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Oregon Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

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State: Oregon
Statute of Order: OR Rev. Stat. § 438.435 et seq.; 659.227
Covered Employers: All employers.
Applicant Testing: Testing authorized if there is reasonable suspicion applicant is under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.
Employee Testing: Testing authorized if there is reasonable suspicion employee is under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.
Conditions & Methods: Testing done by third party. All positive test results must be confirmed by a state licensed laboratory.
Important Bulletpoints:
  • Employer shoulders all costs of medical examination required as a condition for employment unless the medical examination is required under a collective bargaining agreement or by a statute or ordinance.
  • Substance abuse testing must be performed only by licensed laboratories in strict compliance to Oregon State’s Clinical and Environment Laboratories statutes. Confirmation testing for positive test results from initial on-site tests that are approved by the State must also be conducted only by licensed laboratories.
  • On-site testing, using non-medical substance of abuse (SOA) screening test kits approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and in compliance with US Department of Transportation standards, may be conducted by employers provided the employer is registered as a Substance of Abuse on-site facility in accordance with the provisions of the rules. An annual registration fee of $50 applies.
  • Injury wherein the major contributing cause is shown by evidence to be the employee’s consumption of alcoholic beverages or the illegal consumption of any controlled substance is not a compensable injury except if the employer had actual knowledge, encouraged or otherwise permitted the consumption of the alcohol or controlled substance.
  • Employees in violation of the employer’s reasonable and compliant policy on controlled substances and alcohol in the workplace may be disqualified for any claim on workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits.
  • Medical Marijuana Law:

    On November 3, 1998, the state of Oregon passed Ballot Measure 67 which stipulates the removal of all state-level criminal consequence on the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have been qualified and registered as users of medical cannabis to alleviate debilitating symptoms of qualifying medical conditions. This initiative became effective on December 3, 1998.

    House Bill 3052 became effective on July 21, 1999; patients and caregivers in Oregon are allowed to cultivate marijuana in only one location. The bill also stipulates that patients must have been diagnosed by their physicians not less than 12 months before an arrest to qualify for an "affirmative defense". Law enforcers who seized marijuana plants from a patient who is pending trial are not obligated to keep the plants alive.

    A 2001 amendment reads verbatim on the definition of a physician:

    • a physician who has established a physician/patient relationship with the patient;... is primarily responsible for the care and treatment of the patients... has reviewed a patient's medical records at the patient's request, has conducted a thorough physical examination of the patient, has provided a treatment plan and/or follow-up care, and has documented these activities in a patient file.

    Senate Bill 1085 was approved on January 1, 2006. It stipulated that all state-qualified patients who possess excess marijuana based on state guidelines will not be given the opportunity to argue and defend their situation, in the line of medical necessity. Unregistered patients who possess medical marijuana in amounts conforming with state law, retains the ability to defend their case.2

    Cannabis mature plants are those that are over 12 inches in height and diameter. A state-registry for authorized cultivators to supply qualified and registered patients is to be established.

    Senate Bill 281- Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) was added to the list of qualifying medical conditions for the use of medical marijuana. This bill was signed on June 6, 2013 by Governor John Kitzhaber.

    House Bill 3460 - signed on August 14, 2013, creates a dispensary program. This is realized by permitting the state licensing and regulation of medical cannabis facilities to transfer cannabis to registered patients or to their designated caregivers.

    March 3, 2014 - The program started accepting applications from individuals looking for a license to run a medical cannabis dispensary.

    Senate Bill 1531 was signed into law on March 19, 2014. The bill stipulates that the local government must restrict the operation of medical cannabis dispensaries until May 1, 2015.

    April 18, 2014- The approved number of medical marijuana dispensaries reached 58.

    On July 1, 2015, HB 3400 stating that patients have to be residents of the state to qualify for the program was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.

    Qualifying Medical Conditions

    • Cancer

    • Glaucoma

    • degenerative or pervasive neurological condition

    • HIV/AIDS

    • Cachexia

    • severe pain

    • severe nausea

    • seizures - epilepsy, persistent muscle spasm

    • multiple sclerosis

    • Other conditions approved by the Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Resources.

    • PTS

    Limitations

    • It is illegal to smoke marijuana in public places, which includes hallways and lobbies of hotels and apartment buildings, on the street, in schools, public parks and amusement parks.

    • It is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana.

    Recreational Marijuana

    The Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative or The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014 or Measure 91 was voted on during the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot. Measure 91 seek to legalize the possession of up to 4 plants and 8 ounces of dried cannabis for people over 21 years of age. The initiative was approved.

    The legal sale of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years old and above began in the state of Oregon on October 1, 2015.

    Limitations

    • It is prohibited to smoke marijuana in public places

    • It is prohibited to drive while under the influence of cannabis.

    • It is illegal to take marijuana out of state even if going to a state where recreational marijuana is legal.4

    Effects on Drug Testing in the Workplace

    The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana does not affect a private employer's option to do drug testing on applicants and employees. The state of Oregon does not have a workplace drug testing law in private practice place but this does not mean private employers cannot do drug testing in the workplace. However, private employers cannot require employees to take alcohol testing without the employee's consent, or if there is reasonable suspicion that the employees is under the influence of alcohol.

    Sources:

    https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/medical-marijuana/OR/state-laws

    http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881#Oregon

    https://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_Legalized_Marijuana_Initiative,_Measure_91_(2014)

    http://whatslegaloregon.com/#!

    Applicability: Law applies to patients and caregivers.
    Quantity Allowed: Less than or equal to 1oz of usable Marijuana or 3 mature or 4 immature plants.
    How Obtained: Growing is permitted but details not specified.
    Liability Protections:Have an affirmative defense if physician diagnosed and advised use of Medical Marijuana, explained the risks and benefits to patient and if within quantity permitted by statute.
    Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use: Written documentation from physician and Registry Card required. Patients and caregivers must be registered with Oregon Department of Human Resources, Health Division. Documentation from attending physician must be updated annually.
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    Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm Biosciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.

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