Conversation with ALTRES Lynn Hiyane: Please Don’t Be Cruel About Cannabis

Cannabis (marijuana) stocks are roaring and legalization proposals sweep the nation. With Democrats in control of Congress, investors are high on cannabis companies. Bill Miller, money manager who bet big early on Amazon.com Inc., leads a new breed of investors jumping in. He predicts cannabis bans will go the way of alcohol prohibition a century ago. “It’s one of those things where, just like gambling back in the old days, the states are dying for money. They’ve got to legalize this stuff.”

“There’s an opportunity to light up a demographic in the way that soccer moms or Nascar dads were a key demographic. The message is: You don’t want to run afoul of the cannabis voter. They live all over. They are Republican, libertarian, and Democrat. And if you’re on the wrong side of this issue, it’s no longer a free pass.”
Erik Huey, Platinum Advisors

Hawai’i legislators currently propose HB7 to Legalize Cannabis. Time is now for the Aloha state to join the progressive western U.S. states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California and Arizona, along with nations of Canada and Mexico. See Map of Cannabis Legality by State

State Senator Mike Gabbard and daughter Tulsi (below) have long supported cannabis legalization. Both have experienced and suffered racism. They know the harmful social impacts of these unjust laws.

gabbards

Aloha e Scott…maybe 2021 we’ll get the job done and legalize it here in Hawai’i nei.  Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. mike

PLEASE SUPPORT one amendment to HB7. Currently employers use a simple, inaccurate urine screen to assess cannabis use. This test indicates THC-COOH (learn about THC-COOH), which is a non-impairing by-product of THC. It remains in our body for some 30 days or so. We recommend the DOT blood assessment, which measures intoxication or an innovative breathalyzer introduced by Hound Labs. We want to keep people safe; not continue draconian and institutionally racist policies.

This language comes from conservative Idaho’s proposal to legalize medical cannabis. Seems to be an excellent starting point.

(4) No employer is required to allow the ingestion of cannabis in any workplace or to allow any employee to work while under the influence of cannabis. A registered qualifying patient shall not be considered to be under the influence of cannabis solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.
39-9722. DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED

Reliance on the outdated and unscientific urine screen cost me my job with Hawaiian Electric. It also wasted millions of rate payer dollars in our group training. Hawai’i residents suffer the highest energy costs in the nation — over two times greater than the U.S. average and inefficiencies like this make no sense. These policies are cruel.

stacia

My friend on Big Island, Stacia Miller, is similar to me. She cannot use NSAIDs, such as Tylenol or Motrin (ibuprofen). Can’t either. As a college and pro athlete, I was poisoned by high doses of these medications. My options for long term pain relief have been opioids or medical cannabis.

stacy

For years, people falsely claimed cannabis was a “gateway drug.” We know today it’s the opposite — an “exit drug.” This is one reason BigPhRMA lobbies to keep cannabis illegal. People can grow their own medicine, as my wife’s Mexican American grandmother did. This hurts corporate profits.

exit

As a CDC-trained opioid addiction and overdose specialist, I avoid opioids whenever possible. This likely saved my life, but cost me my job. For speaking out here in Hawai’i, employers have blackballed me. Not only did I lose my job with Hawaiian Electric, nobody will hire me now.

Following the immortal legacy of civil right’s activist, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, I must continue to speak. Cannabis saves lives by helping patients cease using opioid pain medications. See Medical Cannabis Consumption Study

cannabis_study

Hawai’i Punishes People Who Seek Progress

Lynn Hiyane, a recruiter with ALTRES, contacted me over a month ago. She wrote:

I found your resume while doing a search for a Business Intelligence Analyst. I wanted to check in to find out your status and what you are seeking. I can also be reached at lynn.hiyane@altres.com or 591-4970.

lynn_hiyane
Lynn was excited about me until she apparently learned through Hawaii’s Coconut Wireless of my bad rap. I was punished for using medical cannabis. Working to change this policy has impacted my employment. This is my letter dated January 21st.


Thanks for your time today. To me, people are my most valuable asset. I admire your work, as Human Resources is managing Human Capital. Such an important function in our complex society. Sure enjoyed getting acquainted. My colleagues didn’t receive the reference requests. I’m quite familiar with ALTRES. Largest employer; top notch people. Send aloha to my buddy, John Fielding, Risk Management. Great guy!

Too bad my friends had to witness this confusion. Hard on them and soils the reputation of ALTRES. Really appreciate your offer to serve as my agent. The system doesn’t seem to work. Ultimately, we all lose. The company could really use someone like me. My analytical skills would help improve supply and distribution lines; increase efficiencies; and ensure more food at lowest prices for our families and ‘ohana. Lots of hungry people here.

Additionally, my experience would have commanded senior level compensation. As my agent, you would have shared in this. Bottom line … this cost all of us money.

Hawai’i is a stubborn place. Came here over twenty years ago. Magical in other ways … thank Ke Akua each day. Not long ago, was fortunate to join a small firm. Great company. Truly awesome people. Best and brightest possible. Was 62 at the time. Been in many different places. Finally found home. Fit is so important here. From the first conversation, we knew … somehow we all felt the connection … magical.

We belonged together. Our skills and personalities matched. We fit with each other; we fit the company; fit the community we served; and fit the needs of the state. Love, respect and aloha just grew. Led to many amazing accomplishments for clients, customers and Hawai’i.

Mahalo Ke Akua, after six successful months, a position magically opened. Team was delighted. Someone said, “We’ve been dating long enough; time to make this a permanent marriage.” We needed each other. We had built professional and intellectual trust … formed an IT Seal Team 6. Long hours, stressful conditions … we had been challenged. Confidence in each other grew. Best manager of my career. Coworkers built each other up and discovered new levels of innovation.

As an HR professional, you would have been proud. True success story. Took them two years to find me. I’m also suffering some injuries; creates a disability. Nothing serious, but requires long-term pain management.

five_injuries

As a healthcare analyst, I’m also trained in pain analgesics, in particular avoidance of opioids. My medical group has me on medical cannabis. Company had no restrictions as a contractor. Didn’t say anything to me about the issue. When they offered the internal position, checked company code (below).

HECOcode

Seemed in compliance. Again, company said nothing to me … to be sure, asked my assigned HR rep. She’s a delightful professional like you. Said I would be fine. Made sense. I’m non-safety sensitive employee in IT. None of my employers have had concerns. State legalized medical cannabis 2000, as you know. Gave it prescription status for any medical purposes 2015. Entire nation and world has shifted on cannabis. We’ve evolved from the more racist, unscientific roots.

The company HR director was excited initially to have me join the team. Wonderful personality, cheerful, welcoming and encouraging … she walked me through steps quickly. They were in a hurry, so we moved rapidly. Submitted to drug screen at Straub; informed staff of my prescription. I’m a healthy guy. No issues. Received results in a couple days. Positive for cannabis as expected. Noted this on report and company was informed.

Couple days later, February 20, company IT Security contacted me to change my email and computer settings. HR confirmed my start date … February 25th. Wow! What a honor. Everyone congratulated me. Big deal !!! Biggest victory of my life. How lucky to join this team. How blessed … said many prayers of thanks for the good fortune to have met such wonderful, talented people. My wife, friends, colleagues and family were very proud. Happiest days of my life.

Came to work my first new day, Monday, February 25th … 7:30a sharp. Guess I flew to work … on Cloud 9. Kind of had difficult time sleeping night before. Excited all weekend. We had been serving together six months. Now I felt like a kid going to school for first time. Butterflies of happiness, joy and gratitude. “Thank you, Hawai’i,” kept saying to myself on bus ride. Pinched myself just to be sure I was awake. What a day!!! Mahalo Ke Akua!!!

Coworkers teased with me a bit … high fives. Positive energy all around. Phone rings about 11:30a … HR director. Probably some final onboarding, I thought. WRONG !!! She fired me. Said I was a “danger to coworkers, the company and general public.” Told me couldn’t work for the company any more … ever. Ordered me to immediately clear my desk and get out. GET OUT !!!

Claimed I was engaged in illegal activity. I was a drug criminal to the company now. Dirty, deceiver, unprofessional, dangerous … never have I been so humiliated. My manager was in tears. Coworkers stunned. Had been highly respected. Now I was a shadow of a man.

I’ve not been the same since. People across America are so frustrated to be isolated, without work, suffering loss of income for some ten months. I’ve been this way for 22 months — nearly two years. It’s a small island. You all know each other and every employee it seems. You were so excited when we met and first collaborated. Thank you for the professional courtesy and kindness. Now you see me as a failed, tainted guy. Someone who embarrassed his team, company and community. Someone who let down his family, friends and colleagues. Someone who does DRUGS !!!

My prescription is only for nighttime prior to bed. Never before or during work. My assignments are complex and challenging. We collaborate and depend on each other. Need a clear head. This means eat well, rest, exercise … I don’t even consume alcohol — just a boring professional. No kids. My wife and I truly enjoy our work. Devoted, dedicated and thankful to serve our community. DRUGS !!! DRUGS !!! I’m a lowlife, a piece of sh*t … some would say a weak person with bad character or a vice.

mlk

It is my hope one day the people of Hawai’i will choose to treat each other with kindness, love and aloha. Simply too much sadness and unnecessary cruelty.

It is also my wish I am the LAST PERSON punished for choosing this medication. Please remember my story. Hopefully I can use this pain to help others. I’m not an evil person. I’m not a danger to the world. None of us are — and there are some 30,000 patients here in Hawai’i.

opioids_kill
Opioids Kill More Than Pain

Compare, 400,000+ Americans have died from COVID19-related illnesses. More have died from opioids. Get that? More Americans have died from opioids than those lost in WWII. The destruction to Human Capital and American families cannot be calculated.

None have died from cannabis. Ke Akua gave us this plant some 28 million years ago for a reason. Please keep this in mind as an HR professional.


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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”

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