Board of Review decision holding that "mere presence of marijuana in the system may not form the basis for denying unemployment benefits," The marijuana decriminalization statute, G.L. c. 94C, section 32L, expressly states that possession of one ounce or less of marijuana shall not provide a basis to deny...unemployment benefits. The Board decision holds that more than a positive marijuana test is required for a claimant to be determined ineligible for UI.
Advocate: Wendy Kane, CLA-MA
G.L. c. 94C, Section 32L: Except as specifically provided in “An Act Establishing A Sensible State Marihuana Policy,” neither the Commonwealth nor any of its political subdivisions or their respective agencies, authorities or instrumentalities may impose any form of penalty, sanction or disqualification on an offender for possessing an ounce or less of marihuana. By way of illustration rather than limitation, possession of one ounce or less of marihuana shall not provide a basis to deny an offender student financial aid, public housing or any form of public financial assistance including unemployment benefits, to deny the right to operate a motor vehicle or to disqualify an offender from serving as a foster parent or adoptive parent. Information concerning the offense of possession of one ounce or less of marihuana shall not be deemed “criminal offender record information,” “evaluative information,” or “intelligence information” as those terms are defined in Section 167 of Chapter 6 of the General Laws and shall not be recorded in the Criminal Offender Record Information system.
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