Guaranteeing Workplace Safety in the Age of Legalized Drugs Considered

Lance Winslow

Many small business owners, me included, are quite worried about the potential legalization of marijuana in California. If marijuana is legalized, and since many people into using it, more workers may come to work when they’re high in the future (at least this is a fear), although most users will disagree. However if more workers do come to work high, well, this might cause more incidents and accidents in the workplace, and thus, could potentially send workers comp skyrocketing.

It also leaves the business owner, and the corporations with severe liability risks, which could also drive up other types of insurance. Perhaps this is why the Chamber of Commerce is against the legalization of pot. Apparently, also the drug gangs of Mexico are against legalization of pot (rumored in the movie Machete) – all because that would cause their prices to collapse, and hurt their revenue streams.

There is talk, although no one can confirm it that money is being channeled by drug dealers in Mexico into anti-legalization of marijuana political action committees. That is interesting, and I don’t know if it’s true or not. Perhaps, that too is an urban legend?

It might be literally impossible to guarantee workplace safety in the age of Legalized Drugs. If you can’t drug test workers for substance which are now legal, and they know that they can use drugs because it is legal, then they can also come to work, while that drug may still be in their system. Some have joked, at least you will have happy workers, but there is another cautionary side to this, especially if you are fanatical about workplace safety, most businesses are, they have to be.

If workers come to work too soon after using, and in which case they happen to be operating machinery, vehicles, a forklift, or some other type of equipment they could injure themselves, or injure other workers. Are you beginning to see the problem with this, because it is serious.

Many people say that pot is no big deal, and it’s a lot less worse than alcohol, okay that is a good point, but that does not alleviate the challenge. And we don’t allow workers who are drunk to operate machinery either. Of course, no one is allowed to come to work while they are drunk right?

Thus, one has to ask exactly how much marijuana is allowed to be an employee’s system while they are still operating equipment? No one has said the answer, no one knows, and it looks like a liability nightmare, and that’s just the beginning. Let’s consider the workplace safety issue too. Indeed, hope you’ll please consider this.

Source by Lance Winslow