Michigan got some help in clarifying some of the medical marijuana rules recently with a new law. It held that medical marijuana is legal within the state, but that this won’t interfere with any existing rules put in place by employers. Many employers have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol, and legal use of marijuana is no exception. The Employer Training Counsel in Traverse City held a conference to clear up any confusion addressing the policy.
An attorney spoke at the conference and explained that a recent ruling from a federal judge stated that users of medical marijuana do not have the right to break company policy. This came after a Wal-Mart employee in Michigan was fired for using medical marijuana. The court took the side of the business and ruled that the new state law will not interfere with their policy. While this is bad news for many medical marijuana users, it does offer some guidance for businesses and employees alike. It’s not quite the guidance Michigan residents were hoping for as the state legislature refuses to touch on the topic, but it does give some warning to medical marijuana users who are employed by companies with a zero tolerance rule.
One Small Step
There’s no doubt that the Michigan medical marijuana law will need to be addressed by the Michigan state legislature, but for now this is the latest breakthrough in the story. Unfortunately for many, this decision to leave existing policies alone will create a constant concern of being fired for legally using medicine to treat their condition. It’s a bit bewildering how someone could be fired for using prescribed medicine, but the confusion surrounding the issue has made this inevitable. There’s really no telling whether or not this law will continue to remain in place once the issue is addressed, but residents can be sure that there will be a lot to hash out when the time comes.
Experts believe that nothing will be done until at least next year’s budget and that the law will be defined on a case by case scenario. This is just one of the many areas that likely won’t be addressed until an official examination of the law is put into place. The newness of the law and the unwillingness for official addressing of it is likely going to keep existing policies in place. This is one of many laws likely to protect existing policies, but it is one small step in clearly defining the medical marijuana quandary.
This raises a large amount of questions of employment, how legal medical marijuana really is, and what’s next for the law. Many believe that the close future will not have a lot of decisions that benefit medical marijuana users, but at least there will be less of a haze surrounding the law. Hopefully once the law is addressed, the state will realize that most of the Michigan population still supports the bill, and the laws will give the people what they want.
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