Marijuana may be legal in Michigan, but it can still get you fired from your job

Employers can still screen for marijuana use

Marijuana in a jar (Pexels)
Marijuana in a jar (Pexels)

DETROIT – You can still get fired from your job in Michigan for using marijuana.

It's written right there in the new state law. There is a section of the "Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act" that explains employers are still allowed to screen employees for marijuana use. They can also continue to screen prospective employees for use of marijuana. 

Here's the language:

"This act does not require an employer to permit or accommodate conduct otherwise allowed by this act in any workplace or on the employer's property. This act does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for violation of a workplace drug policy or for working while under the influence of marihuana. 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 or because that person was working while under the influence of marihuana."

You can't work while under the influence, of course. But as the law indicates, a "person's violation of a workplace drug policy" remains legal for employees. The catch is you don't have to be "under the influence" of marijuana to fail a drug test. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) -- the psychoactive compound in marijuana (the chemical that gets you high) -- can be in your system for weeks after using marijuana. 

By the way, as previously explained in ClickOnDetroit's "Growing marijuana in Michigan: Here's what to know about the law" article, Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) offers the following explanation for why you will may the department refer to marijuana as "marihuana," substituting the "j" for an "h":

The spelling of marijuana has a long history in the United States. Michigan’s history primarily starts from the spelling that was chosen for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Michigan adopted its statutory definition of marijuana in the Public Health Code, utilizing the then current federal spelling, marihuana.

As governing state laws spell marihuana with an “h,” BMR legal communication and references to statutes in relation to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act or the Michigan Medical Facilities Licensing Act or the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act – and the corresponding administrative rules will use an “h” in the spelling of Marihuana. In non-formal communication, “j” will generally be used.

An act of the Michigan Legislature would be required in order to change the spelling of marijuana in the Michigan statutes, such as the Public Health Code or the newer marijuana laws.

For more coverage of marijuana in Michigan, go here

More: Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Michigan: Here's what it means

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