Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by a vote of 56% to 44%. What does that mean for Michigan employers? The preliminary data from ASE’s Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey provides insight into employers’ first thoughts on where their policies and practices currently stand and what changes, if any, they are considering.
183 organizations from across Michigan have participated in ASE’s Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey. 66% of these organizations are located in the metro Detroit region. 90% of the organizations that responded have 1-500 employees, and nearly 66% of the respondents are classified as manufacturers.
68% of employers have confidence that their organizations’ policies will be able to successfully address their employees’ marijuana usage. Additional insights include:
- 15% of employers will likely change their policies, while 51% of employers will not.
- Of those contemplating change, 42% will remove marijuana testing from their policies altogether, and 31% will ignore any positive marijuana results.
- Similar to the stance taken with drug testing policies, half of surveyed employers will not consider making changes to their workplace drug or substance abuse polices/practices. 36% remain unsure, and only 14% will consider making a change.
Although the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act has triggered much interest amongst businesses in Michigan, employers feel confident that their current policies and practices are equipped to handle this new law. ASE recommends that employers treat marijuana similar to how they treat the use of alcohol amongst employees. Any substance abuse policies should refer to working while under the influence of marijuana, since it will now be a legal substance similar to alcohol. We don’t advise employers to alter their current polices at this time.
Some additional points to consider:
- Workers’ Compensation – Employers will have to consider the impact that their drug testing policies may have on Workers’ Compensation premiums. The removal of marijuana testing could lead to hesitation from the carrier to provide the best rates. This will most certainly lead to higher premiums.
- Medical Review Officer – When conducting a drug test, results should be certified by a Medical Review Officer who will analyze and validate the results.
- Safety Sensitive Positions – If an employee is hired into a safety sensitive position, it would be beneficial to continue drug testing, including marijuana.
Additional ASE Resources
ASE Drug Screening - As part of our Pre-Employment Services, ASE offers drug screening. For more information contact Susan Chance.
ASE Handbook Development- If you would like your current drug testing policy reviewed, revised, or a new policy created ASE can help. Contact Mike Burns.