Position Paper on Cannabis
It really isn't that hard. And its a stepped approach. And an approach where you preferably get the person to admit they have a problem rather than you invasively testing for what might not be a problem - drugs in a system does not = impairment. — Andrew The focus should be on helping people to rehabilitate / get through any addiction that interferes with their ability to keep themselves and others safe. Much of the debate on cannabis reform is on personal rights, but as employers we have a duty of care to everyone in the workplace and to the public if we interact with them. — Steve Fursdon
The main issue I take with the current norm is that it assumes any indication of cannabis use equates to that person having a "drug problem". And really this can only be based on the incorrect assumption that "illegal equals always bad", i.e. companies are basically saying "I don't care if you're actually impaired or not, it was illegal for you to smoke that joint 2 weeks ago so you need to be disciplined..." (being forced to take part in a "rehabilitation program" is still a disciplinary action).
This becomes completely hypocritical where in the eyes of the same company it is completely acceptable for a worker to get black-out drunk every day they have off (likely destroying their liver and health in the process) as long as they have sobered up enough by their next shift.
And to be honest - most "problematic" drug use (including alcohol and legal/prescription drugs) is a symptom of other socioeconomic or phycological issues that need to be resolved if you are looking for any sort of long term solution... "helping" people with substances abuse purely through abstinence programs is just a band-aid on the real problem.
At this stage, I've yet to meet a client who will be voting yes, purely because they don't know what that will mean for them and their workers or don't like where they think it's going. — Karen
That would be a huge red flag to me that those companies are not actually effectively managing the risk due to impairment from drugs, even if they had a "robust" Drug & Alcohol policy in place. The legality of a substances that alters your mental and physical state does not at all affect the need to have in place means to identify, monitor and manage the risk - after all if it did (and I hate using this argument because it is stupid) then they wouldn't be able to control the risk of their workers being drunk?
Out of interest - how many of those 5 companies a week use the Land Transport Act's limits for alcohol impairment and how many use the Zero Tolerance / 100µg per litre breath limit, and how many that include random testing have assessed and include the safety critical tasks / areas of their work?
By the way - I'm voting yes as the socioeconomic problems caused by a prohibition approach to cannabis has caused more damage to our countries people and economy than has been prevented by it. Mostly regarding the long lasting affects on the opportunities and prosperity for those convicted for cannabis possession, i.e. often the punishment does not fit the crime when considering all the effective outcomes. Often leading to wider socioeconomic issues such as an increase likelihood of unemployment due to a perceived lower "employability".