UPEI offers cannabis course to organizations
'The first time someone comes to work sort of smelling like weed, how does that impact the workplace?'
UPEI is offering a course for organizations interested in hearing more about the implications of cannabis legalization for human resources, or HR, as well as social and cultural policy.
The course is being offered by the university's professional education and career development section. It will look at subjects including health benefits and risks of cannabis, drug testing, and how to develop a cannabis policy.
I think we're a little behind policy-wise, or understanding the impacts of it, but that doesn't mean it should go back underground.— Kent Bruyneel
"The first time someone comes to work sort of smelling like weed, how does that impact the workplace? So those kinds of questions," said course leader Kent Bruyneel.
"I would say it's the same thing if someone came to work reeking of alcohol. It would have to be dealt with in an appropriate fashion. The difference between those two is there is no medical alcohol."
'Pull apart some of those myths'
He expects marijuana will face some stigma for some time, both in the workplace and beyond, and that legalization will lead to a number of policy challenges, including where and when it's OK to consume the drug recreationally.
"Part of the point of this course is to pull apart some of those myths and some of those ideas about the 'unproductive pothead,'" Bruyneel said.
Bruyneel said the course won't have all the answers for businesses and groups, but rather will offer context and go over relevant case law.
For instance, apartment owners may want to know if they're legally allowed to ban cannabis use on their properties.
"That doesn't seem sustainable to me," Bruyneel said. "They're going to have to figure out exactly where it can be consumed."
Private businesses may look to open cannabis consumption lounges, he said, suggesting laws will need to evolve to allow it.
"I think we're a little behind policy-wise, or understanding the impacts of it, but that doesn't mean it should go back underground."
The two-and-a-half day course is being offered several days this week in Summerside and next week in Charlottetown.
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With files from Laura Chapin