Memorandum: Washington State Marijuana Law Initiative 502

Last month, voters in the State of Washington approved Washington Initiative 502, which will license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over 21. The new law, while decriminalizing recreational marijuana use under Washington State law, has raised questions about marijuana and the workplace. The purpose of this memo is to remind employees that — regardless of whether you live in Idaho or Washington — WI-502 does not supersede the policies of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe depends upon federal funding for a large portion of its government operations funding. The Drug Free Workplace Act applies to all major recipients of federal funding, including the Coeru d’Alene Tribe. It requires covered employers to prohibit the use of drugs, including marijuana specifically, on its premises and by its employees. Employers who fail to abide by these provisions will lose eligibility for federal funding, which would compromise a substantial portion of the Coeur d’Alnee Tibal Government budget.

The Tribe’s employees handbook specifically prohibits the use of marijuana by employees as well as possession of the substance on Tribal property. In addition, possession of marijuana is a crime under Coeur d’Alene Tribal Code Chapter 16-6.01 as well as Idaho Code 37-2732.

If you have questions about the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s substance abuse policy, please refer to the Coeur d”Alene Tribe employee handbook or ask your supervisor.