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The debate of whether or not employees should be terminated if testing positive for THC with a medical marijuana card continues to rage on. Whereas there is support for accommodation of medical users of marijuana in the workplace, the reasons for the termination of such employees are overwhelming and surpass arguments advanced against termination of employees with medical marijuana card. My presentation will side with the proponent side of this debate. Therefore, I will argue in favor of termination of employees that test positive for THC with a medical marijuana card.
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) considers the interest and welfare of individuals using marijuana under medical provisions and consequently cushioning such employees against victimization through issuing of the marijuana use registry card (Cadrain, 2010). However, this Act not withstanding, the Employment Policies still overrides. Therefore, employees who test positive for marijuana violate the employment policy and therefore should be terminated. There is therefore no protection for employees that use medical marijuana (Cadrain, 2010). The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act that is cited by the opponents of this debate does not require of any employer to accommodate any employee in the workplace working under marijuana influence.
Why Employees Testing Positive for THC with Medical Card should be terminated
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) does not protect employees from termination from private employment. This Act is only relevant to the protection of employees from prosecution in certain circumstances but does not in any way provide regulation of private employment or protection of employees who fail the marijuana test even if such employees have medical marijuana card. The Wal-Mart’s policy stipulates that employees testing positive for marijuana can be terminated by the employer (Cadrain, 2010).
Employees who fail the marijuana test should be terminated by their employers irrespective of their possession of the marijuana medical card especially considering the nature and safety concerns at the workplace (Dubault, 2011). Employers who are subjected to the federal laws that demand a drug-free work place are obligated under these laws to comply. This implies that in cases where the employer has very strict drug-free work place policies, there is no room for the accommodation of employees using marijuana under medical provisions and terms (Zand, 2010).
Certain positions in the workplace are very sensitive. Employees working in such positions must thus not be allowed under any circumstance to use drugs such as marijuana because of the risks that may be involved and the implications of such drug consumption on performance. Besides, the Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MUMA) does not grant employment rights for medical users of marijuana (Dubault, 2011). Therefore, even mere ingestion or smoking of the drug should lead to termination.
The federal Drug Free Workplace Act, the federal/state law, safety at workplace, employee and organization productivity, health and occupational truancy and liability all support promotion of a drug-free workplace (Dubault, 2011). Under the provisions of these legislations, the employer is legally justified to terminate any employee who uses marijuana, medical reasons for use notwithstanding. The prohibitions of marijuana consumption thus empower the employer through its human resource management department and function to dismiss or terminate any employee under marijuana use (Zand, 2010). This is to promote productivity and safety of the individual employee and the organization at large.
In conclusion, the arguments by the opponents of this debate are merely based on the provisions that protect employees against statutory prosecutions and not on private employment. The employer is not legally obliged to accommodate any employees who test positive for marijuana whether for medical purposes or otherwise. Therefore, employees who use marijuana in the workplace should be terminated. This will promote safety, productivity and performance of the employee and the organization