Workplace Protection Bill for Cannabis Users Moves to Illinois Senate

ILLINOIS – The Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill last Thursday that will protect adults who legally use cannabis in their free time from potentially losing their jobs.

According to Marijuana Moment, Representative Bob Morgan (D), the bill’s sponsor, believes that since the substance has been legal in the state for several years, people should be able to use it outside of the work place without serious consequences.

“We should allow people to make good choices and not be discriminated against in the workplace because of those choices as long as it’s not affecting the workplace,” said Morgan.

Current Illinois state law provides no protection for adults who use cannabis legally from being fired due to a positive drug test. If passed, House Bill 4116 would prevent employees who use legal products on their own time from being fired or turned away from a job.

There are a number of safety-conscious exceptions to the bill for certain categories of employees such as those who work with heavy machinery, weapons, or aircraft. Companies are also still permitted to fire employees who are found to be under the influence at work.

Among the exceptions, employers are still allowed to fire employees whose test results meet or exceed the legal THC limits stated in the state’s vehicle code. Some critics believe that limit may be too low, citing that if an employee smokes a joint the night before work, the level of THC in their blood, saliva, or urine, could remain high for up to two weeks after.

This measure comes as many other states and territories that legalized recreational cannabis, such as New York, Washington D.C., and New Jersey, are passing their own legislation aimed at protecting employees.

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