WILMINGTON — The intersection of Ohio’s new medical marijuana law with an existing drug-free policy among Clinton County government workers might result in new rules, such as having to stay home while being administered medical marijuana.
Clinton County is a member of an insurance pool for property and liability coverage named the County Risk Sharing Authority (CORSA). Due to Ohio’s medical marijuana law which took effect Sept. 8, CORSA updated its drug-free workplace policy.
CORSA’s updated version — which it recommends to its member counties — expressly states that medical marijuana use is not exempted from a county’s drug-free workplace policy. The wording of the recommended policy was given to Clinton County commissioners Wednesday for review.
Assistant Clinton County Prosecutor Andrew McCoy, who serves as legal counsel for the county government, will sit in on a future commissioners’ discussion on the matter. But commissioners on Wednesday expressed some thoughts on what might get added to CORSA’s version.
Clinton County Commissioner President Mike Curry said a county employee lawfully using medical marijuana may need to stay home in order to protect against possible dangers and liability to the county due to an altered worker.
Clinton County Commissioner Kerry Steed concurred, elaborating that if a county worker needs to be administered medical marijuana, then that’s a circumstance that could warrant prohibiting the employee coming to work.
Clinton County Administrator Mary Ann Foland suggested that in some instances reasonable accommodations could be made for such an employee, and that reasonable accommodations could include an authorized leave of absence.
Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley expressed concern that a new policy will at the beginning be confusing unless it’s spelled out as clearly as possible.
Steed said the topic is an issue on which county attorneys, administration and Human Resources have to be “all together on the same page.”
A footnote on CORSA’s updated policy recommendation states: “… medical marijuana use as authorized by state law is not exempted from the County’s drug and alcohol free workplace policy, constitutes a violation of this policy, and employees are subject to discipline up to and including discharge for any violation of this policy, including use of medical marijuana.”
In a scheduled appointment Wednesday, Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties board member Ken Houghtaling and Julie Knueven with Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers talked about Mental Health Recovery Services’ renewal levy on the fall ballot.
They stressed a renewal levy does not raise residents’ property taxes, but is needed to preserve treatment and counseling services for people seeking help to recover from mental health and addiction issues.
The annual cost for every $100,000 of property value is $25.46.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.