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Testing your Cannabis Knowledge

In order to help you understand your organization’s state of awareness, here is a 10-question quiz that you and your colleagues can take to test your cannabis knowledge.

1. How long can the effects of smoking cannabis or consuming edibles last?
As per Health Canada, the effects of smoking cannabis can be felt within minutes and can last for up to 6 hours. The effects of edibles start 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming and can last up to 12 hours. When cannabis is ingested, it takes much longer for it to be absorbed into the bloodstream and for its effects to be felt by the brain and body.

2. If you don’t have a safety-sensitive job, but use cannabis, should you disclose this to your employer?
If you don’t have a safety-sensitive job, you don’t have to disclose your cannabis use if it will not cause a safety risk at work.

3. If you disclosed that you have a medical cannabis authorization to your employer, can you  consume cannabis at work?
An authorization for medical cannabis does not entitle cannabis consumption during work. If an employee requires the use of cannabis during work hours, they must disclose this to their employer and discuss the possibility of accommodation.

4. If you need to consume medical cannabis during work, is your employer required to review your accommodation request to modify work duties?
The employer is required to review accommodation requests from employees who have a medical cannabis authorization, but can deny the request if it causes undue hardship.

5. If you use cannabis for pain management, does your employer have a duty to accommodate even if you do not have a medical cannabis authorization?
Unlike medical cannabis, employers do not have a duty to accommodate recreational cannabis use.

6. Can employers deny an accommodation request if the request causes a health and safety risk or is costly?
Employers can deny accommodation requests if it causes them undue hardship. Human rights laws do not provide a standard definition of undue hardship. Courts typically review:  (a) cost of the accommodation; (b) change to the structure of work; and (c) resulting risk to health or safety.

7. As part of the accommodation review process what may your employer ask a medical professional about?
To review an accommodation request, the employer needs access to information. The required information must balance between an employer’s need to maintain a safe workplace environment and an employee’s privacy. The employer is not entitled to receive the diagnosis or treatment plan but is entitled to receive the results of a “fit for duty” assessment, which indicates if the employee is able to perform the job safely under their working conditions.

8. What should you do if you see your co-worker may be impaired?
Employees are required to report health and safety concerns, including their own.

9. If you have a safety-sensitive job, can your employer perform a drug test?
According to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, employers can test an employee for drugs if they work in a safety-sensitive position after a near miss or actual safety incident or accident, and as part of a return to work agreement.

10. If you have a safety sensitive job, can your employer ask you for a random drug test?
If the employer has demonstrated drug abuse is a common issue amongst employees then random drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive jobs is allowed in narrow circumstances.

Learn more about cannabis education at thercu.org/CannEd.

Afshin Mousavian is CEO at Responsible Cannabis Use.