Michigan's medical marijuana patients operate in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't world when it comes to employment. You and your doctor decide cannabis is the right medicine for you, but you have to hide it from your boss or cleverly avoid random drug screenings. You live in constant fear of a workplace accident that might result in a trip to a medical facility and a blood test. False positives are common, and you could lose your job even if you are not under the influence or impaired in any way while on the clock.
One House Representative has introduced a bill to resolve those issues for patients registered in the state's medical marijuana program.
HB 5161 is sponsored by Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) and cosponsored by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor). It would prohibit termination of employment under certain circumstances.
The bill was introduced on December 15, 2015 and its in the Committee on Commerce and Trade.
The bill seeks to amend the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), an Initiated Law, which requires a three-quarters majority vote of both the House and Senate.
The bill proposes to insert this language into the Act in Section 4(a):
SUBJECT TO SECTION 11 7(C)(2), AN EMPLOYER SHALL NOT TERMINATE OR TAKE ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE FOR MEDICAL USE OF MARIHUANA THAT IS IN ACCORD WITH THIS ACT IF THE USE IS NOT INCOMPATIBLE WITH AND DOES NOT HINDER JOB PERFORMANCE AND THE EMPLOYEE PRODUCES HIS OR HER REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD FOR THE EMPLOYER'S INSPECTION. AN EMPLOYER SHALL NOT DO EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING:
(1) ASK WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE HAS A REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE IS SUBJECT TO TERMINATION OR ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION FOR A SPECIFIC INCIDENT INVOLVING MARIHUANA AND PRODUCTION OF THE CARD WOULD PRECLUDE THE TERMINATION OR ACTION.
(2) TERMINATE OR TAKE ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE AFTER FAILURE TO PRODUCE A REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE IS SUBJECT TO TERMINATION OR ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION FOR A SPECIFIC INCIDENT INVOLVING MARIHUANA AND PRODUCTION OF THE CARD WOULD PRECLUDE THE TERMINATION OR ACTION.
Rep. Singh, in an interview with Crain's Detroit Business, said, "You'd have to have some very strong compelling reason as an employer to suggest that somebody's medical marijuana use on their off time is impacting their performance that would cause a detriment to your company.
"The onus really is back onto the employer to make the case for this --- versus the other way around --- which is automatically being able to assume it is adversely affecting the individual."
Source: The Compassion Chronicles