTsion Chudnovskye Robert Weinberg.

(Video) Q&A - Cannabis Nurse


Can an RN have a medical marijuana card in PA? ›

Medical Card Rules for Doctors and Nurses

Registered nurses living in states with legalized medical marijuana can have their cards. Still, using cannabis to treat a medical condition cannot interfere with their work.

Can a nurse have a medical marijuana card in Louisiana? ›

Medical professionals can get their medical cards in Louisiana, but it is important to ensure your system is clear of THC before going back to work and most importantly that you are not impaired while on the job.

What are medical marijuana rules pa? ›

It is legal to possess and consume medical marijuana in Pennsylvania as long as you have a valid MMJ card. However, it is still illegal to have any part of the plant or its products for recreational or non-medical purposes. Ultimately, you can be charged with illegal possession if you do not have a PA MMJ card.

What are the new marijuana laws in Missouri? ›

The department is required to grant six licenses in each of the eight congressional districts, and people will be able to apply for those by June 2023. A lottery system will be developed to select both comprehensive facility licenses and marijuana microbusiness licensees.

Can you fail a drug test if you have a medical card in PA? ›

Pennsylvania's law doesn't specifically address the rights of patients to use the drug when they aren't at work, and unlike some other states, it doesn't include protections for them if they fail a drug test but are not impaired.

Can an RN have a medical marijuana card in Florida? ›

Yes. This is where the issue gets complicated. While hypothetically, a nurse could get a certification from a physician that he/she has a “debilitating medical condition”[ii] that requires medical marijuana, Florida law still prohibits licensed health care providers from being impaired at work.

What happens if a nurse test positive for marijuana? ›

Healthcare employers may deny employment from a positive drug test. Marijuana can remain in your system up to 30 days after you have consumed it recreationally. Depending on the type of drug test your new employer requires, you may be denied employment if there are traces of marijuana still in your system.

Can I get fired for medical marijuana in Louisiana? ›

The ADA protects employees from being fired or penalized on the basis of drug addiction or alcoholism, but it does not apply to medical marijuana because of its Schedule I status.

Can a nurse have a medical marijuana card in Ohio? ›

Currently, there is no law stating that healthcare workers cannot have a medical marijuana card in Ohio. However, this does not exempt those workers with medical marijuana cards from other laws regarding impairment while it works and other employer-mandated drug testing.

Where can I smoke with my medical card in Missouri? ›

Missouri medical marijuana law permits patients with a current medical card to legally consume cannabis in a private setting in state parks. Although you can't get roasted while roasting smores around the campfire, you can legally smoke weed in your tent, RV, or other private space.

What are qualifying conditions for medical marijuana license in Missouri? ›

Qualifying Medical Conditions

Epilepsy. Glaucoma. Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment. A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson's disease, and Tourette's ...

Does Missouri drug Test marijuana? ›

All other Missouri employers, however, can choose whether to test for marijuana in a pre-employment drug screen and/or conduct marijuana testing of current employees.

Does medical marijuana show up on background check in PA? ›

Will a medical marijuana card show up on a background check? The short answer is no, it won't. Medical marijuana cards can only be obtained through a doctor, meaning HIPAA law prevents this information from being disclosed.

Do I have to tell my employer I have a medical marijuana card in PA? ›

In short, the answer is no. Under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, employers cannot discriminate against employees because they are medical cannabis cardholders, especially if your status does not interfere with your performance on the job.

Can medical marijuana be smoked in PA? ›

Medical marijuana can only be vaped or ingested. Medical marijuana cannot be smoked. Your place of employment may also permit the use of Medical marijuana under Pennsylvania law. However, it is not common for jobs to approve their consumption on their property.

Can I be denied a job if I have a medical marijuana card in PA? ›

In short, the answer is no. Under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, employers cannot discriminate against employees because they are medical cannabis cardholders, especially if your status does not interfere with your performance on the job.

What disqualifies you from getting a medical marijuana card in PA? ›

The following are the most common reasons why your application for a medical marijuana card could be denied: You have not been diagnosed with a qualifying condition on your state's list of approved conditions. There is a clerical error on your application, or you have not filled out your application completely.

Can an employer fire you if you have medical marijuana card in PA? ›

Cannabis Law in Pennsylvania

More than 400,000 Pennsylvanians have medical marijuana cards. Under the law, employers cannot discriminate against workers because they are medical marijuana patients or discipline or fire them “solely on the basis” of their status to use medical marijuana.

Can PA state employees use medical marijuana? ›

The Act provides protections for employees certified to use medical marijuana and in particular, it prohibits employers from discriminating or taking an adverse action against an employee “solely on the basis of the employee's status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.” Employers, however, are ...


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