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Info on Senate Bill 465 as well as any related Issues. Legislation > Oregon State > S.B. 465. Info on Senate Bill 465 as well as any related Issues.

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Summary: Submitted by COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (at the request of Drug Free Workplace Legislative Work Group) -- Relating to drugs in workplace.   S.B. 465 changes effect Employment, in this regard:   would amend the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act to allow employers to discriminate against patients SIMPLY BY VIRTUE OF THEIR USE, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE THE MEDICINAL USE TAKES PLACE OR WHETHER THE PATIENT IS OR IS NOT IMPAIRED IN THE WORKPLACE.

This bad bill was heard on WEDNESDAY, February 8, at 1 pm before the Senate's Business, Transportation and Workforce Committee in Hearing Room B on the first floor of the capitol.

Folks interested in this issue may testify in person or send email and/or make phone calls. Always be polite and, if appearing in person, dress appropriately.

Ron Brown from Channel 12, Medford just left after interviewing me about sb 465. I made the following points (I think) 1) sb465 is arbitrary, unfair and unlawful, 2) it is a political statement about the OMMP presented as a solution to a problem, a problem which does not exist as was demonstrated by the testimony for the bill, 3) it is part of a planned attack on the OMMP by a group from the drug treatment and testing industry and 4) sb 423 is also being heard and will counter sb 465.

Laird F.

Key talking points:
* Urinalysis does not test impairment;
* If this becomes law, no OMMP patient will be able to work;
* Marijuana patients should not be discriminated against;
* Marijuana should be treated like all other medicines;
* Its not just a good idea, its the law.

If you are planning to testify -

- you need to bring 20 collated copies of your testimony.
- please coordinate with Oregon ACLU lobbyist Andrea Meyer at as possible.
The Committee on

Business, Transportation and Workforce Development

Office: 334 Phone: 503-986-1621

Some patients say they are able to return to work when they could use medical marijuana rather than prescription drugs with severe side effects. Of course one of the problems with this bill is that use does not mean impairment.

The text on this Bill can be found in PDF format at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/07reg/measures/SB0400.dir/SB0465.intro.pdf

Status: SB 465 By COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (at the request of Drug Free Workplace Legislative Work Group) -- Relating to drugs in workplace.

01/29 (S) Introduction and first reading. Referred to President's desk.

02/02 (S) Referred to Business, Transportation and Workforce Development.

02/07 (S) Public Hearing held.

02/19 (S) Work Session held.

Whether you want to testify or not, it would be good to come to Salem for any hearings. It would be especially good to try to schedule a meeting with your Senator before the meeting (earlier that afternoon).

As with coming to court, if you decide to attend this hearing, please dress appropriately and be polite and respectful.

click here -


- for Capitol Info, such as directions, phone numbers and maps.

... more About SB 465 >

Details:   SB 465 By COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (at the request of Drug Free Workplace Legislative Work Group) -- Relating to drugs in workplace.   SB 465 Expands ability of employer to prohibit use of medical marijuana in workplace.

A copy of the bill may be found online at:


... and here ...


LTL (Letters-To-yer-Legislator) Examples -

you can send identical emails to every oregon senator (which will show as individual emails from you, to that senator) by sending To: orsen@oreg.net

you can send identical emails to every oregon representative (which will show as individual emails from you, to that representative) by sending To: orhouse@oreg.net

NOTEs - MAP's media resource center:


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respectfully, we suggest two main rules-of-thumb for letter writing to improve the liklihood of being published.

1. Write short declarative sentences as if you were speaking to a child, a small animal or a judge.

2. Limit yourself to 150 words.

Best of luck.

Here is ...  

Example #1

Dear Senator,

In a recent study it was shown that methamphetamine users had a work place accident rate of 10 times that of workers not impaired by any drug. The same study showed that alcohol abusers had an accident rate 8 times as great as an employee who used no alcohol or drugs. The rate was also 3-5 times greater for barbiturates and for club drugs like cocaine and extacy. This same study revealed that users of marijuana alone had exactly the same ratio of accidents in the workplace as those who used no drugs or alcohol at all. Based on this study, there is no evidence that marijuana smokers pose any threat of accidents in the workplace, making SB 465 nothing more than a way for employers to discriminate against the disabled.

It is wrong to me that marijuana is still classified as a schedule 1 drug despite several federally funded studies that prove its medical worth and that we spen literally billions of dollars every year to combat a drug that in and of itself is one of the safest and most effective herbal therapies.

Drug use in the workplace can be dangerous. I am the first to say that an employee impaired by alcohol or hard drugs at work should be terminated. But I see no reason not to hire and keep those employees who do their jobs and occaisionally use marijuana as their weekend or evening release. I also feel that employers should be very willing to hire a medical patient who chooses to be a functioning professional with medical marijuana therapy instead of a prescribed cocktail of narcotic painkillers and mind altering pharmaceuticals. Almost across the board, the employees who use marijuana, and do not use other drugs or alcohol, have been among the best performing and valued employees that a company could have working for it.

The fact thatmarijuana has and is proving its value as a medicine is part of the reson that the pharmaceutical manufacturers are clamoring to develop drugs based on the effective chemicals in marijuana. The reason is that these companies see huge potential revenue from these medicines. But this bill would make any patient who used even pharmacuetical cannabiniod drugs from holding a job. It is high time we stopped discriminating against the disabled who choose to use these effective treatments just because we are used to violating the rights of those who use marijuana recreationally. Imagine the the billions of dollars that could be directed for better purpose if we de-scheduled marijuana and concentrated on the real problems in our society like education and healthcare. By taxing and regulating marijuana we could easily pay for universal healthcare for every Oregonian.

This legislation will cause shortages of workers, shortages of already hard to get drug treatment for those addicted to hard drugs like methamphetamine and heroin, and unemployment caused by the expense of administering the testing. The only ones who will benefit from this terrible bill is the two bodies promoting it: treatment facilities (like Serenity Lane) and drug testing facilities (like Oregon Medical Labs). And Jerry Gjesvold calls employers who will not submit to his plan "selfish" - boy if that ain't the pot calling the kettle black.

Employers, legislators and those that affect the decisions made in the drug wars should be better educated and have better information before moving in the wrong direction with only a very biased side of the picture provided by those with the most to gain. They should also consider the will of the People. Please see this poll run by KOIN 6 news:


Thank you for your time,
Jenifer V.
Willamette Valley NORML

Example #2

Dear Senator:

My name is Laird Funk. I live at 15680 Williams Highway in Williams, Oregon. I am 61 years old and retired. I am writing to address the problems with SB 465.

In 1997 I was fired from a twenty year career as a national award winning waste water treatment plant operator because of the presence of metabolites, found in my urine, of my medicine which allowed me to perform my duties. That medicine is marijuana, used to alleviate the pain and spasms of my longtime back deterioration. It was noted in the firing process that I had never given any indication of impairment at the workplace.

That is an important point given that I and my two man crew ran a county wide vegetation recycling and biosolids composting program, that which won the national awards. We had giant diesel loaders which could smash you flat before you knew it and a huge grinder which could make hamburger out of you before anyone else knew it. A very dangerous place in some areas. Impairment was not allowed from any condition. Thus I wish to make clear that I am not an apologist for workplace impairment.

I am also the author of the first medical marijuana bill introduced in Oregon. In 1993, Senator Frank Roberts carried my bill, SB 865, which is the precursor to our current Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). I know full well that for many registrants in the OMMP marijuana is the only medication which allows them to perform their work tasks, as it did for me, and gain or retain employment.

Thus I wish to also make clear that I have no tolerance, and neither should you, for arbitrary discrimination in the workplace due to a worker’s required use of medical marijuana causing marijuana metabolites in their urine. That is exactly what SB 465 would allow if made into law.

In short, the problems with SB 465 are that it is arbitrary, unfair and unlawful. It is arbitrary because it singles out, not for reasons of impairment, one medicine for much different treatment than others are accorded. It is unfair because of the threat to some productive workers of losing employment due to that arbitrary treatment but not others. And it is above all, unlawful because current Oregon statute (745.300 (1)) excerpted below, requires that marijuana be treated like other medicines.

475.300 Findings. The people of the state of Oregon hereby find that:

(1) Patients and doctors have found marijuana to be an effective treatment for suffering caused by debilitating conditions, and therefore, marijuana should be treated like other medicines;

Thus, if SB 465 was intended to lawfully solve a problem involving impairment in the workplace, it fails absolutely for two reasons: it does not address impairment and it is unlawful. But, there is a way to achieve the two laudable goals of assuring a workplace free of impaired workers and doing so in a fair and lawful manner.

Appended below is language for amending the target statute which both allows employers to assure an impairment free workplace and allows registrants with the OMMP to have a level playing field in the world of employment.


Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

Relating to drugs in workplace; amending ORS 475.340. SECTION 1. ORS 475.340 is amended to read: 475.340. Nothing in ORS 475.300 to 475.346 shall be construed to require:

(1) a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana; or (2) an employer to allow any person who is demonstrably* impaired by the use of marijuana to remain in the workplace.

* the intention is that the worker must demonstrate impairment using some recognized impairment test(such as below), not simply be labeled impaired by virtue of having marijuana metabolites in their urine above some arbitrary level.

Daily Skill Test System checks hand-eye coordination in under 1 minute

A computer game-like device that weeds out employees impaired by drugs or alcohol has been devised by Performance Factors. Before the workday begins, Factor 1000 tests a worker's judgment and response time through his or her ability to manipulate a cursor on a computer screen. Each exam is measured against the employee's personal baseline score established in an earlier test. By checking hand-eye coordination, the test is less intrusive and cheaper than urine testing and is also effective in detecting impairment from stress and fatigue.

"The employee enters an identification number onto a pad to the far left of the control panel to initiate the test, the screen comes up, and he or she presses a red button to begin. The object is to keep the diamond centered as it tries to move to each side of the screen. The employee turns the silver knob left or right to correct the erratic movement of the diamond, which becomes more and more unsteady. As the swaying becomes more extreme, the corrections become trickier. The test ends when the diamond hits either the left or right boundary, usually 30-60 seconds into the test. The computer compares present and past performance and indicates a passing or failing mark. It is up to each company to establish policies regarding a failing grade.

"Random drug testing in the workplace is getting a lot of attention lately, much of it negative," says Performance Factors Vice President Terry Watson. "Many employees and union leaders believe it is inaccurate, costly, and an invasion of privacy. Factor 1000 tests whether the worker is impaired at the time he or she is being asked to perform a job - it doesn't judge off-the-job behavior."

Laird F.

Example #3

I am a long time resident of Oregon. Full-time employed as an Information Technology Manager for a local non-profit. I am 35, and in the last 5 years I've begun to see the increasingly debilitating effects of the Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Myofascia Pain that I was diagnosed with when I was 14.

I suffer from a genetic predisposition, that I share with my mother and grandfather, that prevents me from effectively processing most orally delivered medications that depend on digestion. I have gotten relief for up to a day and a half, however the increased dosages needed to effect relief beyond the first day of use has always exceeded the safety margins... I would be damaging my liver and my digestive system to even try... and having tried; the relief was barely adequate and further disabling due to side effects; like extreme dizziness and chronic constipation.

After realizing the therapeutic benefits of Cannabis delivered directly into the blood system by vaporization, my quality of life has increased drastically. Where I would have to call in to work an average of once a week... spending hours in bed hating life and my body. I now rarely call-in ill due to FMS/CMP symptoms; which for me include: Chronic diffuse pain, chronic muscle spasms, tender points of severe/sharp pain, restless legs, amplified response to temperature changes including painful cutis anserina, chronic fatigue associated with most activity, irritable bowel syndrome, and loss of appetite.

If I were no longer able to address my illness with Cannabis, I would become yet another drag on this State and the Federal welfare systems. In no time at all, I would drain what small amount has been set aside so far for me by tax as Social Security.

I would no longer feel like the productive taxpayer that I am ... I would feel like a drag on my family and friends. No longer being enabled the way I am now, to eek out the best life I can, for as long as I can.

And this is due solely to the protection I have within the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program which provides for the possibility of safe access to Cannabis. The protections afforded me in the statue that embodies the OMMP, ORS 475.300-346. To be treated equitably and equal to anyone else who relies on medications to be productive and whole.

Allowing the provisions of these bills to change this equitable treatment is a mistake and would affect anyone like me directly in their ability to keep or find employment.

Characterizing the medical cannabis patient as "folks in the last three to six months of their life" completely ignores folks who have to live with disease throughout much of their life.

- David B.

Example #4

Will be posted here.

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The audio file of the hearing is at this site:


SB 465 testimony takes up the first hour.


I presented written testimony (attached) along with written testimony from Sandee Burbank (which I don't have in electronic format), and mentioned Laird's email (previously posted here). I've also attached to this email Andrea Meyer's written testimony.

Andrea and I met after the hearing and our assessment is similar to Douglas'. Andrea agreed to follow up with Senator Prozanski about making sure that impairment in the workplace means impairment based on performance based testing. I agreed to make the following request here.

Senator Monnes-Anderson, who is, if I recall correctly, generally favorable on our issues, described how, as a nurse, the only OMMA patients she had met were ones who were so ill as to be unable to work. I think the Committee gets the employers' concern (being liable if their workplace is unsafe) and I also think that they (the committee members) don't necessarily want to let employers discriminate against patients just because they are patients.

Because it looks like some kind of a bill is likely to go forward, what we need is for patients who are working to contact these senators. It is best if you are a constituent, but not necessary. What is necessary is that you concisely articulate how it is your use outside of the workplace does not leave you impaired at work. If you schedule a time to visit with one of these Senators, be sure to dress appropriately, and whether you meet in person, on the phone or by mail or email, be polite and respectful.

Please pass this message on to other patient lists, or think of particular people who could help out here and contact them directly.

Thanks again to all who have or will participate in this part of the legislative process.


After hearing all the testimony today Sen. Rick Metzger expressed support for SB 465 on two grounds. First, Rick said clarification was needed in this area. Secondly Rick stated that this bill would support employers to set rules in the workplace concerning their own drug policies.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski testified first and requested modifying components of the proposed legislation. Floyd asked for the removal of "where use occurs" from line 9 of section 2(a). Floyd stated that he supports 2(b) and 2(c). Floyd also asked to look at and maybe incorporate language from SB 423. Sen. Anderson questioned Floyd and expressed concern about the fact that metabolite can be detected up to a month after use.

Sen. Betsy Johnson then testified that about the "scourge of drugs" and that marijuana was "not medicine".

Dan Harmon from AOI stated that he regrets his vote for the medical marijuana measure in 1998 even though he assisted a loved one in obtaining medical marijuana. His support SB 465 stem from the fact that nearly 19,000 people have qualified and that cardholders could now possess 2lbs of marijuana, which he calls "tomfoolery". Dan brought up the Washburn case and the Emerald Steel Fabricators case along with the BOLI determination to make his point that the law is not clear. The Emerald Case is under appeal and this fact, Dan says, creates uncertainty. Dan thought that the original compact of the OMMA was that "under no circumstances is an employer required to accommodate medical marijuana regardless of where it occurs."

Lisa Trussel merely stated the her concerns were the same as Dan's. Andrea Meyer testified that OMMA was allow people to use marijuana as medicine and as a result become able to be productive employees. Andrea expressed the problems with the federal scheduling and that urine analysis does not indicate impairment. That other medicines are used which impairs employees which makes this bill "fundamentally unfair and bad policy."

Andrea stated that the ACLU supports performance testing as the best workplace practice to prevent workplace impairment.

Leland Berger was next to show opposition to SB 465. Lee was eloquent as usual and countered the testimony of Dan Harmon with relevant facts of the cases mentioned. Since Lee is a member of DPFOR, I will let him comment if he wants about his testimony.

Three people from the building trades testified next in support of the bill. Shirley Morgan gave us her account of her druggie neighbors and her bad experiences with druggies. Shirley would make a drug tsar blush with her anti drug rhetoric. Sen. Metzger her kudos for her stance against drugs. Bob Shiprack and Jessica Adams testified how medical marijuana presented problems with allowing people to work with cards. They failed to identify any specific details when asked by Sen Anderson.

Mr. Dean express support of the bill.

Nathan Little from Voter Power gave written testimony to the committee expressing opposition.

All in all, I think this bill will pass out of committee because of Sen. Metzger's vivid support for the bill.

I think Sen. Deckert expressed the most concern that this bill does not solve and real issues.

Reported by: djh

Contact info, COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY Membership:

Rick Metsger, Chair
Party: D District: 26
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1726
Interim Phone: 503-668-4378
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-307, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: sen.rickmetsger@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/metsger

Bruce Starr, Vice-Chair
Senator Bruce Starr
Party: R District: 15
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715
Interim Phone: 503-649-4391
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-205, Salem, OR, 97302
Interim Address: 22115 NW Imbrie Dr. #290, Hillsboro, OR, 97124
Email: sen.brucestarr@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/starrb

Ryan Deckert
Party: D District: 14
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1714
Interim Phone: 503-986-1714
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-219, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 2247, Beaverton, OR, 97075
Email: sen.ryandeckert@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/deckert

Larry George
PParty: R District: 13
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1713
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: sen.larrygeorge@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/georgel

Laurie Monnes Anderson
Party: D District: 25
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1725
Interim Phone: 503-618-3071
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-310, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 1531 , Gresham, OR, 97030
Email: sen.lauriemonnesanderson@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/monnesanderson

Janet Adkins
Adam Hicks


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