Today Michigan courts ruled in a 3-0 decision that the use of medical marijuana does not disqualify residents from unemployment benefits. Detroit lawyer and senior partner of Cannabis Counsel Matt Abel told the The Detroit Free Press that the decision effects multiple cases in which employees were wrongfully terminated for the use of medical marijuana.
“This decision is another acknowledgment that medical-marijuana users’ rights have been unfairly infringed.” -Matt Abel
Although the ruling still allows for employers to terminate employees for the use of medical marijuana, but they will not be barred from unemployment after termination. Michigan’s medical marijuana act passed back in 2008 with a provision that prohibits penalties for those who use medical marijuana legally. The right for employers to terminate is still in tact, but this provision disallows government from a similar course of action.
Although it’s not a total victory for Michigan residents, it does set an important precedent for the right to use medical marijuana. A similar storm is brewing in the Colorado Supreme court where Brandon Coats battling Dish Network over a wrongful termination back in 2010. As medical marijuana becomes increasingly accepted as medicine, there are 23 states who will be looking for the right answer for both employers and patients.
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