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National Park Service Staffers Warned Not To 'Toke Up' In Washington State Or Colorado


Dude, if you value your National Park Service job, don't toke up, not even in Washington state or Colorado, where adults 21 and older can light up legally.

David Vela, the agency's associate director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion, recently sent out a memo to all Park Service employees warning them not to smoke marijuana in Colorado or Washington, as well as anywhere else where it's still illegal.

Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, and marijuana use is not an acceptable medical explanation for a positive drug test result. A prescription or written recommendation for marijuana from a licensed physician or medical professional does not exempt the employee or applicant from this rule.

All Federal drug testing programs – whether they are the programs under the regulatory and legal auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission – have taken the identical stance: Use of Schedule I drugs by individuals in federally regulated workplaces is unacceptable, and any individual who tests positive for a Schedule I drug will have a positive drug test on his or her record.


"The use of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes under state law will not be an acceptable explanation for a positive drug test given for pre-employment, random, or reasonable suspicion purposes," Mr. Vela reiterated in his note. "All employees may be subject to a reasonable suspicion drug test."


I haven't used marijuana for over 35 years, although I enjoyed the summer of love in the Haight as much as anyone of my generation. I am a retired nurse, and on occasion gave patients PRESCRIBED narcotics including even tincture of opium. Prescribed.

There is strong medical evidence that marijuana is helpful for some conditions, and it has consequently been legalized for those purposes in some jurisdictions. As well, it has been legalized or decriminalized in other jouriscitions. Times change, laws change, and the regulatory forces need to do the same thing.

Personally, I chose to continue to be sober of all recreational substances including all booze, and have no need of medical marijuana. I certainly think that the federal regulators need to change with the times. If a substance is legal socially and/or prescribed, the civil service needs to move out of Mrs. Grundy mode, especially when it comes to off-duty behavior.

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