How will Decatur-area employers handle workers who smoke marijuana? A look at the legal issues surrounding cannabis. – Herald & Review

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Workers tend to plants in a growing room at Cresco Labs in Joliet on Dec. 17. Employers are still working to determine issues surrounding cannabis legalization, which started this month in Illinois. 

Decatur Master Patrol Officer Larry Brooks talks about the process police use for blood testing. Recreational cannabis became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. 

Marijuana plants grow under lights at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Joliet on Aug. 8, 2018. Recreational marijuana became legal on Jan. 1 and has generated roughly $11 million in revenue.

DECATUR — Despite long lines at dispensaries and product shortages, there’s one major aspect of Illinois legalizing recreational pot this month that remains hazy.

At issue is how employers will handle policies for workers who use a product that’s newly legal under state law but firmly illegal under federal rules, all without tools to detect whether someone is impaired.

“Employers can fire an employee, unless it is based on discrimination, whenever they feel like it,” said Brendan Bukalski, a managing partner at Johnson Law Group, which serves Central Illinois. “With that being said, the law

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