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On-the-Job Impairment an Issue as Legal Cannabis Looms

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With recreational use of leaf, concentrates and edibles permitted in Illinois from January 1st, companies are being urged to take a proactive stance as they work out how best to accommodate legal weed. The topics they must concern themselves with range from hiring to termination and how to treat cannabis use in the codes of conduct to which they hold workers in their employ. Sorting them ahead of the end of prohibition will indemnify employers from liability for workplace accidents and damage claims should pot use play a role in work-related accidents involving employees, customers and the at-large public.

While the state’s Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act provides companies a wide berth in setting those parameters, it also protects workers against legal action for getting high on their own time. What’s more, the fact that pot stays in the system for weeks after it is consumed complicates the testing that’s used to assess levels of alcohol and narcotics in the blood. As a result, prosecutors and private attorneys expect that legal precedents will be years in the making. These include over whether federal prohibition on marijuana use can be cited as grounds for banning pot use among employees.