Using pot doesn’t disqualify unemployment eligibility, Michigan Attorney General says

click to enlarge What you do on your own time is your own damn business. - SHUTTERSTOCK
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What you do on your own time is your own damn business.

A person should still be allowed to collect unemployment benefits even if they were fired for using cannabis while off the clock, Attorney General Dana Nessel argued in an amicus brief filed Monday.

“The People reserved for themselves the personal freedom to consume and cultivate marijuana, and the State cannot deprive an individual of unemployment benefits for simply engaging in this legal activity,” Nessel writes. “Employers still generally retain their ability to hire and fire at will, but Michigan employees need not question whether their legal, off-duty conduct will leave them without unemployment benefits should an employer exercise that ability. Arguments to the contrary hinge on outmoded understandings of marijuana that the People of Michigan have rejected, once and for all.”

In other words, no more Reefer Madness.

“The people spoke loud and clear when they voted in 2018 to legalize marijuana once and for all,” Nessel said. “Nobody over 21 can be penalized or denied any right or privilege solely for legally using marijuana, and employers cannot control their employees’ private lives by calling the legal use of marijuana outside of work hours ‘misconduct.’”

You can read the full amicus brief online.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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