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Going to Pot? Managing decriminalization, medical cannabis, and psychedelics: Nova Scotia Barristers Society

November 3, 2022 @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The legal landscape in Canada raises difficult questions about managing substance use and abuse in the workplace. Arbitrators have considered numerous cannabis-related issues, addressing employer policies regarding the use of medical cannabis by employees in safety-sensitive positions, the obligation of employees to disclose their medical cannabis prescriptions, and the broader legitimacy of workplace drug testing. These medical cannabis and drug testing cases provide guidance for workplace parties as the legal landscape continues to evolve. In this webinar, experts will address recent developments surrounding substance use in the workplace, including the following:

  • How have arbitrators’ approaches toward the use of medical cannabis in safety-sensitive positions evolved? How have arbitrators dealt with zero-tolerance policies for cannabis use in general? What lessons may be drawn in terms of how arbitrators may treat similar policies for decriminalized drugs or prescribed psychedelics?
    Which drugs will be decriminalized in B.C. pursuant to the exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act? When will these changes take effect, and for how long? What is the difference between decriminalization and legalization?
  • Under what circumstances may individuals be prescribed restricted drugs through Health Canada’s Special Access Program as a result of recent changes to the program?
  • Which substances may be prescribed?
  • What implications are these changes expected to have for workplace parties? Drawing from experience surrounding medical cannabis and the legalization of recreational cannabis use, should parties expect these changes to significantly affect the safety of the workplace?
  • Are adjudicators more likely to find that workplace drug testing is justified as access to “hard” drugs and/or psychedelics expands?
  • When are employees required to disclose use of medical cannabis or prescription psychedelics? Are employers entitled to information such as the type of drug, method of consumption, or frequency of use?
  • Are adjudicators likely to uphold a termination or lengthy suspension when employees disclose after the fact that they are using prescribed cannabis or a restricted drug to treat a medical condition?






Nova Scotia Barristers Society
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