LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed an amicus brief on Monday, arguing that a person who is fired for marijuana use outside of their workspace should still be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Nessel filed the brief before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission addressing three cases. State officials said each case deals with whether an employee should be disqualified from collecting unemployment if they are fired solely for using marijuana during their personal time and not used on the job or employers’ premises during work hours.
“The people reserved for themselves the personal freedom to consume and cultivate marijuana, and the state cannot deprive an individual of unemployment benefits for simply engaging in this legal activity,” according to the brief by Nessel. “Employers still generally retain their ability to hire and fire at will, but Michigan employees need not question whether their legal, off-duty conduct will leave them without unemployment benefits should an employer exercise that ability. Arguments to the contrary hinge on outmoded understandings of marijuana that the People of Michigan have rejected, once and for all.”
“The people spoke loud and clear when they voted in 2018 to legalize marijuana once and for all,” Nessel said. “Nobody over 21 can be penalized or denied any right or privilege solely for legally using marijuana, and employers cannot control their employees’ private lives by calling the legal use of marijuana outside of work hours ‘misconduct’.”
Read the full brief below.