Legal Cannabis Causing Legal Headaches


Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak/WJEZ file photo

By Todd Wineburner

Legal cannabis is selling well in Illinois, but Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak says there are still more questions than answers when it comes to marijuana. Yedinak says questions concerning recreational cannabis have dominated his professional conversations for the last several weeks. “I’ve done several law enforcement trainings since January first,” Yedinak said in a recent interview with WJEZ, “…and that’s all anybody wants to talk about.”

Yedinak says one of the most significant changes to the law affects employers. Yedinak says “zero tolerance” policies are a thing of the past for most employers, and that employers can’t take action against employees who use marijuana while off duty. He adds though, that there are still limits on marijuana use. “What employers certainly can prohibit is…using it on the job, …also being under the influence… or being impaired by it.” Yedinak adds that cannabis use can be prohibited completely in certain circumstances. Governmental bodies that employ law enforcement officials or other first responders retain the right to say that marijuana use is prohibited at all times.

Yedinak says the new standard for marijuana prosecutions is the level of impairment exhibited by an individual, not the presence of certain substances in the blood or urine. He adds that illegal marijuana can still be obtained, and he suspects that illegal trafficking will rise in the coming months. Yedinak says many local governments have taxed legal cannabis to the point that the consumers might very well seek out illegal products to avoid the higher prices at dispensaries. You can hear WJEZ’s complete conversation with Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak on our podcasts page. Just click the menu selection at the top of the page.