Patients with a license for medical marijuana will be protected employees under a new Cherokee Nation employment policy that prohibits discrimination based on positive drug screens.
The Jan. 15 policy change allows those currently in Cherokee Nation jobs and those applying for jobs to face no consequences upon a positive result for THC during preemployment screening or other drug testing.
“Landscapes are changing, and the Cherokee Nation needed to modernize its HR policies to reflect those changes,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a news release. “I am pleased to announce this change in policy, and I am committed to ensuring that we support all valid (physician-supported treatments).”
A program to regulate medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation was legalized in Oklahoma through the 2018 State Question 788. The law was written to include employment discrimination against licensed patients, but some patients have still lost jobs and employment due to positive THC drug screens.
Current Oklahoma law allows for employers to terminate licensed patients if they hold jobs with safety-sensitive responsibilities.
Under tribal law, use or possession of marijuana in tribally owned properties remains illegal.
The Cherokee Nation employs about 4,000 through its government offices headquartered in Tahlequah.
Gallery: 10 things medical marijuana patients cannot do under SQ788