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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City Attorney's statement on marijuana and City workplace rules

7/11/2014  3:30:00 PM
Kimberly Mills  (206) 684-8602

The City of Seattle is a “drug-free workplace” under federal law, and our personnel rules reflect these sound workplace policies. Not only are controlled substances (like marijuana) banned from city offices, City employees cannot possess them while on City business.

So what is the rule when “City business” includes successful drug policy reform – specifically, transition from prohibition to a fully legal, regulated and taxed marijuana supply system? I was elected to drive such reform, and to eradicate the illegal marijuana market. I intended my public purchase at Seattle’s first legal store to bolster the transition.

The workplace rule has not changed, however. When I brought the unopened marijuana to City offices – trying to keep up with a busy schedule -- I nonetheless violated the City’s rules. At the end of the business day, I took the marijuana home and left it there, still unopened, before I participated in the second Community Walk of the Mayor’s Summer of Safety.

I have discussed the violation with the City Personnel Department director, and I have volunteered to donate $3,000 to the Downtown Emergency Service Center. I apologize to my employees, all City employees and to the public.

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