Canadians are preparing for nationwide legalization of marijuana that will take place next year. This shift in policy is expected to bring about significant changes to Canada’s cannabis culture as access to the drug will likely be as ubiquitous as that of alcohol. Would you agree that legalization will have as significant an impact as detailed below?
Cannabis legalization in Canada is right around the corner, and that’s great news for both recreational and medicinal users. As early as next summer, Canadians will be able to pick up weed from a number of legal dispensaries including new standalone Cannabis Control Board Of Ontario (CCBO) pot shops run by the Ontario government, that are similar to the LCBO. These recent changes show the culture around cannabis is changing, and a ton of people are finally coming around to the plant and its many natural benefits.
Some of these people may include your employers, and that means medicinal users may even be encouraged to use weed at the workplace. It may sound a bit wild, but medicinal use at your office isn’t farfetched according to recent legislation. However, before you start considering bringing a baggie to the office, there are a few points you really need to know. So grab your pen and get ready to jot down some notes!
First of all, make sure you have all of the proper documentation. This is actually the most vital of notes: this gives you legal permission to use. You won’t be able to just walk into the office and start lighting up like you’re in some Wiz Khalifa music video. Make sure you bring, carry, or safely store a prescription note (or card) and present it to your employer when/if asked. This will let superiors know that you’ve consulted health professionals and have been prescribed cannabis for medicinal use.
Another thing to keep in mind is your work environment and job duties. Medicinal marijuana may be legal, but certain tasks may be totally hindered while under the influence. For instance, if your work requires you to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery, you should consume later, because you won’t be able to do so under the influence.
Flying with medical marijuana? Medical marijuana can be carried in either carry-on or checked bags when flying within Canada. Passengers should bring any necessary documents showing their pot is legal. When travelling outside of Canada remember that international drug laws still apply… destinations outside Canada will land you time in airport jail—watch a few episodes of Border Security and understand that this is somewhere you absolutely don’t want to end up.
Finally, speaking with your boss and setting some ground rules and guidelines is absolutely necessary. Keep those lines of communication open. Knowing how and when to medicate will stop you from setting a potentially bad example with co-workers. Being honest about your condition is the responsible thing to do, and showing that you’re accommodating will win you points with employers. If you’ve been given the green light and are about to spark up or vape, be respectful of others. Doing it safely and only when permitted is the best playbook to follow.
In the end, each case is different and despite having a prescription, using cannabis at work is employer-dependant. If smoking is an absolute necessity, ask your boss about changing responsibilities to accommodate your needs. Using cannabis oils as a therapy is another option; it’s far more inconspicuous than smoking or vaping, though it will take longer for the effects to take hold and will last much longer than inhaling (as always check with your physician to see if oils make more sense for you).
Remember, this is a new concept for employers just as it is to you. If you keep an open dialogue with your boss and continue to be responsible, things will be fine.