Can Nurses Use THC Since it is Legal in California?


In California, cannabis consumption by adults has been legal since 2016. This was when the Adult Use of Marijuana Act was enacted. This initiative resulted in a 62-page set of marijuana laws that cover a variety of marijuana-related issues. The introductory provisions of the Act are as follows:

  • Adults 21 years or older are allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use and can possess up to one ounce of marijuana
  • The production, manufacture, and sale of marijuana will be regulated and taxed
  • Changing criminal laws to reduce the severity of marijuana-related crimes and allow those with marijuana-related convictions to petition for reduced charges

If you are a licensed nurse in California, you are not prevented from using THC in a legally appropriate setting. Federal law still prohibits THC possession and use, however. So, if you are working in a medical facility that follows federal guidelines, then you may lose your job over a failed drug test if you test positive for THC. Make sure that you understand the laws that apply to you in your workplace. If you have legal questions about marijuana use, then it is important to speak to an experienced attorney who can help you. 


While adults are allowed to use THC in various settings under California law, there are a couple of situations where THC should never be used. THC should never be used while on the job as a licensed nurse. It is critical that nurses are able to think and react quickly and sharply when on the job. A failure of a nurse to react appropriately in a medical situation can threaten the safety and even the life of a patient. THC should also never be used while or immediately before driving. If a nurse is charged and convicted of driving under the influence of THC, then that nurse faces the potential loss of employment as well as his or her nursing license, in addition to potential jail time, probation, and court costs. 

All criminal convictions must be reported both to a medical employer and the California Board of Nursing under state law. If you are facing a licensing sanction due to improper THC use, then it is critical that you have an experienced professional license defense attorney on your side to help you. If you have questions, then call us at The S.J. Harris Law Office so we can help!


The S.J. Harris Law Office is proud to offer FREE 30-minute consultations to all prospective clients. We understand that state-licensed professionals require representation that values discretion and privacy. Anything discussed during a consultation will be protected by the attorney-client privilege. At S.J. Harris Law, we put our focus into preserving three things; your license, your reputation, and your future. Let our experience go to work for you today. Call us at (310) 361-8585 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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When dealing with these complex issues, you need legal representation that has a long track record of success in these types of cases. Scott Harris and the rest of our team at S J Harris Law will be ready to help you pursue any option available that allows you to keep your license and continue working, no matter what industry you are in.


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