March 05, 2018
Counsel Darryl Hiscocks and senior associate Tom Stevenson have told the Society of Ontario’s 8th Annual In-House Counsel Summit they don’t except to see a spike in marijuana usage by employees after recreational legalization this year.
Darryl and Tom—whose comments were reported by The Lawyer’s Daily—said test cases in the United States had shown a continuation of the slow increase of use, rather than a sharp spike.
“There is an expectation that once adult use or recreational use is legal that there will be an increase, but interestingly enough in the test cases for some of the states in the U.S. where it has been legalized … what we’ve seen is the general slow increasing [use] trend has just continued,” Stephen said.
“There hasn’t been a large spike as some people have feared.”
Darryl added that regardless of the usage rates, the biggest shift post-legalization will most likely be an attitudinal one.
“We are going to have employees who were maybe more reluctant before talk about cannabis use, or use within the course of their lives. This is all going to inevitably flow through the workplace,” Darryl said.
Darryl also said it was important employers reviewed their policies ahead of legalization to ensure they have a plan in place to address any incidents from the start.
“Otherwise they are going to find themselves potentially behind the eight-ball because these are the sort of cases where, in some of our clients’ environments, they have to be dealt with swiftly and properly,” he said.
Torys lawyers have written extensively on the cannabis; you can view the team’s work by heading to our dedicated cannabis trends page.