Illinois Lawmaker Proposes Legislation to Prevent Employers From Terminating Cannabis Users

Illinois State Representative Carol Ammons introduced legislation to prevent employers from firing cannabis users. The proposal would amend the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of a person’s status as a medical marijuana patient or caregiver, among other things.

Illinois Lawmaker Proposes Legislation to Prevent Employers From Terminating Cannabis Users. Read more in detail here: can you pass a drug test with a medical card 2020.

Illinois Lawmaker Proposes Legislation to Prevent Employers From Terminating Cannabis Users

Growing demand and acceptance of the federally illegal plant has not reduced the risk of job loss, according to one of the original authors of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act in 2013 (MCPP), which led to the legalization of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis across the state of Illinois.

Rep. Bob Morgan (D-IL) claims that cannabis users are in a catch-22 scenario, whether they are certified medical cannabis patients or just like consuming recreational cannabis for recreational reasons. Since January 2020, Illinois residents have been able to buy and consume cannabis for adult reasons. The first year of recreational sales was so successful that the industry as a whole earned $366 million.

Adult-use legalization, on the other hand, hasn’t stifled the establishment of a medicinal cannabis industry in Illinois, which became the 20th state to do so. It’s logical that a business that is advantageous for those who suffer from chronic ailments (but don’t want to take opioids) is prospering.

Illinois Cannabis Laws in the Workplace

Employers may not discriminate against an employee who uses cannabis outside of the office, according to Illinois law. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, on the other hand, gives businesses a lot of leeway when it comes to enforcing drug-free workplace practices.

Although several cannabis businesses have relaxed their employee-focused medical cannabis policies, the majority seem to have a zero-tolerance stance for anybody who fails a cannabis drug test, even if they have a legitimate and state-approved medical cannabis patient card.

According to the most recent statewide statistics, the number of medical cannabis patients who have applied for a medical cannabis card in Illinois has increased by 30% in the previous year. “How can we safeguard personnel who are utilizing this legal drug for up to 30 days in their system?” Morgan posed the question sarcastically. “Thus, although this is not a new subject, it has become much more prevalent now that Illinois has a larger pool of persons who are legally utilizing the drug.”

Morgan has boldly provided legislators with a piece of legislation aiming to alter the current cannabis law in an attempt to revolutionize the job environment for cannabis users in Illinois. It’s critical that the regulations alter because they “affect a lot of people,” as Morgan puts it. 


Protesting the Illinois Marijuana Law

Morgan’s proposed law, known as House Bill 4116, states that an employer cannot refuse to recruit someone or fire an existing employee because of a positive drug test for the psychoactive component THC, as long as it does not affect the individual’s performance. Regardless of whether the employee uses cannabis for medicinal or recreational reasons, the law would apply. 

“This rule would modify the burden in the sense that a person who fails a drug test on their own should not lose their job or be denied an employment chance,” Morgan added. “You can’t be discriminated against in the job until you prove incapacity.”

Morgan’s proposed law would limit the amount of cannabis allowed in the blood to 5 nanograms per milliliter, or 10 nanograms per milliliter in saliva, urine, or other body fluids. Furthermore, since cannabis remains an illegal narcotic at the federal level, the rule would only apply to enterprises who do not have any government contracts. Employees in the medical field would be exempt, but they would still be subjected to THC drug testing. 

Morgan’s proposal might guarantee job security for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Illinoisans, since most employment laws do not include employees in health care, transportation, or manufacturing.

Adult-Use Cannabis Revenue Exceeds $1 Billion

Since the market’s inception in January 2020, revenue from adult-use cannabis in Illinois has already reached $1 billion in 2021, marking a major milestone. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) said on Tuesday, Nov. 2, that recreational cannabis sales in October totalled $123,375,372, increasing the year’s total to $1.12 billion.

Consumers bought 2,757,354 adult-use cannabis items in October, with Illinois residents paying $81,212,423 for legally supplied goods. Out-of-state tourists, on the other hand, spent $42,162,949 on adult-use cannabis items.

In Illinois, recreational cannabis sales surpassed $100 million for the eighth month in a row in October. Because the medicinal cannabis industry is regulated by a different body, these data do not include medical cannabis sales.


Bethan Rose is a cannabis activist, writer, and nomad who has no fixed address. She is now located in Bali and can typically be found on her hammock collecting cannabis material.

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Illinois lawmakers have proposed legislation that would prevent employers from terminating cannabis users. The bill is in response to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois. Reference: illinois pre employment drug testing laws 2021.

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