Implications for Employers following Passage of Proposal 1, Permitting Recreational Marijuana Use

On November 6, 2018, Michigan voters passed Proposal 1, known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (“the Act”), legalizing marijuana for adult recreation use.

While much of the Act addresses the decriminalization of marijuana, certain provisions expressly address the rights of employers. Specifically, employers are not required to permit or accommodate an employee’s marijuana use, nor are employees permitted to come to work under the influence of marijuana. The Act expressly allows employers to discipline an employee for violating a workplace drug policy or for working while under the influence of marijuana. Employers are also not prohibited from refusing to hire an applicant, as well as discharging or disciplining an employee, because he or she violated the employer’s workplace drug policy or because he or she was working while under the influence of marijuana.

Although the Act offers protections against criminal prosecution to recreational marijuana users, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Further, nothing in the Act limits an employer’s ability to enact or enforce policies prohibiting employees from using marijuana or illegal drugs. Michigan employers remain free to take employment action against employees who violate their zero tolerance drug policies.

Should you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please feel free to contact our office.

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