Back in January, as part of a post about a marijuana tour hosted by O.penVAPE, a Denver-based firm whose vape pens and other products have been acclaimed by cannasseurs across the planet, we published the photo above, in which company chief revenue officer Todd Mitchem can be seen enjoying some herb just after recreational use became legal.
The image doesn’t suggest that Mitchem would be in favor of drug-testing his employees — but in April, the firm announced that it would be doing exactly that. The result was a month of controversy, with a well-known pot advocate jousting with Mitchem on social media over the approach. Now, however, O.penVAPE has amended its policy and the critic is praising Mitchem for doing the right thing.
Here’s the opening paragraphs from an April 17 press release about the drug-testing approach:
Following U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s public comments that he would work with Congress to reexamine how marijuana is scheduled, O.penVAPE, the largest brand in the cannabis industry, has announced it will begin testing its employees for dangerous drug abuse.
Todd Mitchem, O.PenVAPE’s chief revenue officer and public spokesperson, said the company wants to lead by example and reinforce the important differentiation between cannabis and other scheduled drugs.
“Unlike dangerous drugs, cannabis can be part of a healthy lifestyle that promotes wellness,” Mitchem said. “We always encourage consumers to use cannabis responsibly, and, as such, we have implemented a stringent drug policy for our own employees. O.penVAPE understands that, as the largest brand in the cannabis industry, our view holds weight — and our view is simple: we won’t tolerate dangerous drug use by our employees.”
Among those taking issue with O.penVAPE’s policy was Tom Angell, head of the advocacy organization Marijuana Majority and a regular presence in Westword posts. As documented by a post published earlier this month by CelebStoner.com, Angell tweeted Mitchem the following: “”Can we talk about @openvape drug testing policy ASAP in lieu of public campaign/petition against it.” (Angell says he and fellow critics considered launching a Change.org petition on the subject.)
Mitchem’s reported reply: “We are keeping people safe. So sorry you don’t care about employee safety. Grown ups need to behave differently.”
Read the rest over at The Latest Word.