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Wake and bake? Not for Canadian workers, finds study

Last Updated Oct 3, 2019 at 7:13 am PDT

FILE - A man smokes marijuana to celebrate the legalization of recreational cannabis, in Vancouver, on Wednesday October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Recreational pot in Canada has had a smaller impact on workplaces than originally thought, study finds

A report from Ipsos finds recreational cannabis is simply not allowed in or around most Canadian workplaces

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A year ago, almost half of Canadian workers were worried what legal pot would mean for productivity and safety on the job, but it seems those fears were a little overblown.

A report from Ipsos, commissioned by ADP Canada, finds recreational cannabis is simply not allowed in or around most Canadian workplaces.

“It is a smaller impact than we originally thought it would be,” says Hendrick Steenkamp, HR Advisory Director for ADP Canada. “Look back to our 2018 survey [when recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada] and it found nearly half of working Canadians expected productivity, health, safety and attendance to be impacted. What we found through the study this year is that it’s a much smaller percentage of Canadian workers who think legalization had an impact.”

Steenkamp suggests all the hype created around the legalization of cannabis a year ago was unfounded.

According to ADP, most Canadians believe recreational cannabis has had no impact at all in terms of health and safety incidents (75%), productivity (74%) absenteeism (71%) or quality of work (70%). The study finds most working Canadians (86%) say their employer does not permit recreational cannabis use and only a fraction (8%) say cannabis use is allowed during the workday.

“It depends on how the individual employer wants to treat this,” Steenkamp tells NEWS 1130. “That includes making sure you have the right policies, guidelines and awareness campaigns in place to deal with it and making sure that managers are trained to deal with impairment at the workplace.”

Within the small number of working Canadians who say their employer allows the use of recreational cannabis, the study finds 63 per cent are consuming it before work, 47 per cent are consuming during work hours and 72 per cent are consuming after work.

However, when looking at Canada’s working population at large, the survey finds only a fraction of Canadians consume recreational cannabis before work (5%), during work hours (4%) and after work with colleagues (6%).

-With files from Lasia Kretzel