An attorney says there are many unanswered questions for business owners about medical marijuana. Chrissie Peterson with the law firm Heyl, Royster, Volker, and Allen based in Springfield, says that's because there are a lot of unknowns at this point, since there have been no purchases or use of medical marijuana yet.

But she says businesses do have rights should employees end up using it.
"Very similar to situations where they would be intoxicated," says Peterson.  "It's important for employers to understand impairment terms, and scenarios and symptoms that may indicate that they have an employee under the influence of a substance."

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Employers are still allowed to have drug-free workplace policies, but under medical marijuana, Peterson says, they will need to take into account how the drug may be used to treat symptoms in underlying serious conditions. In terms of the state's concealed carry law, Peterson says employers still have two main questions about that: can an employer prohibit anyone from walking in with a concealed gun?  And, can they prohibit an employee from having a gun at the workplace?  The answer to both, is yes.
But, "they are concerned as with any time I think you have someone on your property, if an incident were to occur, who would be liable for that," says Peterson.

Peterson says who's liable when a shooting incident occurs will depend on whether the business allows guns or not.  She says call police right away if you ban guns and someone comes in with one. Peterson was one of the presenters at a breakfast seminar on both topics hosted by the Springfield-Area Chamber of Commerce.

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