Recreational marijuana is officially legal in Michigan

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Starting today, recreational marijuana is officially legal in Michigan.

It is the first state in the Midwest to legalize the drug.

People 21 and older can possess and grow their own marijuana.

You can have up to 12 plants inside your home and have a total of 10 ounces. But you can't legally buy it at this time. It will likely be another year before the state begins licensing businesses that can legally sell recreational marijuana.

So what will legal marijuana mean for the workplace?

Employers WSBT 22 spoke to told us from their standpoint, not much will change for their employees.

Businesses in downtown St. Joseph say drug-free polices in place for their staff will remain intact.

Many store owners and managers say if an employee shows up for work under the influence, they will be sent home or fired.

Whirlpool Corporation sent us this statement:

“[Our] drug and alcohol policy remains in effect and employees will remain subject to disciplinary action for marijuana use as permitted under the law.”

Here’s what Spectrum Health Lakeland says:

“No team member shall manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess or use any prohibited substance while in the workplace...Team members are also prohibited from working, or reporting to work, under the influence of a prohibited substance which inhibits the employee’s ability to competently or safely perform his/her job."

Lakeland Health and Whirlpool will both continue to require pre-employment drug tests.

Local colleges and universities also are also explaining new expectations for employees and students.

Andrews University shared this statement:

“Because [the] University is federally funded, the University must follow federal legislation. As of right now, marijuana is considered an illegal substance with the federal government.”

Lake Michigan College policy is as follows:

“The use, distribution or possession of marijuana by students, employees, or any person on College property or at College events is prohibited...As a recipient of federal funds, LMC takes measures to combat the use of illegal drugs and alcohol on College property. Violating LMC policies may be grounds for discipline, including dismissal.”

And at Southwestern Michigan College:

“..policies prohibit marijuana in all its forms on Southwestern Michigan College property and at SMC sponsored events or business-related activity. Employees and students who violate college policy prohibiting the use or possession of illegal drugs will continue to be subject to legal and disciplinary action.”

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