Marijuana is one of the most commonly used mind-altering substances in the world. As more jurisdictions consider tolerating, decriminalizing, or even legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, and as more people are granted licenses for the medicinal use of the drug, the greater is the likelihood that marijuana use will impact any individual workplace. Employees under the influence of marijuana can create a host of workplace issues, from decreased productivity to safety hazards. The best approach for an employer is to be proactive – to have a plan in place for preventing problems and responding to them if, and when, they occur.
After you complete this course, you will be able to:
- Understand what marijuana and other forms of cannabis are and how they are used
- Understand how marijuana use affects a person physically, cognitively, and behaviorally
- Recognize the signs of marijuana impairment
- Define the potential issues marijuana use creates in the workplace
- Understand the legal rights of employers and employees with regards to cannabis use in the workplace
- Respond to incidents of suspected marijuana use in the workplace
- Develop a proactive workplace drug and alcohol policy
Drugs and the Workplace
This session will paint a picture of the prevalence of substance use-related problems in the workplace and the cost to employers in terms of lost time, decreased productivity, accidents, and other impacts.
What exactly is marijuana? Are the terms marijuana, hashish, and cannabis interchangeable? Students will learn about the cannabis plant, the products derived from it, and how they are used. They will become familiar with the lingo surrounding recreational cannabis use. Participants will learn the short-term physiological, cognitive, and behavioral changes that take place, as well as the possible long-term impacts of cannabis use. They will learn the signs that indicate a person might be impaired.
In what ways can marijuana use have a negative impact in the workplace? Students will discuss potential problems that can make the workplace less productive or cause legal headaches for the employer. An employee impaired by marijuana is an accident waiting to happen. Participants will identify the potential workplace hazards. They will develop responses to the myths that marijuana use is ‘not a big deal’ and ‘does no harm.’
An employee has a license to use marijuana medicinally for a disability or medical condition. What does that mean for the workplace? Participants will consider the rights and responsibilities of both employer and employee in this situation.
How to Intervene
You suspect an employee is coming to work high. Now what? This session will explore the steps to take. Participants will consider a variety of scenarios and determine the best ways of addressing the issue with the employee, helping the employee get assistance if there is a substance-abuse problem, and ensuring the incidents don’t recur.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Having an official drug and alcohol policy in place is one of the best ways for employers to be prepared for potential problems – or avoid them altogether. Participants will learn the benefits of a drug and alcohol policy. They will develop an outline of what should be included in such a policy.