2014 WL 5393501, October 23, 2014, Per Curium

In this case three different MMMA patients tested positive for marijuana and were fired the question was were they entitled to unemployment benefits. The Michigan Employment Security Act (MESA) states that if an employee tests positive for a controlled substance then that person is disqualified for unemployment benefits. The court ruled that the denial of unemployment benefits constituted a “penalty” under the MMMA for their medical use of marijuana. The MMMA preempts the MESA. This ruling does not prevent an employer from terminating an employee for testing positive. The employer is not a state actor. Instead it prevents a governmental entity from penalizing a patient to their medical use of marijuana which is protected under the Act. If the employers effectively challenged the medical use of marijuana it would have been a different outcome.