Distributive policy

Port Huron releases new marijuana use policy for city employees

The City of Port Huron will no longer consider marijuana use a disqualification for job applicants — or a policy violation for most employees outside of work hours — under an administrative order issued this week.

Since the state legalized recreational marijuana use in 2018, City Manager James Freed said his administration has generally not enforced any standards on the issue, citing a practice of “pledge to do not intrude on the privacy” of staff in a notice to employees. In Monday.

However, Freed later admitted that they had “never taken a formal position on this”.

“We also recognized that voters have spoken out, I think, two or three times at the polls here on the issue,” he said in an interview. “…The laws have changed. Voters in this state and this city have spoken, and we need to update our policies accordingly.

The official was referring to the 2008 and 2018 votes on medical and recreational marijuana, as well as broad voter support in a 2014 municipal vote to decriminalize pot possession.

In the notice, which was also sent to the mayor and city council, Freed wrote that the ordinance did not apply to city police officers and those who were required to maintain a commercial driver’s license as part of their work.

He also said the use, distribution or possession of marijuana is still against policy for any employee on duty.

“In other words, we plan to treat marijuana the same as alcohol,” he wrote. “Just like you shouldn’t drink alcohol before coming to work, you shouldn’t use marijuana before coming to work.”

Under the order, an employee may be subject to disciplinary action if a supervisor suspects they are under the influence of the clock – whether due to abnormal or erratic behavior, direct observation of use, physical symptoms such as bloodshot eyes and poor reflexes, or other information.

These employees would be subject to drug testing, and those who test positive or refuse the test would face further disciplinary action.

Freed did not provide any other reasons for extending the newly formalized standard to job applicants. But when asked if he thought the decision would increase applications for municipal positions, he said: “I know it will.”

“We have vacancies in all areas,” he said, “whether temporary (or) seasonal.”

Contact Jackie Smith at (810) 989-6270 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.