Arriving under the influence of marijuana will be legal.

June 24, 2019
Arriving under the influence of marajuana will be legal.
On June 19th, CBS news reports that the state of Illinois is still unable to test for marijuana impairment of drivers while driving. This news is concerning considering that the state is less than 2 weeks away from seeing cannabis sold legally. The true cost of this lack of preparation is going to become clear when insurance companies, judges and lawyers are bombarded with cases of ‘suspected marijuana impairment’ accidents that can’t provide any proof of the impairment.
If your company intends to have consequences for individuals who arrive to work impaired by legal cannabis then you must let them know in writing. In this same light, the intent to conduct drug tests and/or any resulting consequences must also be clearly identified. The issue of documenting these expectations is critical if you want to be prepared to deal with the legalization of recreational cannabis.

Some important points that need to be considered when updating your operating procedures (SOPs):          
  • Specific dates when random drug tests will begin.
  • Clear consequences for violating procedures are in writing.
  • How and when to notify employees about any updates or changes to policies
  • Provide clear and direct avenues for all parties to report any suspected concerns.

The expectation for employees to arrive at work unimpaired might sound like common sense, but if you can’t prove that you’ve made this expectation clear to your employees it can spell trouble.
About three years ago, a small landscaping company I worked with had an employee report to work clearly impaired. He openly admitted to his supervisor and co-worker that he was “still drunk” from his previous night of drinking and probably shouldn’t be driving the lawnmower. Due to safety concerns the employee was sent home for the day by the supervising manager without pay.
This employee then sued the small business for the days wages and attorney’s fees and won the lawsuit because this policy of being sent home without pay was not clearly spelled out as a potential consequence for employees arriving to work inebriated.
Maybe you don’t think about operational procedures as often as is necessary, but when something like legalization of cannabis use in the state of Illinois occurs it is important to take a moment to review your operational procedures.
AGF Services is a technical writing company with 15 years’ experience in updating SOPs. If you would like more information about this topic, please call Amber Grady at 505-412-9509 or email
Amber Grady Fuller
(505) 412-9509