Michigan no longer requiring marijuana testing for state jobs

Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 11:22 PM EDT
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LANSING (WNDU) - People looking for a job with the state of Michigan will not have to get a drug test for marijuana before they’re hired.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Civil Service Commission did away with its long-standing rule. What was once an automatic disqualification for a state job is no longer the case.

“So what we did today is we made a move to treat recreational use marijuana just like alcohol,” said Jase Bolger, Michigan Civil Service Commission.

According to our sister station WILX, the commission cast a unanimous vote to get rid of reemployment marijuana drug testing for state jobs. It’s a change that makes sense to Commission Chair Jase Bolger.

“That’s why I drew the comparison of, if somebody overindulges in alcohol on Friday night, they shouldn’t do it. I don’t think that they should be getting high on Friday night, but Monday morning, when they come to work, they’re likely not under the influence of either, so we’re going to treat them the same,” Bolger explained.

The commission’s amendment also means those who were previously denied employment because of a failed test can reapply without any wait period.

Although he voted for the change, Commissioner Jeff Steffel says it brings up valid concerns about employee performance.

“I don’t care if someone uses marijuana; I don’t care about many of the social issues out there,” Steffel said. “Live and let live. I do care about performance of state government, and I would like us to continue testing for marijuana, because in three or four years, if we find there’s a problem, we can make changes.”

Pre-employment marijuana testing will still be necessary for some state jobs, including law enforcement, health care providers, and any employee operating heavy machinery.

The Michigan Association of Governmental Employees says it agrees with the regulations change and believes it will help recruit more state workers.