Cannabis Member Survey Results
Given the approaching legalization of recreational cannabis, the Government of Saskatchewan seeks input from various stakeholders on possible legislative changes to Part III (Occupational Health and Safety) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act (the “Act”) and/or The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 (the “Regulations”) to address impairment in the workplace. In light of the government’s request for input, the SCSA gathered feedback from its members on issues related to cannabis legalization and workplace impairment.
From a total of 198 responses, the top three issues identified by our members as being important for consideration in any legislative proposals are as follows:
- The right of employers to perform drug and alcohol tests where there is reasonable cause to believe the employee is impaired on duty or when the worker was involved in a workplace accident or near-miss.
- Identifying a definitive threshold amount for legal sources of impairment that would indicate a pass or fail on a drug test.
- Clarifications of the duties imposed on employees to be fit for work and to disclose any impairment (e.g. taking prescribed medication).
In addition to asking our members to rate the issue most important to them, we sought feedback in the form of comments. Common themes emerged, and we provide a sampling of comments to reflect those themes:
I believe that employers need to know the facts on testing for impairment regarding cannabis, as to date no definitive tests have been developed to positively identify impairment with this substance.
The problem with putting all the liability and responsibility on the employer instead of the employee. Why doesn't an employer have the right to dismiss an employee that doesn't care was happens to your business, or your bottom line. If they don't show some responsibility for their actions it might be nice to have an employee that does.
How to define impairment. As THC sticks to fat cells, it could be in your system long after the "high" is gone. Our research shows that an employee may not be impaired in the traditional sense but the worker's urine or blood test may show positive. What is fair to worker/company? Employers and supervisors cannot be drug detection experts.
The SCSA does not advocate for any specific legislative or policy change, and provided this input with a goal of contributing to the government’s knowledge and consideration of possible legislative amendments to the Act and/or the Regulations.
The SCSA is committed to ensuring construction employers and their employees in Saskatchewan have the knowledge and tools to ensure their individual workplaces are free from injury and workers are able make it home safely at the end of each work day.