Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act FAQs

With the advent of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act taking effect Jan. 1, 2020, it is important to know that the legalization of cannabis and its related practices do not change the UIS commitment to a drug-free environment. The below FAQs provide additional information related to this Act and its implications on our campus.

1.     What changes will take place at the University of Illinois Springfield when the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020?

The University of Illinois Springfield will continue to prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution, dispensation, sale or manufacture of cannabis on university property or as part of any university activity.

2.     What is considered “university property”?

“University property” means any property owned, leased, occupied, operated or otherwise controlled by the University of Illinois Springfield, including but not limited to academic and auxiliary buildings, classrooms, laboratories, residences, residence halls, elevators, stairwells, restrooms, roofs, meeting rooms, hallways, lobbies and other common areas, conference facilities, athletic complexes and facilities, exterior open spaces, shuttle buses, shuttle bus stops, university-owned parking lots, driveways, loading docks, university-owned streets, sidewalks and walkways.

3.     How can the University of Illinois Springfield prohibit cannabis use when the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act now allows for broader cannabis usage?

The Illinois law does not permit use of cannabis in any public place, which includes state-owned or leased property. Further, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana (cannabis) is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance and remains unlawful. The university’s prohibition of cannabis is consistent with that Act, as well as the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, with which the University of Illinois Springfield must comply.

4.     Can individuals living on university property use cannabis or grow cannabis?

Cannabis may not be used, possessed or grown on university property, including university residence halls. UIS Campus Police will continue to enforce the university-wide prohibition of cannabis.

5.     What forms of cannabis are prohibited at the University of Illinois Springfield?

Using or possessing cannabis in any form, including without limitation tinctures, edibles and topicals, is prohibited while on university property or as part of any university activity. Employees, students and visitors who violate this prohibition are subject to discipline and/or removal.

6.     What will happen if I violate the university’s prohibition of cannabis on university property or as part of any university activity?

For students, noncompliance will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for appropriate action. For employees, noncompliance will be referred to the employee’s supervisor and Human Resources for appropriate action. Visitors and members of the public who violate the university’s prohibition of cannabis may be asked to leave campus or referred to law enforcement.

7.     What do I do if I need to smoke or ingest cannabis for medical reasons?

The university’s cannabis prohibition applies to both recreational and medical use. Having a medical marijuana registry identification card under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act does not allow you to use or possess cannabis on university property. While cannabis is not permitted on university property, the university fully intends to comply with applicable disability laws and will engage in appropriate interactive processes to find reasonable accommodations consistent with federal and state laws.

8.     I am a university employee. Am I allowed to use cannabis before reporting to work?

The choice to use cannabis off university property during non-work and non-call hours is a personal choice. If you are suspected of being impaired while working or on-call due to cannabis, you may be subject to an impairment evaluation and discipline. This includes impairment attributed to cannabis used legally before work or illegally while at work or on-call or as part of any university activity.

9.     I am a university employee. What will happen if I used cannabis 24 hours before reporting to work and I am still sent for an impairment evaluation?

If you are suspected of being impaired while working or on-call due to cannabis, you may be subject to an impairment evaluation.  The amount of time between when you used cannabis and when you work does not factor into the need for an impairment evaluation.

10.  I am a university employee. What happens if I refuse to cooperate with an impairment evaluation?

Employees who refuse to comply with recommended evaluations may be disciplined up to and including discharge.

11.  Does the University of Illinois Springfield offer resources for individuals trying to stop using cannabis?

Yes, eligible employees can visit the Employee Assistance Program or call 866-659-3848 to find out more about the resources available.

The UIS Counseling Center also provides resources for students and staff.