Cannabis recently became legal to possess and use in Canada, but that use remains out of sight of the public.
For those who feared they would be swallowed by clouds of pot smoke while walking down the street, local governments appear to have minimized the possibility. Conspicuous consumption in public places, just as it is with smoking tobacco, is limited if not altogether banned in many jurisdictions.
Since cannabis is more accessible, the concern over workplace impairment due to pot use, as told in this feature story by Roseann Danese, is well founded. Should it elicit wide-spread panic in the industry, though? Fear of the unknown usually does, but possibly not for the reasons anyone might think.
A government employee who works in the field of addictions told me that people who do not smoke at all are unlikely to suddenly light up to give cannabis a try. Very roughly translated, impairment problems in the workplaces are already there. The fact cannabis is now legal has served to awaken businesses to the issue, and it’s a good thing that they’re now searching for policy answers and processes to identify impairment that was likely pre-existing.
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