Illinois Employers Prohibited From Discriminating Against Registered Medical Marijuana Users

LAURA A. BALSON

Partner

MARGARET A. GISCH

Partner


Illinois Employers Prohibited From Discriminating Against Registered Medical Marijuana Users

On January 1, 2014, the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, 410 ILCS 130/1, et seq., (the “Act”) became effective, allowing registered marijuana users to purchase marijuana from a registered, licensed dispensary. The Act specifically prohibits employers from discriminating against registered users and caregivers solely on the basis of their status as a registered user or caregiver unless discrimination is necessary to comply with federal law or the employer will lose federal funding.

The Act allows employers to adopt reasonable regulations on the consumption and storage of marijuana. For example, employers may discipline registered users who appear to be impaired or in possession of marijuana during work. Employers should review their current employment policies, including drug testing, zero-tolerance and a drug-free workplace with their attorneys to ensure they are complying with the Act.