fired marijuana job
Medical Marijuana Policy

Fired Medical Marijuana Users Eligible For Unemployment

fired marijuana jobOne of my biggest fears is getting fired for marijuana. My family survives off of my one cubicle worker income right now, and losing my job would be devastating. Sadly, this happens to medical marijuana patients all to often. It’s legal for them to consume medical marijuana off the clock, but if they fail a drug test on the job, they lose their job even though the medical marijuana consumption occurred on their own time. It’s incredibly unfair, but very common. Somewhat fortunately for medical marijuana patients in Michigan, they are eligible for unemployment benefits if they are fired for medical marijuana. Per Detroit Free Press:

In a breakthrough decision for those who say marijuana is medicine and not a dangerous drug, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday that workers who are state-approved users of medical marijuana should get unemployment compensation if fired solely for testing positive for drugs.

“It’s a very favorable decision for the civil rights of employees in Michigan,” said Matt Abel, a Detroit lawyer and senior partner of Cannabis Counsel, a law firm that focuses on marijuana cases.

Medical marijuana should be treated like any other prescription. No one gets fired for failing drug tests for prescription drugs that a doctor prescribes to them, and medical marijuana should be no different. I wish there were rulings like this in every medical marijuana state.

  • Jeff

    They need to test for intoxication. But unfortunately they are instead testing for whether or not you have consumed marijuana sometime within the previous two months. I’m surprised some judge hasn’t set some new precedence on this yet.

    As long as I need to work for a living, I won’t/can’t risk consuming, possessing or purchasing while it’s illegal here in Florida. It’s a shame that the biggest risk with marijuana is that it’s illegal. I sure hope amendment 2 passes one week from today to help lessen the legality problems.

    • Skip Munk

      Jeff: I am trying to pull something together to bring just such a case before the courts. We need a person, or class of people, who have been terminated or not hired for a job due to a positive result for marijuana. I invite anyone interested to go to https://www.facebook.com/ReformEmploymentDrugScreening. I just started this page yesterday, and it will take time and patience to see this through. But I believe the time has come to get this ball rolling.

      • Jeff

        Best of luck on that. Once marijuana is fully legal (fed & state) they will have to have this resolved anyway. The reason they can get away with it now is because the general reaction is “they were doing something illegal”. So that’s still a hurdle here in Florida unless amendment 2 passes – except for the fed part. Are you from a state where it’s legal? If so, I’m wondering if the fed illegality will/can impede your efforts. I look forward to when liquor stores also sell marijuana.

  • Sarijuana

    This is a biggie. All companies with employees are required to “pay into” the unemployment coffers, and when they lay off or fire a worker without cause, they pay much more dearly. Now that this “cause” has been removed in Michigan, perhaps more employers will think twice about firing people for testing positive for marijuana. I am surprised that it has gone on so far.

  • mike1188

    Finally my home state did some good. This is the only way it should be. Drug test have always been unfair. Over the years I have worked with marijuana users and alcoholics that I now for a fact that they never started a day at work with out taking a drink. That always past a drug test and marijuana users get fired.

  • ted mishler

    its a start, but seems that more need be done
    discrimination is wrong, so as long as a person does their job, and is fired from cannabis only, it seems that the person doing the discrimination should pay a penalty of some sort for firing the person, that way people would be less likely to display such mean discriminatory behavior

  • marcine cohen

    What a surprise, trucking industry attorneys have, coming their way! Most hilarious news of the year, IMO. Yet, applicants will have to abstain, before the pre-UC-drugtest!! Hilarious, it’ll become a social/workforce MOVEMENT!

  • Cyndysub

    This will make business rethink their stance on their workers because they pay a big portion of the unemployment benefits. HaHaHa!

  • Hoooooo-Ey!

    Oh yeah! Smoking and unemployment. I’ve heard they go great together. Now, anyone got a sandwich with some White American Baby meat? That’s some costly lunch meat.

  • Denny

    The feds could fix this problem immediately by simply rescheduling it. This would allow doctors to write actual prescriptions rather than “recommendations” for use.
    Until the law is changed nationwide, companies are within their rights to implement drug testing. Employees working for these companies are aware of this requirement as well and most likely signed a consent form. So coming to work with weed in their system and knowing there’s a chance their name will be drawn for a random drug test is a personal decision of defiance that’s comparable to rolling the dice on a crap table in Vegas.

  • Sergio McGeez

    Millions of Americans are medicating themselves illegally with cannabis because it makes the world a little bit “kinder”. Perhaps those who don’t light up should lighten up and take some wise advice, judge not lest ye be judged. Thanks!

    http://www.pathconsulting.net/