What can i do to get hired in PA when I am on Medical marijuana program for critical health issues

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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You'd need to find a service that doesn't drug test or ensure there are no drugs in your system when they do drug test.

Though I have no direct knowledge of any such services that don't drug test, a quick search of the internet shows that there are a wide variety of services that don't drug test. If it's your dream, start digging around, be willing to move, and be willing to lower your expectations.

Personally, I'd start evaluating new dream careers. I searched far too long before responding to your post and testing positive on a drug test looks like a long legal battle no matter of level of healthcare provider.

Good luck!
 
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Alyxandria17

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I have an autoimmune condition that luckily had not consumed my life thus far.

There are times I thought it was heading that way and I wondered on my future ability to work. And one day it might come to it.

Aside from being under the influence on a controlled substance, the moderate to extreme health issues you have descibe would make EMS safely and logistically impossible.

We have epileptics that work in my operation, but it is controlled and they are not symptomatic. One might say it's a reasonable amount of risk.

Your condition sounds less able to be adjusted to in a similar way.

Eventually you'd find a doctor that would write a note for you probably. Maybe you didn't even have to look. And they might think you are able to do the job. But that does not guarantee an employer that you can. And if you can that doesn't mean it's a risk the company is willing to take.

Every employee is going to have a certain amount of risk associated with them. But at what point does the emoyer say no?

You'd honestly have to apply and see. It's not us you need to convince.

I don't know you personally but it sounds like these are still major health issues for you and if an employer picks up on it, they may not want to hire you.

Perhaps a specialist can help with a different treatment plan that's more compatible with EMS.

I won't tell you it's impossible or you shouldn't. You want to help, like many of us, but sometimes we are better helping in ways suited to us.

Sometimes we need to not give up and throw everything we have into achieving our goal without letting anyone hold us back from it.

I can't give you any guarantees.

Because it's not just you who is affected by poor health. Your patients, partners, anyone who you might come across could get hurt or have to carry more than their fair share of the work to make up for another team member.

At what point does helping become hindering?

Eat right, exercise, keep up with your mental health and work towards your goals. It's okay if your goals change.

As others mentioned, EMS is physically demanding.

Most folks here know I'm small and have 100% the heart and desire to help, but even so they doubt my ability to. I've said some dumb stuff, done dumber things that resulted in issues I'm still having to work through.

It's not that I don't care about the impression I give, but I weighed the benefits to me and others, what work is required, what's safe and fair, and have decided to continue.

Who wants to be the one to volunteer that ended up getting someone killed or hurt because they thought they could do something they couldn't and nobody could tell them anything or convince then not to? Nobody.

And who wants to be the one watching a train wreck in slow motion just horrified by the results of someone to bullheaded to listen, especially IRL? Nobody.

We've all had sick days or days we weren't working our best. But if that is most days or every day?

You mentioned not being able to choose if you puke. Nobody is mad at you or dissing you or anything for that.

It's not judging your heart or intentions, but I'll be curt. That's not something that any EMS agency would probably accept. It's not a matter of fault and it sounds like you had no choice in any of this, but sometimes we are dealt a bad deck of cards.

Some mentioned ADA and reasonable accommodations. Weed and uncontrolled vomiting, or controlled with a drug that no EMS agency would allow (and some places of not all, illegal), is not reasonable.

If you're sure on doing this, focus on your health first and then look at EMS. As one of my supervisor says, "Rule #1, do not become the patient"

If you are not well enough to do the job, that's okay. Work on being well, if anything is possible to be done, and if not, maybe look to help in another way. Something less physically demanding or with less strenuous requirements.

I'll salute you for having gotten this far, but I really encourage you to really think on what you want vs what you think you want (don't be the train wreck just because you thought you needed to be on the rails).

Good luck. Keep us updated.
This is exactly what I needed to hear thank you very much for taking the time to be honest I needed to hear it!!
 
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Alyxandria17

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I was combining the two, not treating them as a separate entity for the purposes of this scenario. But perhaps I should differentiate.
This has been my thoughts I'm a bigger liability.... as much as I don't want to hear these things that's why I'm hear to hear what I needed to be told
Nothing like the insurers overlooking all the employees who regularly use stimulants such as Adderall, muscle relaxants such as flexeril, and many other drugs which impair both muscle and cognitive skills. Some day the Schedule I class shall be removed. I mean when cocaine is rated less than marijuana...there obviously is a flaw in the system, no?
HELL TO THE YES AND THANK YOU SAN FRANCISCO, that's my point why do they get to work and I can't when I can assure you that they are getting more side effects than I ever do!!!
 
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Alyxandria17

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I mean you could always try to apply and see where that takes you? Convincing us does nothing. Convince your hopefully future employer?
I'm just trying to understand and no one has given me the opportunity for convincing, always automatic no without even meeting me or trying to understand my situation and that's where I get upset!! At least hear me out before saying no because I have vailed points.
 
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Alyxandria17

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No. it just means that marijuana had no approved medical use when it was first categorized. If you would like a refresher on what the schedule means, check out https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling

as for the OP, remember, the accommodation needs to be reasonable. NO EMS agency is going to say you can have marijuana in your system while working. Here is a hypothetical for you: you are driving the ambulance, and you get T boned. you get to pee in a cup, and guess what you test positive for? now you need to prove that you weren't impaired while driving, and it wasn't your impairment that caused the crash. then the other person's insurance company will make your ambulance company look like fools, because they knew you were on marijuana and they still let you get behind the wheel.

I am not saying you aren't a great EMS provider, an amazing clinician, and an all-around swell person; but you are going to face an uphill battle. If you want a solution, call up ambulance companies. ask what their policies are on having employees who are on medical marijuana. you don't need to give your real name, just ask to speak to HR because you have a prospective employment question. and if you find one that allows it, fill out an application.

I am not anti-marijuana, or anti-Flexeril (I have a script for it on those bad days when my back spasms are really bad), but I'm also a realist, and know that few, if any, companies will put in writing that it is acceptable for their employees to come to work with marijuana in their system.
I've called almost a dozen stations in my area and spoke to HR or whom ever does the hiring and I haven't gotten even an inch in the right direction so very frustrating. No one even wants to talk to me, I find it rude when I try this hard to help others and I get treated like a leaper.
 
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Alyxandria17

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That’s why I said unfortunately that has been the only thing you have found.

My health > EMS. Every day of the week. Would having to leave EMS suck for me? Sure but I think being physically ill from trying to stay in would be much worse.
True and I get that but I am the kind of person who has to fail before to know I can't do something and failing in this line of work is life or death but it's not my mind that would **** up it, it'd be my body. Wish I could be given even the slightest chance to know for myself that it's not possible. I'm more physically able then I put off I think. A shot is all I want but can't get everything we want....and I know that.....just hard to accept, dont know if I ever will
 

DragonClaw

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I've called almost a dozen stations in my area and spoke to HR or whom ever does the hiring and I haven't gotten even an inch in the right direction so very frustrating. No one even wants to talk to me, I find it rude when I try this hard to help others and I get treated like a leaper.
It isn't out of rudeness (probably. Some recruiters are rude, sure) but there's not really a nice way to say what is true. They probably won't tell you what you want to hear.

" I could be given even the slightest chance to know for myself that it's not possible."
True and I get that but I am the kind of person who has to fail before to know I can't do something and failing in this line of work is life or death but it's not my mind that would **** up it, it'd be my body. Wish I could be given even the slightest chance to know for myself that it's not possible. I'm more physically able then I put off I think. A shot is all I want but can't get everything we want....and I know that.....just hard to accept, dont know if I ever will
Maybe this is your try and fail. I know it must hurt but there's not a way to say that to you that will feel any less terrible.

I don't expect anyone to tell you what you want to hear.

Try volunteering maybe? Even still, they might not allow it.
 

NomadicMedic

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I guess you're not hearing what you want to hear.

You can't work in EMS if you will test positive for marijuana. Period. Full stop.

No explanation. No "giving you a chance".

You. Cannot.

That is why everyone is saying no.

If you were in a vehicle accident and you tested positive for marijuana it would probably be the end of the business.

Nobody in their right mind would take on that liability.
 
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Alyxandria17

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It isn't out of rudeness (probably. Some recruiters are rude, sure) but there's not really a nice way to say what is true. They probably won't tell you what you want to hear.

" I could be given even the slightest chance to know for myself that it's not possible."


Maybe this is your try and fail. I know it must hurt but there's not a way to say that to you that will feel any less terrible.

I don't expect anyone to tell you what you want to hear.

Try volunteering maybe? Even still, they might not allow it.
That's where I am at just trying to volunteer and they won't allow it.
 
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Alyxandria17

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I guess you're not hearing what you want to hear.

You can't work in EMS if you will test positive for marijuana. Period. Full stop.

No explanation. No "giving you a chance".

You. Cannot.

That is why everyone is saying no.

If you were in a vehicle accident and you tested positive for marijuana it would probably be the end of the business.

Nobody in their right mind would take on that liability.
Of course its not what I want to hear at all but I needed to...I know that.
 

Jim37F

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So many ambulance services, whether they be private companies, or local government run Third Services, or anything in between, rely on Federal dollars to stay in business. Particularly Medicare payments.

Marijuana has also been declared by the Federal government to be illegal, that it has no medical use, high abuse potential, and severe safety concerns.

Now, physically, chemically, medically, Marijuana may not actually meet that criteria. Your case specifically, and a lot of other people, including trained and educated Doctors, find medical use for it.

Unfortunately, that does not matter. What does matter, that per federal law, Marijuana does not have any medical use. Period. Full stop. No exceptions. Thats what the law says.

Now... going back to Medicare... if the Feds find out that an ambulance service is employing someone known to use a Fed banned substance, well, you think the Feds are gonna want to keep paying money to that service? And without those Medicare dollars, or even a sharp reduction in them, many ambulance services would quite frankly go out of business.

So, that means most employers won't risk it, and simply won't touch you with a 6ft pole for that one simple fact that you use Marijuana.

You're not abusing it, you're probably a stand up guy who can make a great provider... and they don't care. You're one of 50 people applying to them, the others aren't using federally illegal substances. You get passed over without a second thought.

So quite frankly, until Marijuana is removed from Schedule I by the Federal Government (i believe that would literally take an Act of Congress, but i suppose i could be wrong on that), that Marijuana isn't just healing you... its making you legit toxic to employers.

An additional consideration is the reasons why your using Marijuana. It sounds like you have some serious health issues, and that is not a point in your favor to getting hired. Remember that 49 others applying to the same job? How many of them are healthy and can do the job without any medication to begin with? Yeah they're gonna fill up all the available positions before you ever get a call even without the whole "Marijuana is illegal" issue.

With those medical concerns, no one wants to employ someone that they're wondering if you'll suddenly keel over while lifting and carrying a 250+lb non ambulatory patient...

So those things alone, means you'll be fighting an uphill battle to actually be employed as an EMT.

It sucks, but thats the reality. Hopefully you can find something that works for you.
 

DrParasite

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I'm sorry that you don't like the answers you are being given, but that doesn't change the facts of the situation. It's not rudeness, it's not about going in the right direction (and for the record, the right direction is what is in the best interests of the company and the industry, not what you want), and it's not that you don't have valid points: however, the rule are the rules, and HR is not going to break the rules, nor should they.

You might have some legitimate points. marijuana might be a miracle drug. and yes, it might help you manage your condition. no one is disputing this, either here or in real life. But no EMS agency is going to care, because it's still against their rules to hire someone who uses a schedule I drug. So if I'm HR, once you tell me you smoke pot, the conversation is over; nothing else you say matters, because my agency won't hire you, so I am not going to waste yours or my time any further, because you just reached an automatic rejection. No need to have any further discussion.

Because most employers of EMTs and Paramedics fall under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, they are obligated to have a drug-testing program in place. Having an employee test positive for marijuana use as a result of one of those programs necessitates intervention by the employer under the act.

Here is my advice: you have been rejected by 10 companies over your marijuana use. Many people on EMTLife are telling you that no EMS company will hire you if you need to use medical marijuana, due to liability reasons. I would take that as a sign that you should look elsewhere to help others.

and if you still want to pursue this, I would check out these resources:
https://www.reddit.com/r/ems/comments/19nbdu
 
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Alyxandria17

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I'm sorry that you don't like the answers you are being given, but that doesn't change the facts of the situation. It's not rudeness, it's not about going in the right direction (and for the record, the right direction is what is in the best interests of the company and the industry, not what you want), and it's not that you don't have valid points: however, the rule are the rules, and HR is not going to break the rules, nor should they.

You might have some legitimate points. marijuana might be a miracle drug. and yes, it might help you manage your condition. no one is disputing this, either here or in real life. But no EMS agency is going to care, because it's still against their rules to hire someone who uses a schedule I drug. So if I'm HR, once you tell me you smoke pot, the conversation is over; nothing else you say matters, because my agency won't hire you, so I am not going to waste yours or my time any further, because you just reached an automatic rejection. No need to have any further discussion.

Because most employers of EMTs and Paramedics fall under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, they are obligated to have a drug-testing program in place. Having an employee test positive for marijuana use as a result of one of those programs necessitates intervention by the employer under the act.

Here is my advice: you have been rejected by 10 companies over your marijuana use. Many people on EMTLife are telling you that no EMS company will hire you if you need to use medical marijuana, due to liability reasons. I would take that as a sign that you should look elsewhere to help others.

and if you still want to pursue this, I would check out these resources:
https://www.reddit.com/r/ems/comments/19nbdu
Thanks for taking the time to respond and I'm going to look those links!!
 

joshrunkle35

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Does your state ask you about marijuana on your application? If you answer untruthfully and get caught, you could potentially lose your card forever.
 

SoCalCanuck

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What can I do to get hired in PA while Im in the Medical Marijuana program for critical health issues. I have Chrons disease, gastroparesis, I have had 2 feeding two in my abdomen for 11 years and a port for 8 years. I've tried multiple times without and I would be too ill to work, in my mind the program has brought my health to a point where I can do more. The biggest issue is I can't even volunteer somewhere. I have the skill, the drive and passion for this line of work and I'm always hearing about the need for EMTs. When I am over here being told I can't help people because of my medical conditions. Its extremely hard for me to understand why they can't even let me volunteer. I shouldn't be judged for what I do on my own time at home, I understand the worry for the person showing up for there shift high as a kite. That's not me if I need the medicine that bad then I am too ill to work that day. I would never risk a patient's wellbeing, as a chronic illness patient I know that I would be furious if I was taken Care of by a stoned first responder, so I'd never do it to anyone!!! My rambling question finally is what can I do or say to get hired without having to hide important things about myself, I'm not okay with that. This is my dream job and in October my license will expire. I have been working on this for two years I haven't given up yet and I don't plan too!! I shouldn't be discriminated because of my health issues. Any help or advise is truly appreciated!! P.s. Thank you to all those working keep our communities safer, I wanna be like you guys!!


Please no rude comments this is a place for discussion not judgement!!
Get prescribed Dronabinol. It is synthetic and not a schedule one drug and will not impact your drug test if you have a prescription for it. While it is not as effective as MM it does work.

And yes, labs can tell the difference between MM and dronabinol.
 

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