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Is Marijuana Use Legal for Illinois Medical Professionals?

 Posted on August 11,2022 in Medical License Defense

Illinois professional license defense lawyerIn January 2020, the recreational use of marijuana became legal in the state of Illinois. Under the law, anyone over the age of 21 is allowed to cumulatively possess 30 grams of cannabis flower, five grams of concentrate, and cannabis-infused products containing up to 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

But medical professionals are often held to a different standard when it comes to marijuana, even if it is legal. There may not be criminal consequences for using cannabis products, but you could be putting your medical license in jeopardy under certain circumstances.

Using Marijuana Products

If you are a doctor, nurse, or other medical license professional, you may be legally allowed to use marijuana products in Illinois under the following circumstances:

  • You adhere to your employer’s drug policies

  • You are not impaired while treating patients

  • You do not violate the Illinois recreational marijuana law

  • You do not drive while under the influence of marijuana

There are some circumstances where the above will not apply. For example, if you work for a company that has a zero-drug policy and you test positive for cannabis, you could be fired, even if you were not under the influence while on the job. Unlike alcohol, THC can stay in a person’s system for up to one month after use and can be detected in a urine test.

Federal Law

If a medical professional works for the federal government, they are not allowed to use any cannabis products, even on their own time. This is because the federal government still has marijuana classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Even if the employee works in Illinois or has a medical marijuana card, using marijuana is considered a federal crime.

This federal law also applies to medical professionals who are working in the United States under a green card or visa. While Illinois law does not require you to be a citizen to use marijuana, using it can put your permanent resident status at risk.

Action Against Medical License

If an employer fires a medical professional for marijuana use, they will also likely report the violation to the Illinois board that oversees that professional’s license.

Contact an Illinois Professional License Defense Attorney

If you are a medical professional who is facing disciplinary action for using marijuana, you need a seasoned Illinois medical license defense lawyer advocating for you and making sure your rights are protected. Call The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, Inc. at 630-310-1267 to schedule a confidential consultation. Your professional and financial future may depend on it.


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