Michigan: Medical Cannabis Patients Eligible For Unemployment Benefits

Michigan: Medical Cannabis Patients Eligible For Unemployment Benefits

Lansing, MI: State qualified medical cannabis patients are eligible to receive unemployment benefits, according to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Justices let stand a 2014 appeals court ruling determining that patients can receive compensation even in cases where their employer has fired them for failing a drug screen. As long as there is "no evidence to suggest that the positive drug tests were caused by anything other than claimants’ use of medical marijuana in accordance with the terms of the MMMA (Michigan Medical Marijuana Act), the denial of the benefits constitute[s] an improper penalty," the court opined.

Last year, the New Mexico Court of Appeals decided that a person’s use of medical cannabis constitutes "reasonable and necessary care" and that such care ought to be reimbursed by employers in instances where it is used to treat injuries sustained while working.

State Supreme Court rulings in California (Ross v. Ragingwire Telecom), Colorado (Coats v Dish Network), Oregon (Emerald Steel Fabricators v. Bureau of Labor and Industries), and Washington (Roe v. Teletech Customer Care Management LLC) have determined that state laws exempting marijuana consumers from criminal liability do not provide employees with civil protections in the workplace.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.