The use of marijuana in the state of Michigan is legal if an individual has a medical condition and a medical marijuana card. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML (1), individuals who have a qualifying condition can possess up to 2 and 1/2 ounces of marijuana.

Even though it is legal in the state, several laws are changing to keep up with the concerns and issues that arise in relation to the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In a recent court of appeals case, it has been determined that individuals who use marijuana for medical purposes can qualify for unemployment benefits if they are fired from a job.

Reasons for Loss of Work

In the state of Michigan, a recent court of appeals case made a decision about the use of medical marijuana and the penalties that may occur after an individual is fired. According to Inquisitr.com (2), the court ruled that employers can have any drug policy, but the loss of work for using marijuana for medical reasons will not result in the loss of unemployment benefits.

Employers can legally set standards for safety reasons, but that does not mean that individuals who use medical marijuana will be subject to harsh penalties. Instead, the court ruled that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act supersedes the state’s Employment Security Act, says Inquisitr.com (2).

As a result, individuals who are fired for using medical marijuana or who have been fired for other reasons and use marijuana for medical reasons will be able to claim unemployment benefits.

Employers and Drug Free Policies

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Denali Medical Marijuana

Michigan Radio (3) reports that 49.5 percent of federal drug charges are related to the sale, distribution or growth of marijuana. Even though the substance is legal for certain medical conditions in the state, it does lead to concerns about the safety of customers and other employees when an individual is using the substance for pain or other conditions.

Inquisitr.com (2) states that employers are legally allowed to make drug free policies that do not allow the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.

Since there are jobs and positions that can be dangerous if an individual is under the influence of any drug, including prescriptions and medical marijuana, an employer can develop a drug free policy and is legally able to fire an employee for breaking those rules.

Positive Changes

Although an employer is able to fire an employee for using medical marijuana before work, the recent court of appeals case is showing a positive change for the state. Marijuana that is used for medical conditions and medical reasons can raise concerns about the possibility of facing unfair situations.

Fortunately, the new ruling has determined that an individual will not be punished by the state if he or she loses a job and is using marijuana for a medical condition that qualifies for a medical marijuana card.

The laws in Michigan are changing to reflect the interests and concerns of the state residents. Although marijuana is a legal substance, it can be a concern when individuals are worried about their job. Fortunately, the changes that are occurring can help protect residents who are concerned about the possibility of losing a job and now the court has clarified the laws when it relates to unemployment.


Sources:

  1. http://norml.org/legal/item/michigan-medical-marijuana
  2. http://www.inquisitr.com/1562172/michigan-appeals-court-rules-that-medical-marijuana-law-trumps-unemployment-law/
  3. http://michiganradio.org/term/michigan-medical-marijuana-act
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Denali Medical Marijuana

Denali Heathcare: Michigan: MMMA Card, Medical Marijuana Card, Section 8 Defense Denali Healthcare offers evaluations for Michigan Medical Marijuana Cards under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws. Call 989-339-4464 for details.