Members of the Michigan Civil Service Commission are accepting comments from the public on proposed changes to the state’s drug testing regulations.

Officials have proposed amending regulations so that most public employees no longer have to undergo pre-employment testing for marijuana. Officials are also considering adopting a new rule permitting those who previously failed their test to be eligible to reapply for employment.

NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano provided written testimony to the Commission in favor of the proposed regulatory changes. “Policies that mandate would-be hires to undergo urine screens for past cannabis exposure are invasive, discriminatory, and ineffective,” he writes. “They neither identify workers who may be under the influence, nor do they contribute to a safe work environment.”

He adds: “If enacted, Michigan would not be alone in amending its drug testing regulations for public employees in this manner. Nevada and Washington have similarly adopted legislation limiting pre-employment cannabis testing for new hires, as have numerous municipalities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. Several other jurisdictions, including California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Montana, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island have expanded these policies to limit cannabis testing for both new hires and existing employees.”

Public comments will be accepted through June 23 and may be emailed to

The full text of NORML’s written testimony to the Commission is online. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace.’

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