Michigan Eases Cannabis Screening for State Jobs

September 8th, 2023 Legislation & Policy Updates
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Michigan has updated its employment policies concerning cannabis use. Now, most state job applicants will not undergo cannabis screening tests, aligning the state's stance on cannabis with that of alcohol.

The Michigan Civil Service Commission unanimously endorsed these modifications, which have since been implemented. Before this, a positive cannabis test would exclude applicants from state jobs for a minimum of three years. Such individuals can now apply without delay.

Commission Chair Jose Bolger clarified after the vote, "While cannabis won't be screened during the hiring process, it's imperative that employees remain sober from both alcohol and marijuana during working hours. Tests may ensue if an employee is suspected to be under the influence."

Still, some state roles – those involving driving, law enforcement, or healthcare services – necessitate cannabis screening. Hence, state jobs are now classified as either test-designated or non-designated.

Paul Armentano, NORML's deputy director, who submitted written testimony to the commission, lauded this adjustment. "Urine tests for detecting past cannabis use are invasive, discriminatory, and don't ensure a safer workplace. Such tests don't pinpoint those currently under the influence," he remarked.

Michigan joins a growing list of U.S. jurisdictions enhancing workplace safeguards for cannabis users. Nevada and Washington, along with cities like Atlanta, Baltimore, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, have curbed pre-employment cannabis testing. Meanwhile, California, Connecticut, Washington DC, Montana, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island have limited marijuana testing for both current and prospective employees.

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