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Marijuana Legalization in Canada: What it Means.

Readers have no doubt heard or read that recreational marijuana has been legalized throughout Canada. But what does this landmark legislation really mean? For one thing, according to Littler Mendelson PC, it's vital to stress that the legalization of recreational marijuana does not provide Canadian employees with the right to use marijuana in the workplace.

The law firm adds that employers have the right to set policies pertaining to the use and possession of marijuana at work, which is similar to use of alcohol and illegal drugs. This is crucial when the workplace environment is safety-sensitive, because employers are requited under occupational health and safety laws to protect the health and safety of their workers and the public.

Since many employers already have existing drug and alcohol policies in place, the legalization of recreational marijuana will require employers to update these policies. Littler Mendelson notes that a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy is an important means of establishing what is and is not acceptable with regard to marijuana use and possession in the workplace.

Finally, unlike the U.S., pre-employment testing is generally not permitted in Canada except in limited circumstances. However, there appears to be a trend in favor of the implementation of random drug and alcohol testing for employees who are in safety-sensitive positions (for health and safety reasons).

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Title Annotation:ea roundup
Publication:The Journal of Employee Assistance
Date:Apr 1, 2019
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