Medical marijuana in the workplace

Published: Monday, July 24, 2017 @ 5:29 PM

Ross McGregor, executive VP of Pentaflex Inc., has adopted a no-nonsense policy with drugs.

Medical marijuana is legal in Ohio but you will not be able to buy it legally for another year. Even so, Miami Valley employers are trying to decide how they are going to handle the issue of weed in the workplace. 

When you step inside Pentaflex, a metal stamping plant in Springfield, you will find employees working with precision, heavy machinery. 

RELATED: Ohio senator wants feds to life prohibition on marijuana

"For me, it's all about safety," said Ross McGregor, the company's Executive Vice President. "We run some very large machinery that is very unforgiving."

Renae Murnahan-Turner believes medical marijuana could help people.

For that reason, Pentaflex has adopted a no-nonsense policy that says employees cannot use medical marijuana. 

RELATED: Medical pot business applications flower across Dayton

"I can't risk having somebody coming out on the stop floor impaired and operating this type of equipment," McGregor said. 

The use of medical marijuana is even banned at home because it stays in your system for at least thirty days and that is the standard in most manufacturing companies. In calls to other local employers, we learned that the RTA is among many companies that will stick with policies that call for a drug-free workplace. 

News Center 7 did a poll about the issue on its social media pages. Here’s how you responded: 

Montgomery County's new policy prohibits the use and even possession of medical marijuana during work hours and during lunch breaks. The use of it during off-hours has not yet been decided. 

Back in Springfield, another business owner is hoping marijuana's health benefits will be accepted by employers. Renae Turner, a cancer survivor, said cannabis is non-addictive and you cannot overdose on it unlike other pain medications. She is hoping employers will get creative with people who have a prescription for medical marijuana. 

"You can create different levels that someone can function on it and be perfectly clear-headed and pain free, seizure-free," said Turner. 

Still, to get the bill passed at the Ohio Statehouse, the Legislature included strong protections for employers so they could legally prohibit medical marijuana use at work. 

File photo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

"They can choose if they are going to recognize medical marijuana as a medicine or remain drug-free," said Rep. Steve Huffman, a Republican from Tipp City. 

Our I-Team investigation also found that the thousands of federal employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and base contractors will be prohibited from using medical marijuana because under federal law, pot is still illegal. The same is true for Wright State University, which says in it's policy that they are a federal contractor. Sinclair College is still silent on the issue. 

RELATED: Workers failing drug tests hits a 12-year high

Employment attorney Deborah Adler said for not, it is usable by anyone who obtains it legally and whose work rules do not prohibit it. Yet to be resolved is what happens to an injured worker who uses medical marijuana during recovery, but wants to go back to work. 

"Where the rubber meets the road is when those people are working, their continued use, those are some of the issues that ultimately are going to end up in the courts," Adler said. 

If there is a drug-free work policy, an employee involved in an accident at work, even one that is not their fault, could be required to take a drug test. If the test reveals that they have marijuana in their system, they could lose their job. 

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A decade later, Russian couple discover their dead infant son is actually alive

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 8:10 AM

A Russian mother and her son.
Getty Images/Getty Images
A Russian mother and her son.(Getty Images/Getty Images)

For nearly a decade, a Russian couple believed their infant son was dead. Instead, they discovered the child is alive; an “administrative mix-up” led to miscommunication.

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In 2011, the couple, who live in Volgograd, were told by their doctor that their newborn boy would die within the week, The Independent reported. Believing that their time with him was coming to a close, the parents made the difficult decision of signing over their baby to the hospital.

Five days later the couple returned to reclaim their child. But hospital officials told them the boy had already died.

Seven years went by and the couple learned in a rather disturbing manner that there had been a miscommunication of information.

Russia’s Federal Bailiff Service seized a substantial amount of money from the mother’s bank account. When she questioned the move, she was told that she owed 230,000 rubles, which is just over $4,000, to a child care home. She was told the home had raised her son since his birth.

“It became clear that the married couple had been assured for all this time that the child was dead,” explained a spokesman for the bailiff service. “The parents, so unexpectedly aware of the ‘resurrection’ of their baby, immediately appealed to the court for the restoration of parental rights.”

The couple were able to restore their rights in November. They said that the final result of the ordeal “a gift from fate.”

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

WATCH: Hero German Shepherd Takes Bullet for Teen in Home Invasion

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Texas superintendent threatens suspension for students who protest gun laws

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 6:15 AM

WATCH: Florida Sheriff Attends Town Hall For Gun Reform

A superintendent in a Texas school district near Houston threatened a three-day suspension for any student who walks out to protest current gun laws, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Needville Independent School District Superintendent Curtis Rhodes sent letters to parents and posted on social media that an out-of-school suspension would be enforced. Students nationwide have been protesting in the wake of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last week that left 17 people -- including 14 students -- dead.

>> Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer ‘never went in’ during shooting

"Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved," Rhodes wrote. "All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline."

Rhodes said notes from parents would not make a difference, The Washington Post reported.

“Respect yourself,” Rhodes wrote, “and please understand that we are here for an education and not a political protest.”

Student organizers in Florida are planning a March for Our Lives on March 24 in Washington, D.C., the Chronicle reported. A National School Walkout planned by Women's March organizers is set for March 14. A walkout is also scheduled on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. 

Rhodes said the school district is sensitive to violence in schools, but stressed that the students’ focus should be on education and not political protests, the Chronicle reported.

"A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally," Rhodes wrote. "A disruption of the school will not be tolerated."

The message was originally posted on Needville High School’s Facebook page but was taken down, Time reported. Screenshots of the letter were shared via social media.

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Veteran claims homeless woman she invited into home stole her car

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 7:45 AM

Homeless person.
Leon Neal/Getty Images
Homeless person.(Leon Neal/Getty Images)

A military veteran thought she was being a good Samaritan when she invited a homeless woman into her California home to avoid cold weather. Instead, she is lamenting the loss of her car, which she alleges the homeless woman took, KRON reported.

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Sharon Larson, 69, said she saw a homeless woman outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Fairfield on Monday night and wanted to help.

“There’s so many homeless today,” Larson told KRON. “You see them everywhere, homeless families everywhere. It just breaks my heart and just tears my heart up to see so many people on the street. It just kills me.”

Larson said she “didn’t think twice” about offering assistance.

“I couldn’t leave her outside in leggings,” Larson said. “They’re just leggings. No jacket. No coat.”

The woman, who said her name was Lynn, stayed at Larson’s home Monday night. Larson fed her and did her laundry, KRON reported. On Tuesday, the two women shared a meal of pork chops and watched a few movies. Larson went to the bathroom, but when she returned the woman was gone and so were the keys to Larson’s 2011 Mazda CX-7, KRON reported.

“It is breaking my heart because now I’m feeling like I can’t help anybody anymore, and I always help people,” Larson said. “And now I feel like if I help them, they’ll just steal from me or hurt me. I don’t know. … sorry.”

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