The Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton, Oregon. Photo: wildhorseresort

Umatilla Tribes change marijuana use policy for casino employees

People who test positive for marijuana won't necessarily be barred from working at the casino owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon.

Marijuana remains illegal to use or possess on the reservation. And employees of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino cannot work while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

But testing positive for marijuana use won't automatically prohibit anyone from getting a job at the casino. The change in policy was reported by The Confederated Umatilla Journal, the tribal newspaper.

“Personally, I don’t see any difference between marijuana and alcohol,” Wildhorse CEO Gary George told the paper, The East Oregonian reported.

The change comes as Measure 91 goes into effect in July. The law allows residents of Oregon to grow limited amounts of marijuana on their property and to possess personal limited amounts of recreational marijuana.

The tribe, however, has no plans to legalize marijuana. A story on the front page of this month's issue of the Journal reminds readers that Measure 91 does not apply on the reservation.

Marijuana is also illegal under federal law. A new Department of Justice policy could open the door to tribes that want to legalize the drug.

With over 1,600 employees at the casino alone, the Umailla Tribes are the largest employer in the Pendleton area, the East Oregonian noted.

Get the Story:
Top employers take different approaches to drug tests (The East Oregonian 6/12)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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