Michigan Court: Patients Can Receive Unemployment Compensation if Fired Over Cannabis

In a groundbreaking decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Fridaymichigancourt that workers in the state who are authorized medical cannabis patients should receive unemployment compensation if they were fired solely because they tested positive for cannabis.

“It’s a very favorable decision for the civil rights of employees in Michigan,” says Matt Abel, an attorney in Detroit who operates as the execusitve director of Michigan NORML. “This decision is another acknowledgment that medical-marijuana users’ rights have been unfairly infringed.”

Abel continues; “[Patients can] still can be fired for medical-marijuana use — even off the job, which we think is wrong. But now, at least they can’t be barred from unemployment benefits for that reason alone”.

Friday’s decision affirmed lower court decisions that the state’s medical cannabis law preempts its unemployment law.

For the ruling, the Court of Appeals – which consists of a three-person panel – found that three state courts were right in reversing a decision by the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission to deny three workers their unemployment compensation after they were fired by their employers over a positive cannabis test. The Court ruled that a provision of Michigan’s medical cannabis act prohibits penalties for those who use cannabis legally for medical purposes.

The ruling sets immediate precedent across the state.


2 thoughts on “Michigan Court: Patients Can Receive Unemployment Compensation if Fired Over Cannabis”

  1. Its a shame that in this day and age government agencies think they are above the law. These rulings still don’t make a difference when unemployment still refuses to pay any benefits out. While dragging patients through the mud flirting with homelessness and utility shutoffs. Now that there’s rulings for the patient its time to bite that but hurt ass for they’re continuing ignorance of state law.

  2. Arizona should do this since it is already written in the law that employers shall not discriminate against medical marijuana use. The hospital I work at told all of the new hires in my orientation that if they had a positive urine test even if they are a medical marijuana cardholder they will be fired on the spot. Not sure how they can get away with this since it is written in the law but I’m readying myself for a battle when I do finally get randomly tested.


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