Apr 19, 2010

Pot and Medical Device Manufacturing

California is set to vote on marijuana legalization later this year. I'm pretty much a live and let live guy, but how is this going to effect California's fairly large drug and medical device industry? I'm sure people will debate this, but lets cut right to how companies will see it:

In California you will have a much higher chance of someone stoned building your product and on average stoned people make worse decisions than non stoned people.

This probably doesn't matter if you're renting movies at BlockBuster, but small mistakes in medical devices can cost lives and / or millions of dollars. Right now most companies mitigate the risk of drug use by screening on hire and periodic screening. How would you mitigate in the future, or is my fear overblown? I don't think legalizing pot will help manufacturing in California, obviously that is not the only consideration, but an important one I think.


God said...


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Marc said...

You make an interesting and very valid point. Not to mention that the Bay area as well as Southern CA are two hotbeds for medical device development and manufacturing. Indeed there are way too many critical factors that surround a life-sustaining product to put in the hands of someone who is working on their best Cheech and Chong" imitation.

ABC Psychological Assessments said...

You're right to point out that if this goes through there could be huge implications for many industries.

I'm assuming, however, that like alcohol, marijuana will not be tolerated in the workplace.

Anonymous said...

When it comes down to it, what really -has- helped California manufacturing in the last few years? from what I understnad, many medical device manufacturers in the California hotbeds send the manufacturing to overseas facilities. So maybe in an abstract sense, California will take another hit to its reputation with legalizing marijuana.

But take a look at Colorado, who is actually leading the legislative push for easy-to-access medical marijuana, and de-criminalizng small "pocket-carry" amounts of mj. There's been no discernible perception shift, Colorado still has an "At-will" stance on firing, and its manufacturing has stayed more or less consistent with the national trends.

Maria said...

Personally, I cannot think of a company that tolerates people who are "high". It just wouldn't work, especially, if you are a medical device manufacturing.

When it comes to manufacturing, it should always comply with the standards. Whether it is a long production run manufacturer or even those that provide supplies in
small production. Running a company with a bad reputation is a big NO! It will certainly drive out customers and future opportunities.

Sean said...

Come on guys, don't make marijuana legalization a big deal. Legal weed has medicinal effects; unlike alcohol, with no positive effects whatsoever, is available for public consumption. I understand that companies like medical device manufacturers will have bigger worries about workers getting stoned. Of course, this should not be tolerated like alcohol.

In other parts of the world like Australia and Canada, people can buy legal weed of a certain quantity and psychedelic pills without being arrested.

Why shouldn't we do the same?

Ashley said...

Interesting post! And I agree to others that you've got a very reasonable point the there could be serious implications for many industries. I just hope, that things like this should not be tolerated. Thanks for the post!


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Bill said...

While the assembly of medical devices is an issue it is only a small part of a greater risk. How about driving to work or the people running the punch press or even the nail gun. This needs to be handled carefully and if it succeeds great but if it fails they need to have the courage to undo it.

lauren said...

I'd be amazed if they ever approve this.