Medical marijuana – it’s all about impairment

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Medical marijuana has become a top priority for many HR professionals – or rather work policies surrounding them have – but with a lack of official legislation guiding us, it can be difficult to sort the fact from fiction.

Here, one expert told HRM the truth about medical marijuana and its impact in the workplace.

“The most important thing regarding medicinal cannabis and employment is impairment,” says Terry Roycroft, president of the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. “An employee may be using cannabis medicinally, but this does not necessarily mean that the employee is impaired while at the workplace.”

So how are employers supposed to know? According to Roycroft, the side-effects of medical marijuana vary from person to person and even drug tests aren’t a fair indicator of impairment.

“In terms of impairment, the effects of cannabis varies amongst individuals based on experience, susceptibility, blood pressure levels, as well the symptoms that the patient is using cannabis to treat,” reveals Roycroft.

“A number of our patients may also only use cannabis at night for assistance with sleep,” he continues. “This would in turn, effect the THC levels that would show up in a urine test but would not affect the patient's functionality in the workplace.”

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