The Charlotte County School Board will hold a workshop to discuss a new policy on employees' use of marijuana.

The Charlotte County School Board Tuesday will discuss for the first time a policy involving employees’ use of marijuana.

The draft states that the school board acknowledges the “licensed-physician-prescribed use of marijuana and marijuana-derivative (legal) pharmaceutical medications among employees.”

Employees who obtain a medical marijuana use card need to inform their employer and present state-identifying information allowing for the use of medication, so that their employer can make appropriate accommodations, the policy reads. It’s not yet indicated what those accommodations may be.

The proposed policy states all employees who take medication that could potentially put them “under the influence” of cannabinoids must inform their supervisors upon arrival at work. Cannabinoids are derivatives of the marijuana plant and can be found in non-prescription marijuana, CBD oil, or other substances containing THC.

The policy specifically states one subset of employees that have prescriptions are those who operate machinery or equipment.

Being “under the influence of marijuana medication may constitute an increase in potential harm or danger to others in the school environment or to themselves,” the policy reads.

Employees will not be able to use moving, mechanical, electrical, or electronic equipment while under the influence of cannabinoids, legally prescribed, or not, the policy states.

The district will require employees using cannabinoid-based substances to arrange for transportation to and from their house to work, if they are suspected of being under the influence. The policy adds that the district has the right to randomly test for controlled substances for those who operate machinery or equipment as part of their job. As a result, any employee who tests above the federal cut-off level for THC must be reported as a positive drug test. The policy does not explicitly state what the cut-off level is.

The proposed policy does not further address use for teachers or administrative staff.

Any employee who violates the policy will be subject to disciplinary action, the policy states.

The full policy can be accessed online on the school board’s website.

The policy, titled “Employee Use of Marijuana,” is in its first draft and will be discussed at the board’s workshop Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.


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