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5,700 and Counting!

5,700 and Counting!

Earlier this month, the SDE put out its FAQ on medical marijuana. It’s a helpful resource, providing links to statutes and other pertinent information to assist schools in decision- and policy-making.

Earlier this month, the SDE put out its FAQ on medical marijuana. It’s a helpful resource, providing links to statutes and other pertinent information to assist schools in decision- and policy-making. Does it give schools 100% foolproof guidance and direction on how to approach the issue? No.Can anyone provide that right now? No. The issue is still as clear as mud, and it does not appear that there will be a special session to address implementation of SQ 788.

Here’s what we do know: As of September 24th, nearly 5,800 patient/caregiver applications have been filed with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. This was up from 3,300 the previous week. That number is likely to continue to rise in the next few months in anticipation of product becoming available for sale. With numbers like these, there is little doubt that many of you will be dealing with employees, and to a lesser extent, students, who are in possession of these licenses.

School and employment attorneys are not in agreement on what medical marijuana policies should look like. There is also the matter of what constitutes “impairment.” Previously the standard as to whether a violation of policy had occurred was a positive drug test. That is no longer the simple, deciding factor if an individual who tests positive holds a valid medical marijuana license. The shift will be toward behavior, which is highly subjective. Many of the issues will have to be hammered out in court, as is currently happening in other states. Oklahoma’s policy will eventually come together through litigation and legislation, but my guess is that it’s going to take a while.

Terri Thomas

Director of Legal Services

Terri Thomas serves as Director of Legal Services for OPSRC. Ms. Thomas is an attorney practicing exclusively in the area of Oklahoma school law, with a primary focus on rural and smaller school districts. Prior to OPSRC, she served as legal counsel for the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools (OROS).

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