Partner Julie Stahr was quoted on the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which legalized and regulated the production, sale, and consumption of cannabis in the state of Illinois.
Julie said that the Act has created ambiguity regarding employers’ ability to act based on drug screenings for job applicants in some cases.
“It really has left almost every Illinois employer in somewhat of a quandary about what they can and should be doing in terms of drug testing, and what they can and should be doing with a positive marijuana result,” Julie said.
She added that though a recent amendment to the Act attempted to clarify that employers may still discipline employees for failing a drug test in line with a reasonable drug testing policy, there can still be some gray area.
One problem is drug tests can detect whether someone has used marijuana but not when or whether the person is impaired.
Julie said, “The tension is if an employer decides to withdraw an offer of employment or terminate someone based solely on a positive marijuana test, without any additional signs of impairment, I think that leaves room for a question about whether they’re taking action based on someone’s lawful use of marijuana while they’re (off) duty.”
Julie also noted the Act’s requirement that employers have “reasonable” drug policies.
“What’s reasonable to you might be different than what’s reasonable to me,” she said.
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