Cannabis in the workplace: Navigating the legal and ethical implications

Cannabis in the Workplace: Navigating the Legal and Ethical Implications


The legalization of cannabis in Canada has created a lot of buzz, both in the personal and professional spheres. With the new laws in place, it’s important for employers and employees to understand the legal and ethical implications of cannabis use in the workplace.

Legal Implications

When it comes to cannabis in the workplace, the law is still evolving. However, there are a few things we know for sure. Firstly, employers have the right to establish and enforce policies around drug and alcohol use at work. This means that employers can ban the use of cannabis in the workplace, and can request drug tests for their employees. It’s also worth noting that impaired driving laws have been expanded to include cannabis use. This means that employees who use cannabis outside of work may still be subject to disciplinary action if they show up to work impaired.

Ethical Implications

While the legal implications of cannabis in the workplace are clear, the ethical implications are a bit trickier. Employers need to balance their obligation to provide a safe and productive work environment with their employees’ personal freedoms. It’s important for employers to communicate clearly with their employees when it comes to drug policies. Employees should be aware of the consequences of violating these policies, and should understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. At the same time, employers should be sensitive to their employees’ personal lives. Many Canadians use cannabis for medicinal purposes, and employers should make reasonable accommodations for employees who need cannabis to manage their medical conditions.


Navigating the legal and ethical implications of cannabis in the workplace can be tricky. However, by establishing clear policies and communicating openly with employees, employers can ensure that they are operating within the law while also respecting their employees’ personal freedoms. For more information on cannabis in the workplace, check out this guide from the Government of Canada.