Michigan Appeals Court Rules Medical Pot Users Can Get Unemployment

In a breakthrough decision for those who say marijuana is medicine and not a dangerous drug, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday that workers who are state-approved users of medical marijuana should get unemployment compensation if fired solely for testing positive for drugs.

“It’s a very favorable decision for the civil rights of employees in Michigan,” said Matt Abel, a Detroit lawyer and senior partner of Cannabis Counsel, a law firm that focuses on marijuana cases.

But Rich Studley, president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said the ruling — and the use of medical marijuana in general — present “a real dilemma” for employers.

“There’s a serious question of workplace safety when people may use medical marijuana before they come to work” and then operate machinery or do other tasks that could endanger others, Studley said.

He said he hoped the ruling would be appealed. The Chamber of Commerce filed an amicus brief in the case in opposition to allowing jobless benefits to medical-pot users.

– Read the entire article at Detroit Free Press.