Now that recreational cannabis is legal in Canada, employers are scrambling to define workplace rules regarding marijuana use.
So, what exactly do you need to know about the legislative change? Namely, how do you adjust your internal policies?
“A policy should look at the full spectrum of recreational and medially prescribed drugs and set out how each situation will be addressed,” explained Elizabeth Traynor, partner at Siskinds' Labour and Employment Group, in an interview with HRD Canada.
“Our recommendation in dealing with cannabis is to think of it as alcohol. Most employers are not carrying out alcohol testing every day. However, if an employee comes to work and appears to be under the influence of alcohol then employers have some experience with that – just send them home.”
There’s no denying that the status quo has shifted – but has the taboo been eradicated in entirety?
“The day when cannabis is completely normalized is actually much closer than we may believe,” explained Jason Fleming Principal, Maxton HR and speaker at the upcoming HR Leaders Summit. I know that after Elon Musk smoked a joint during that interview the company stock dropped considerably in the 24 hours following. However, I don’t think that’s a marker of how far we are away from normalization. I believe that, over time, we’ll see recreational cannabis and alcohol on the same level in terms of stigma. People will obviously have to use them responsibly, and we’d certainly never want anyone being impaired when trying to work or drive. Having said that, I think the stigma of recreational cannabis use will be eradicated very soon.”
Source: Human Resources Director Canada