Pubdate: Thu, 08 Dec 2016
Source: Metro (Edmonton, CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Metro Canada
Author: Kevin Maimann
Page: A1


Patients prescribed pot afraid of getting fired, demoted

Employers need to start accepting medical cannabis in the workplace,
proponents say.

Kait Shane, director of patient care with medical cannabis clinic
Natural Health Services, said while patient numbers are quickly
growing, most keep their medical cannabis use secret at work for fear
they will be fired, demoted or unfairly judged.

"It's really outdated policies that some employers have in effect,
including zero-tolerance policies, which are basically breaching human
rights violations in that people can access medical prescribed
medication as needed," Shane said.

Indeed, some patients say they have already been fired.

A man in his twenties, who spoke with Metro on condition of anonymity,
says he lost his construction job in October after a drug test,
following a personal injury incident.

"Martin" started using medical cannabis a year ago for

When he told his employer he was using the drug, he said he was fired
and told to take a rehabilitation course if he wanted his job back.
"Going in, I never even knew that I wasn't allowed to be a medical
cannabis patient in my industry," he said.

Shane said people have many misinformed ideas about cannabis use at
work. She is pushing for employers to accept it like other
prescription medication.

"If you're doing, for instance, a bit of THC at night because you have
insomnia issues, it's still going to show up in your bloodstream, but
you're not going to be impaired the next morning. You'll be better off
for having had a restful night's sleep," she said.
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MAP posted-by: Matt