In addition to the economic aspects, the legalization of cannabis has raised a number of challenges for municipalities since coming into effect.
Ottawa may legislate and Quebec may regulate the sale and distribution, but it’s municipalities that have to manage the local problems.
Municipalities are responsible for services to citizens, such as cannabis selling zones, business permits and building codes. Internally, they have to ensure the implementation of bylaws on the consumption of cannabis in public, impaired driving and workers’ safety, the topic of this article.
Does the municipality have employee policies? Does it have the right tools? Does it have what it needs to inform its employees and raise awareness?
Action rather than reaction
So far, so good… but should the municipality be waiting for the first incidents before introducing an efficient internal policy? Most large municipalities have been proactive, like Montréal, that has trained its police officers to identify signs of impaired faculties. What about small- and medium-sized municipalities? Simply adding a sentence on cannabis in the drug and alcohol policy is probably not enough.
For example, winter is coming and snow removal will result in considerable snow removal equipment moving about on the streets. In the short term, to avoid dangerous situations for citizens, it’s essential to identify high-risk jobs to ensure there is appropriate support to apply a policy on the use of cannabis by municipal employees. Consider the private sector, where some businesses have introduced efficient policies, including, among others, zero tolerance provisions.
Some municipalities have decided to set up special commissions to survey the population about the impacts of cannabis legislation on municipal services.
It’s too soon to know what the consequences will be and have accurate data on the impact of cannabis on our daily lives and, more specifically, high-risk jobs. Nevertheless, it’s up to municipalities to anticipate, prevent and act before something happens.
There are a number of organizations that can support your initiative, such as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety or CLSC health professionals. Our management consultants can help you get training and inform your teams and managers.
20 Nov 2018 | Written by :