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Voter Initiatives Decriminalizing Marihuana Raise Workplace Concerns

A Workplace Law Client Alert

By: Bodman's Workplace Law Practice Group

11/28/12

Voters in Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids recently approved ballot proposals decriminalizing the use or possession of small amounts of marihuana. In Ypsilanti, voters made the local enforcement of marihuana possession offenses the city’s lowest law enforcement priority. Employers located in these cities have asked about the effect of these initiatives on enforcement of work rules prohibiting substance abuse.

Passage of these marihuana initiatives does not supersede federal or state laws. Use and possession of marihuana continues to be a violation of federal law and state law (except for limited permitted use and possession under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act). Neither the marihuana initiatives nor the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act protect employees who are in violation of employer policies prohibiting use of controlled substances in the workplace and/or for reporting to work while under the influence of controlled substances. Employees using, or under the influence of, marihuana are subject to discipline or discharge for violation of workplace rules.

Employers with questions should contact a member of Bodman’s Workplace Law Group.

Bodman PLC Workplace Law Group