As we approach June 26, the day Oklahoma decides whether to join the 29 others states who have legalized medical marijuana, opposition to State Question 788 is consolidating around three points of concern: How SQ 788 may impact the workplace, the role of physicians in recommending medical marijuana and what quantities of marijuana will be allowed.
With regard to the workplace, concern has been raised that SQ 788 somehow prevents employers from taking action against employees with medical marijuana cards. SQ 788 follows existing employment practices with regard to prescribed medications. Currently, employers generally allow their employees to use narcotic medications (opioids, benzodiazepines, etc.) as prescribed by physicians, and only take action against them if their use impacts job performance. Accordingly, while SQ 788 would allow for physician-recommended medical marijuana, the measure explicitly leaves it in the hands of employers were it to impact employee performance or the work environment: “Employers may take action against a holder of a medical marijuana license holder if the holder uses or possesses marijuana while in the holder’s place of employment or during the hours of employment.”
A second concern that has been raised pertains to how patients may qualify for medical use of marijuana. Opponents of SQ 788 often note that the measure does not list specific qualifying conditions. What it does, however, is require that recommendations adhere to “accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication.” By taking this approach, SQ 788 preserves the integrity of the physician-patient relationship. SQ 788 protects this relationship by preventing politicians from overriding the judgment of physicians. SQ 788 allows physicians to recommend use based upon the most current medical research and best practices.
In fact, SQ 788