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Marijuana in the Workplace

Use of marijuana in the workplace it can affect the health and safety of the person using as well as those around them, as well as have an adverse effect on productivity. Marijuana is known to have the following effects (Wadsworth EJ et al, 2006):

  • Short-term memory problems.
  • Impaired thinking.
  • Loss of balance and coordination.
  • Decreased concentration.
  • Changes in sensory perception.
  • Impaired ability to perform complex tasks.
  • Decreased alertness.
  • Decreased reaction time.

Several studies have linked workers' marijuana use with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims and job turnover.

Reality Check...Marijuana Can Get You Fired

Marijuana Can Get You FiredWhile attitudes towards marijuana have generally softened, marijuana in the workplace can be grounds for termination since Illinois employers may prohibit illegal drug and alcohol use by employees at the workplace. Employers often codify these prohibitions with a drug-free workplace policy. They commonly include these types of provisions:

  • The manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, possession or use of alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances while on duty or on employer property is prohibited and will subject employees to immediate discharge.
  • Employees who are impaired by or under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or who have any of the same present in their bodily systems while on duty or on employer property, will be subject to discharge.
  • Each employee must notify the employer of any conviction under a criminal drug statute that the employee receives for a violation occurring while on duty or on employer property within five days of such conviction.
  • Employees may be required to submit to a drug and/or alcohol testas a condition of continued employment. Employees who fail to submit to the required tests and/or test positive for alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances will be subject to immediate discharge.

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