You now have the right to buy and consume cannabis. But this does not mean you can arrive at the office under the influence! What is the impact of this new legislation on your professional life? What are your rights and duties?
Your obligations regarding health and safety at work
As an employee, your primary obligation is to provide your employer with the work that he is entitled to expect. You must perform your work with care and diligence. In terms of possessing or consuming drugs at the workplace, you must comply with the policy put in place by your company, under penalty of disciplinary sanctions that could range from a warning to dismissal.
One of your main rights relates to respect for privacy. Your employer cannot have your affairs searched nor require random or systematic screening, but only require one if there is reason to believe that your faculties are impaired in performance of your duties, if you have been involved in a work accident, or if you resume your duties after being treated for alcoholism or drug addiction.
Does your employer have a clear policy?
Many companies do net yet have a clear policy regarding consumption or the influence of cannabis in the workplace. If it exists, it has to be known to everyone, but employers have not yet necessarily communicated it or made the effort to inform you through human resources. Some companies, particularly in the risky trades, have decided to apply zero tolerance and prohibit consumption of marijuana even when on holiday, while others have defined a tolerance threshold that must not be exceeded.
Use common sense
For companies that have included the issue in their internal regulations, you just have to refer to them. If your employer has not yet taken this precaution, it will be up to you to manage your behaviour in this matter. If you have any doubts, think alcohol – just because you have the right to drink in your private life does not mean that you can do anything at work!