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IEC Chesapeake has posted in the past about drug testing, use, and drug effects on businesses. The effect can be particularly devastating in dangerous trades like the electrical industry where a sharp mind, following protocols, and quick reflexes literally saves lives.

Our Associate Partners at Red Planet Substance Abuse Testing , Judy Swartley , shares drug information and legal updates regularly so we can keep our chapter members and social media visitors up to date. Here’s one of the latest:

“The DEA is poised to reclassify marijuana. Garland signs off on policy move seen as a historic US shift. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will move to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a historic shift to generations of American drug policy that could have wide ripple effects across the country. It has less potential for abuse than some of the nation’s most dangerous drugs. Source: The Morning Call newspaper, 5/1/24 “

That snippet, while of interest, is certainly not the entire story, so let’s dive a little deeper.

This change will not mean that there will be dispensaries suddenly popping up everywhere- and it’s not about the casual user.

Current Schedule l status classifies weed as having no accepted medical use and as an easily abused substance. We’ll come back to this…

The reclassification to a Schedule lll controlled substance would recognize medical benefits from use and additionally lifts the heavy Schedule l restrictions on the medical scientific community to store, secure, study, and test the long-term effects of marijuana. Furthermore, scientists need a Schedule l license to handle restricted drugs- the reclassification would eliminate this issue and open study up to a much broader pool of scientists.

Why would this be important? Broader studies would mean the medical community could be testing marijuana’s value when treating a wider spectrum of conditions and disease progression.

If you want to read more about the pros and cons, please visit this article at NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2024/05/03/1248985559/marijuana-weed-schedule-i-iii-research-barriers#:~:text=The%20Biden%20administration%20proposed%20this,it%20has%20some%20medical%20benefits.

Allow me to shift to what this blog is NOT…

This blog is not in favor of casual use of marijuana on a day-in/day-out basis for anyone working in electrical construction- or construction for that matter.

This blog is not arguing that weed smoking or ingesting is ever appropriate in the workplace.

This blog is…

…informing you about an important shift in the landscape of law, attitudes, and medical research.

…reminding you that alcohol is completely legal and readily available. Alcohol’s effects on the body are very similar to weed. Both alter your reaction time, thinking, and coordination. Both can make driving or operating machinery dangerous. Both will, over time, affect heart health and increase chances of stroke.

…sharing that studies show that alcohol is damaging to both the brain and liver. The damage to the brain can happen quickly if a person is a heavy, daily consumer, affecting both short-term and long-term memory.

This blog supports…

One more thought before I cut you loose my Friends-

If you love or have ever loved a cancer patient, or anyone with a chronic, life-threatening, painful disease, or someone in hospice care, I am asking you to consider the medical benefits we already know marijuana can provide our loved ones.

It would be a blessing to the doctors serving these communities and to the friends and family caregivers if they had this tool at their disposal. A tool that relieves anxiety and assists the body’s response to pain and encourages a sense of appetite for people on nauseating medications.

It would be a relief to doctors to know they could write a medical marijuana script for their patients to get safe, clean weed, or edibles, and get it filled THAT DAY.

It would be a relief for caregivers not to have to ask others in places that have dispensaries to please procure and drive the cannabis product to them because it’s outlawed where the patient lives- and it cannot be mailed or taken on a plane.

A personal point to be sure. You’re welcome to disagree with me.

On this point, you will not change my mind.

Test the Workforce-help patients.

For more on safe testing:


Jenny Boone, IECC VP of Business Development