There are a couple of things more than a little wonky about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. First off, there’s that spelling. “Marihuana” like we’re in olden day Reefer Madness times when people thought the leading side effect of smoking weed was psychotic murder. There’s also its problematic acronym, MMMA, which probably frustrates meaty-handed, thick-fingered fans of MMA fighting whenever they try to Google their favorite sport. Last, but not least, there is the fact that has allowed for some discriminating bullshit from Michigan state regulators.
On Tuesday the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that employers have the right to terminate an employee for using medical marijuana, and can refuse to hire an applicant on the same grounds.
The matter was raised when Angela Eplee, a woman who was fired from her job at the Lansing Board of Water and Light, filed a lawsuit claiming that she was let go for testing positive in a drug test for cannabis, even though she is a cardholding medical marijuana patient.
A three-judge panel ruled that the MMMA “does not create affirmative rights” for patients, even though it offeres other protections from “arrest, prosecution, or penaltiy in any manner.”
The judges said that Eplee was not protected “because the harm she suffered was the loss of an employment opportunity in which she held absolutely no right or property interest,” according to the Detroit Metro Times.
This, in a word, really sucks for Michigan’s medical marijuana patients. Because it’s great to not have to worry about being arrested for a legally, doctor recommended medical treatment, but it would also be nice to be able to count on a paycheck too.
“The ramifications are that there is no job security for any medical marijuana user in Michigan,” Eplee’s attorney Brandon Gardner told The Growth Op.
“The decision obviously is disappointing for the public work force here in Michigan, particularly those who thought they had any type of protection under the Medical Marihuana Act,” he said.
Hopefully, someone can take to the courts to challenge the ruling. And also, while they’re at it, maybe sue to change that “h” to a “j.”
Photo via Flickr user Bryan Debus