Smoking Hot Topic…Cannabis…

So if you’ve been in a dark cave somewhere you may not be aware of the Cannabis referendum that we vote on next month when we also vote for our favourite MPs and political parties…

What we’ve found amusing about the cannabis referendum is the number of people who think that, if it passes, they will now be able to smoke weed at work.  So we though we’d set the record straight and also give you some tips on preparing should the vote be a YES.

Firstly, if the referendum says Yes to legalising cannabis (which means that more than 50% of people say YES), cannabis won’t become legal straight away.  The next government can introduce the bill and there will still be an opportunity for the public to share their views and thoughts on how it might work.

Importantly (and this is taken directly from the Government website):

What's not included in this referendum?

The proposed bill does not cover medicinal cannabis, hemp, driving while impaired, or workplace health & safety issues. These are covered by existing laws.

Medicinal cannabis is already legal under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

This means that, just as with alcohol now, safety impairment will be the issue in employment, not the legalisation of cannabis.  

So how can you prepare?  There are three simple steps:

  1. Consider how you  would need to treat recreational use of cannabis.  For most employers this would be the same way they treat alcohol in the workplace:  pre-employment testing, reasonable cause testing, post incident/accident and/or random testing.
  2. Your ability to do this is all subject to having the right policies and procedures in place.  So take a look at what you already have and see if it would still work in a legalized cannabis environment.
  3. For most employers this will mean minor tweaks to ensure the recreational use of cannabis is covered by your existing policies, if you don’t have any policies in these areas, now would be a good time to implement them.

For more information about the cannabis referendum go to https://www.referendums.govt.nz/cannabis/index.html

For help with putting in place the right policies and procedures, speak to us today…getting in front of these things is always easier than playing catch up!  Phone 07 870 4901