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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

Until the pot smoke clears

Not too long from now, people will look back and think to themselves, “I can’t believe that weed was once illegal.”

Our country is going through a social renaissance, but the idea of recreational marijuana is still a hot debate.

Since laws passed in ?Colorado and Washington made recreational marijuana legal, the issue is no longer black and white. Our country is stuck in a battle of morals when it comes to ?using weed for fun.

Before, there was no ?argument.

Weed was illegal and anyone caught smoking it could get in trouble.

Now, things are a little different, and additional complications have been thrown into the mix.

For instance, if an ?employer knows that an employee uses recreational marijuana in their personal time, should the employer still be able to take action against them?

This was the case for the first buyer of weed in ?Spokane, Wash. Michael Kelly Boyer lined up early to be the first person in his town to legally buy ?recreational marijuana.

However, when his boss found out, Boyer was required to take a drug test and was later fired from his job.

Situations such as Boyer’s can be expected to occur quite often during this time of change.

But that does not make them right. If a person is participating in a legal ?activity in their free time, their employer should not automatically penalize them for it.

Each case should be looked at separately. If the employee’s use of ?recreational marijuana is interfering with the job, the employer should be able to reprimand them.

However, if weed is ?simply something that a ?person uses in their ?personal lives, their boss should have no say in the matter.

How can we tell if the effects of a substance are bleeding over from ?someone’s personal life into their professional conduct? Where is the line?

And what substances make a person cross it?

We would never see someone getting fired for using tobacco or alcohol in their homes, provided it doesn’t interfere with their career.

But who’s to say it isn’t? Does a high-functioning drug addict get more leeway, as long as their performance doesn’t decline?

Would they do an even better job if they weren’t using drugs, and is that the company’s concern?

Since the use of weed is still so controversial, ?people see the situation in a ?different light than they would with other drugs that have been legal for a longer time. These drugs can have terrible, negative side effects, but because they slipped in before the ?regulations, they get a pass.

Someday in the future, recreational marijuana may not cause so many ?problems.

But during this transitional period, the lines are blurred and that is just something users will have to deal with right now.

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