Side Effects of Marijuana Legalization

Effects of Marijuana Legalization Likely most everyone has heard the news at this point that Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act on June 25, 2019, officially legalizing the use of recreational marijuana for anyone over the age of 21. [1] However, the bill also has several other lesser known provisions that you may not have been aware of.  Sherer Law Offices is here to walk you through two of largest side effects of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

First, the new law will allow for approximately 770,000 Illinois residents to have their criminal records expunged of certain marijuana related offenses.  [2]  Once the new law takes effect in January of 2020, anyone convicted of possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana will automatically qualify to receive clemency for past convictions.  Further, anyone convicted of 30-500 grams of marijuana will be allowed to petition the court to have their charge vacated.

Second, the new law allows employers to maintain a zero-tolerance policy for the possession and use of marijuana.  Further, the law specifically allows an employer to terminate an employee for violating a company’s workplace drug policies and states that nothing in the act shall be construed to created or imply a cause of action for any person against an employer for requiring drug testing.  While this may sound contrary to the more prevalent areas of the law, large corporations have previously won lawsuits involving former employees being terminated for using medical marijuana. [3]Having the benefit of hindsight, Illinois legislatures likely wanted to be as clear as possible regarding a business’s rights under the new law to avoid needless litigation.

For more information on Illinois’ recently passed Cannabis Regulations and Tax Act, how to go about vacating a previous conviction for marijuana and other matters, contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.


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[2] https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/us/illinois-expunging-marijuana-convictions-trnd/index.html

[3] https://www.galesburg.com/news/20190701/employers-still-testing-for-pot

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