So…Can I Bring My Bong to Work Now?

The post below was originally written for the internal blog of my employer. The advice and guidance provided is meant to be specific to Michigan and to the organization. However, many employers have similar policies and can adopt similar positions as we continue to see legalization efforts spread around the country. Michigan is the 10th state in the country to make recreational marijuana legal.

The short answer is: NO!

While today, December 6, 2018, does bring a significant change to drug laws here in Michigan, this does not make it ok to have, use, or otherwise be under the influence while working. While legal in Michigan for those over 21, marijuana remains an illegal controlled substance under Federal Law and as a recipient of Federal funding, we are subject to the Federal laws dictating a Drug Free Workplace.

The newly enacted state law says, in part,

Isn’t it OUR time, Mr. Hand?!?

“This act does not require an employer to permit or accommodate conduct otherwise allowed by this act in any workplace or on the employer’s property. This act does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for violation of a workplace drug policy or for working while under the influence of marihuana. This act does not prevent an employer from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of that person’s violation of a workplace drug policy or because that person was working while under the influence of marihuana.”

The District has several Board policies that deal directly with this issue. One clear example is Policy 3122.01:

“The Board of Education believes that quality education is not possible in an environment affected by drugs. It will seek, therefore, to establish and maintain an educational setting which is not tainted by the use or evidence of use of any controlled substance.

Employees are prohibited from reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

The Board shall not permit the manufacture, possession, use, distribution, or dispensing of any controlled substance, alcohol, and any drug paraphernalia, by any member of the District’s professional staff at any time while on District property or while involved in any District-related activity or event. Any staff member who violates this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with District guidelines and the terms of collective bargaining agreements.”

So the bottom line, nothing has changed when it comes to the workplace and marijuana.


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