Despite the SPD's new guide that all but tells citizens where to score weed and how to use a chillum, the City of Seattle told its employees this morning that getting high at work remains not groovy at all, even though pot will be legal in three weeks.
"Use of drugs in the workplace not only endangers the user but also citizens and fellow employees," says the boilerplate e-mail to all city employees from city personnel director Dave Stewart. The missive explains that Seattle's federal funding is contingent on complying with Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Says Stewart: "Even with the recent passage of Initiative 502, marijuana remains a Schedule I (illegal) drug under federal law."
Lots of people throw around the red herring of federal law when talking about pot, arguing that because pot possession is illegal federally, then it must be illegal for all the states. That's just stupid. Same sex marriage is prohibited by DOMA federally, but lo, lots of states have legalized gay marriage. Same with medical marijuana. The feds just don't handle small to medium pot cases. But in this case—in the case of threatening cities with yanking funding—federal prohibition does matter. Of course, even if that wasn't the case, I'm pretty sure Seattle still wouldn't allow government employees to get high at City Hall.
The full letter is after the jump.
To: City Employees
From: Dave Stewart, Personnel Director
Subject: Drug-Free Workplace
As a recipient of federal funding, the City is subject to the terms of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-690, 41 USC 701 et seq.). Under this law, the City must prohibit the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance on City premises or while conducting City business on or off of City premises.
Even with the recent passage of Initiative 502, marijuana remains a Schedule I (illegal) drug under federal law.
All City personnel should remember that: · use of drugs in the workplace not only endangers the user but also citizens and fellow employees; · the City has declared its policy that our workplace is to be drug free; · employees needing help in dealing with a drug abuse problem are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program and medical insurance plans, as appropriate; · referrals for drug and alcohol abuse counseling, rehabilitation and employee assistance are available through the Employee Assistance Program; and · violations of the City's Drug-Free Workplace Policy may subject an employee to disciplinary actions.
In addition to the Drug-Free Workplace Policy , all City employees are subject to a Fit for Duty Medical Examination whenever “An accident, injury*, incident, or employee’s behavior, speech or appearance causes a supervisor to suspect a physical or psychological condition may be impairing an employee’s ability to satisfactorily perform work with reasonable skill or safety.” These examinations may include drug and alcohol tests.
Further information regarding the City’s Drug-Free Workplace and Fit for Duty Medical Examination Policies, including the effects of marijuana and other drugs, can be found on the InWeb at http://personnelweb/personnel/safety/policies.asp#/dfwp or by contacting Citywide Safety in Personnel.