Employers Can Still Prohibit Use of Marijuana by Employees

Marijuana will officially become legal in Michigan on Thursday, but that does not require businesses to change their drug-free policies.

Trion Solutions manages Human Resources administration for about 150 businesses in Michigan. The company is advising employers to clarify their drug tolerance policies.

Jim Baiers is the Chief Legal Officer for the company. He says most company drug policies currently require employees pass an illegal substances test.

And now we’re concerned that employees may say wait a minute, recreational marijuana is now legal in Michigan, so, therefore, it is not an illegal drug,” Baiers says. “So, we want people to spell out in more detail what they mean to test positive for certain drugs.”

Baiers says because marijuana is still a federally illegal substance,  some businesses are required to maintain a drug-free zone, such as those in transportation or recipients of federal contracts or grants.

He says the new law does NOT require employers to make exceptions for medical marijuana use. 

Image credit: Brett Levin, flickr.

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Bre'Anna Tinsley

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Frequently covers local government and community beats

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