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IL Marijuana Law Basics for Patients and Employers

IL Marijuana Law

The Illinois Medical Marijuana Act is one of the strictest in the nation. There are a few Illinois marijuana laws that everyone should know, especially patients and employers. Here are a few noteworthy provisions:

  • A person may not be prescribed more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana during a 14-day period and may not possess more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana at any time;
  • The prescribing physician must have a prior and ongoing medical relationship with the patient and must find that the patient has one of approximately 35 listed debilitating medical conditions for the marijuana to be prescribed;
  • Patients must buy the marijuana from one of 60 dispensing centers throughout the state and may not legally grow their own;
  • Users will carry cards that indicate how much they have bought to prevent stockpiling. The Illinois Department of Public Health will issue the cards;
  • Dispensing centers will be under 24-hour camera surveillance, and workers at dispensing and cultivation centers will undergo criminal background checks;
  • Marijuana use will be banned in public, in vehicles and near school grounds;
  • Property owners will have the opportunity to ban marijuana on their grounds.

The Illinois Medical Marijuana Act also contains certain employment-related provisions in contrast to the recently enacted concealed carry law in Illinois (which provides no guidance to employers).

Under the Illinois Medical Marijuana Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against or penalizing a person based solely on his/her status as a patient qualified and registered to receive medical marijuana in Illinois. Therefore, employers should not discipline or terminate employees solely because of their use of medical marijuana or their status as a registered user. Furthermore, Illinois employers should not refuse to hire an applicant because he/she is a medical marijuana patient. Doing so could not only violate the Act, but could also violate disability discrimination statutes (assuming the fact that most medical marijuana patients will likely have a disability).