The information contained in this summary is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed, pot and grass, is a drug that is used recreationally or in some cases as a medical treatment. Cannabis can be inhaled, ingested and absorbed through the skin (e.g., through creams, salves and skin patches).
Using cannabis can impair a person's physical and mental abilities. If a worker is impaired on cannabis at work, it can negatively impact their safety and the safety of others. Some of the effects of cannabis impairment may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness and fatigue
- impaired memory
- disturbances in attention, concentration, and ability to think and make decisions
- disorientation, confusion, feeling drunk, feeling abnormal or having abnormal thoughts, feelings of unreality, feeling an extreme slowing of time
- impairment of motor skills and perception.
The effects of cannabis can differ from person to person. Many factors can impact how a person is affected by cannabis, including the amount of THC consumed (the main chemical in cannabis that causes the high), the way cannabis is consumed (e.g., smoking, eating, etc.), and the use of other substances at the same time.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace, as set out by Part 4 of The Workplace Safety and Health Act in Manitoba, and addressing the potential for workplace impairment is part of that responsibility. Specifically, under Part 2.19 (1)(2) of the Workplace Safety and Health Regulation for Alcohol and Drug Consumption, an employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a worker does not work while under the influence of alcohol or a drug that impairs or could impair the worker's ability to perform work safely. A worker must not work while under the influence of alcohol or a drug that impairs or could impair the worker's ability to perform work safely.
Employers can address cannabis impairment with an up-to-date drug and alcohol policy. See Impairment for further information on addressing impairment in the workplace.
Check out our Shop Talk on cannabis, take our e-learning course on Impairment and Cannabis in the Workplace, and scroll below the FAQs for even more resources related to cannabis. Visit the Impairment safety topic for additional resources on responding to impairment in the workplace.
External sources consulted (sources were valid as of last revision date):