From L to R: white guy, white guy, white guy, white guy, white guy, and white guy.
As many of you are already aware, I am on the Board of Directors for Oregon NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). I also work as the webmaster for our website, http://www.ornorml.org.
One of our current campaigns is against a business lobbying group called Associated Oregon Industries (AOI). This group is currently lobbying lawmakers in my state to enact legislation that would allow businesses to unfairly discriminate against the state’s over 12,500 legally recognized medical marijuana patients. AOI wants to allow businesses to fire hard working Oregonians who test positive on workplace urine tests for the metabolites produced from ingesting medical marijuana.
Of course, there is no way a medical marijuana patient can pass a pee test. Of course, metabolites from THC remain in someone’s system from up to three to as many as thirty days after ingestion. Of course, no medical marijuana patient is likely to use their medicine immediately before or during work; patients use after work on their own time, and many don’t even use every day. Of course, testing positive on a pee test in no way proves impairment on the job. Of course, nobody would even dare float a trial balloon for legislation to fire employees testing positive for Vicodin, Percocet, or even alcohol, for that matter. So AOI’s position is completely untenable. (Learn more.)
Part of our campaign is a letter-writing blast to the chief executive officers, presidents, and chairmen of the companies who are supporters of AOI. In that effort I have been researching the 112 Oregon, American, and International companies on AOI’s list of mission members, compiling their names and addresses for the database file needed to perform the massive mail merge.
But this post isn’t about my efforts to protect the civil rights of disabled Oregonians (though I never miss a chance to evangelize, do I?) What this post is about is this strange, nagging feeling I got as I combed through those company contact web pages with their bright smiling head shots of the corporate officers. After about ten companies, something just started to bug me. After fifty companies, there was definitely something strange going on. Surely, I thought, by the time I got through 111 of the 112 companies, I’d be able to figure out just exactly what it was that was making me feel so odd. Some common thread that ties together companies as diverse as banks, lumber companies, beer distributors, big box retailers, health care, steel mills, food processors, and hospitals.
Aha! It must be that they are all not non-profit Shakesperean theater festivals!