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Employers Aren't Allowing Marijuana Use

Brandon Grysko, Esq.

Although the law allows individuals to use marijuana recreationally, employers are not afraid to enforce their rights under the marijuana law. For example, Lansing's largest employers won't allow marijuana use. Recall that the law allows an employer to enforce its workplace drug policies. For many employers, that means zero tolerance.

The State of Michigan, Michigan State University, General Motors, Sparrow Health, and McLaren Greater Lansing will all continue to enforce their current drug policies.

The marijuana law raises many questions. Employers wonder what it means to be "under the influence" of marijuana. Unfortunately, the law doesn't define what "under the influence" means. One study suggests that one joint can have an effect for up to five hours, so an employee that doesn't necessarily appear high may still be experiencing impaired judgment and reaction time.

That is where drug testing comes in. But that poses problems, too. Marijuana, unlike alcohol, can show up in the body weeks or months after consumption. If an employee tests positive for marijuana, there is no cost-effective method for telling how recently the drug was used or whether the employee was high at a particular time.

If you are an employer, this is your opportunity to review and revise your policies and employee handbooks. Contact our office for help navigating marijuana- and employment-related issues at (248) 380-0000 or online at 

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