With more states in the union passing laws allowing access to medical marijuana, many are now seeking it as a solution to various healthcare problems. But even though states are legalizing the herb, the federal government has yet to acquiesce. Consequently, many are at risk of running afoul of professional license requirements, but nurses in some states aren't.
Medical Marijuana Laws Differ by State
Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug. This classification designates substances with a high risk of abuse, and the federal government prohibits their use. However, states have decriminalized and even legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. For instance, California is devoid of state-led reprimands in any case, but others, like Alabama, strictly manage which conditions may grant a medical marijuana card and how much a patient can possess.
This says nothing about the nature of how applying for and maintaining a medical marijuana card can affect someone's professional license. For those administering healthcare to the public, there are often clear-cut rules about how one may receive such treatment while also treating others.
Can Licensed Nurses Use Medical Marijuana?
While states like New Jersey have passed legislation protecting medical marijuana users in the workplace, similar laws are few and far between. To use medical marijuana for treatment, nurses not only have to live in a state where it's legal, but they also must abide by their employer's code of conduct. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has assisted state licensing boards in outlining the guidelines for those prescribed medical marijuana for their ailments. At the same time, nurses living in states where the practice is legalized, using it cannot interfere with their work.
For instance, if a nurse is alleged to have committed professional misconduct—regardless if medical marijuana is part of the situation—their treatment could be called into question. State boards could seek disciplinary action if a nurse is caught with the substance in their system on the job. Furthermore, complications could arise if nurses are a resident of a state that legalized medical marijuana but are licensed and practice in a state that has a zero-tolerance policy. Unfortunately, treatment could turn a simple formal reprimand into the revocation of a license.
What Should You Do When Your Nursing License Is Threatened?
The loss of a nursing license can mean the end of a dream career for many and the loss of a revenue stream. You must take the rules and regulations of your field seriously and know when it's time to seek valuable resources. Just because you have a legal, medical marijuana prescription, it doesn't mean your medical employer will approve it.
With the confusing nature of how each state differs from each other on the treatment of medical marijuana and professional license requirements, as well as differences in severity compared to the federal government's purview, you need experienced assistance. Get in touch with a team that has assisted thousands in maintaining their nursing licenses and good standing. Contact the Lento Law Firm online or call 888-535-3686 to maintain your career and reputation.