Since medical marijuana passed in Pennsylvania in 2016, only one labor union has come to an agreement with the city to allow employees to obtain medical marijuana cards: #Pittsburgh #firefighters
Ralph Sicuro, president of the Pittsburgh Fire Fighters Local No. 1, said the union advocated for access to medical marijuana because many firefighters suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (#PTSD
), a qualifying condition under the state's medical marijuana law.
Sicuro said it can also serve as an alternative to opioids for firefighters who get injured. "If we can reduce the potential for #opioid
addiction within our own group, I felt like that's something we needed to do," Sicuro said.
Sicuro said the fire union was asked to research the policies of other fire departments in medical and #recreational
He said they saw a range; some departments eliminated marijuana as part of drug tests, but in other circumstances, the conditions that would qualify someone for a medical marijuana card disqualified them from being a firefighter.
The union's agreement with the city includes a provision that firefighters cannot be under the influence while on duty. "No matter what medication you're talking about, whether its an opioid or marijuana, we do not support anybody being under the influence while at work," Sicuro said.
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