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Let’s Be Blunt – Legalization of Marijuana in Michigan

On November 6th, 2018, Michigan residents voted for the legalization of recreational marijuana use. This act allows adults 21 years and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants in their home for recreational use. Since this law passed, WSI has had quite a few questions about what that means for job searchers and employees. To clear the haze of confusion, we’ve answered your questions below.

Can employers still require me to pass a drug screen?

Short answer: Yes. The long answer is that the The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (or MRTMA) does not override an employer’s right to maintain a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. The law itself can leave many people dazed and confused, but here it clearly states, “This act does not prevent an employer from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of that person’s violation of a workplace drug policy….”

Why am I required to pass a drug screen?

Because a majority of WSI’s employment opportunities are in manufacturing, implementing a zero tolerance policy helps maintain a safe work environment by reducing the risk of work related accidents. It’s best practice to eliminate the risk altogether, as WSI’s biggest concern is the safety of associates.

What if I have a medical marijuana card?

The MRTMA does not create a protected class for users of medical marijuana. Once again, because of the nature of our employment opportunities, it all comes down to safety. WSI HR Specialist and Payroll Manager, Tracie Petrick, explains, “Medical marijuana is legal for those possessing a card. That still does not mean we allow a person to test positive for it. WSI’s policy – and the policy of many of our clients – is that you cannot test positive for marijuana.”

As the law ages, there may be revisions and WSI will always keep you up to date on any changes.

Still have questions? Your WSI recruiter is always available to talk it through. Or, read more about the MRTMA here: https://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(b0sdmv2tlfocwvrbk4yh1tnf))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-333-27954

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