Prop 203 protects pot-smokers against any consequences for their actions

Prop 203 protects pot-smokers in ways we’d never tolerate for people who abused alcohol or prescription drugs. Prop 203 says marijuana cardholders can’t be prosecuted for DUI based solely on “the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.” An employer can’t discipline an employee or send him home based on a drug test showing “the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.”


If Prop 203 passes, the courts will have to define too stoned to go to work. Expect a long, drawn-out battle.


That might sound reasonable. After all, marijuana can show up in the bloodstream several days after use. The problem is, there is no standard for what constitutes “insufficient concentration to cause impairment.” Prop 203 doesn’t say who sets the standard, so it will probably fall to the legislature or Department of Health Services. But expect lots of lobbying and lawsuits until a standard is established. And until a standard is established, pot-smokers can drive stoned or go to work stoned with impunity. Whether they’re surgeons,


Until the courts decide, no one can be fired or even sent home for coming to work high.


truck drivers, crane operators or teachers, they’re protected even if they go to work high. Drug-free workplace rules will not apply.


Every landlord's nightmare becomes a tenant's right under Prop 203.


The law also says no landlord may refuse someone as a tenant for being a cardholder, even if the card-holder lives 25 miles from the nearest dispensary and is allowed to grow marijuana in hishome. In Colorado, people who grow their own are re-wiring houses and starting fires, but the law protects them. They can’t be evicted or even charged an extra damage deposit like pet-owners are.


Prop 203 protects the drug-abusing parent, but not the child.


Child visitation can’t be denied because someone is a cardholder. Even if the parent is a drug addict whose child was taken by CPS because he abused the child whenever he was on drugs, that parent can still show up for visitation stoned.

In Montana, nearly 10 percent of criminals on probation and parole have marijuana cards, and they usually got them after they were arrested. This allows them to smoke pot even if they’re drug addicts, and  judges or drug courts have ordered them to stay clean and sober.

Instead of “stoned,” substitute the words “drunk” or “high on oxycontin,” and these people could be prosecuted, fired, evicted, denied visitation or ordered to stay drug-free on parole. But Prop 203 gives pot-smokers unheard of protection. Even strict libertarians and others who support legalization find this unfair. There should still be consequences for people who don’t control their behavior.

To join or learn about the group opposing Proposition 203, go to

About Edward Gogek

I've been practicing psychiatry for 25 years, doing general work with adults, children and adolescents. My subspecialties are addiction psychiatry, classical homeopathy and nutritional medicine.
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