Pot use may still get workers fired

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com

The director of Emergency Management for Osage County said Monday that public approval of State Question 788, regarding medical marijuana, will not change Osage County policy regarding employee marijuana use.

At issue is the protection of funding from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the national government for roadwork, Roberts explained. While Oklahoma voters may have changed this state’s position regarding the legality/illegality of marijuana use, federal rules do not include an exemption for medical purposes.

Since federal rules apply to much road-project money, the county’s approach to the question of employees using marijuana won’t change, Roberts said.

“So, it won’t change our policy,” he said. Thus, if a county road employee tests positive for marijuana use, that person would still be subject to disciplinary measures or termination.

Roberts told county commissioners that Oklahoma’s overall policy on marijuana remains fluid, and he will be keeping up with changes.

Roberts also told commissioners Monday that the county is receiving queries from the public about the possibility of a free dump day being held in the fall.

“I think it’s really good for the county when we do them,” Roberts said, commenting that county government is able to recoup a significant portion of its expenses on such events by selling metal items received.

Another matter on which Roberts commented is a change in responsibility for sounding storm sirens in the Fairfax community. He reminded commissioners that the fire department had been in charge of that activity, but said that local police are taking it over.

“So, we’re working with them,” Roberts said, speaking of training that is being provided to make sure the police in Fairfax are prepared to act appropriately if they need to sound the sirens. “They [the Fairfax community] aren’t going to be without sirens.”