Jobless pay OK for Michiganders fired for medical pot

Oct 25, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan appeals court says workers can qualify for unemployment pay if they're fired for using medical marijuana.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

  In a 3-0 decision Friday, the court ruled in favor of a hi-lo operator, a hospital employee and a furniture repairman. The court says there was no evidence that they used marijuana at work or that they had worked while under the influence of pot.

  Rick Braska, Jenine Kemp and Stephen Kudzia were fired after drug tests. All had medical marijuana cards. The use of marijuana to alleviate certain ailments was approved by voters.

  The attorney general's office claims the law protects people from criminal prosecutions, not from adverse rulings in civil disputes such as jobless pay.

  But the appeals court disagreed, saying the 2008 marijuana law can trump other laws.