While Canada works toward the total demise of marijuana prohibition across the nation, the petroleum industry is trying to persuade the government to reconsider this high idea due to concerns that it will turn negatively affect the workplace.
Earlier this week, the oil and gas industry safety association Enform fired off a letter to the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization, Regulation and Restriction begging the Canadian government not to go any further with the concept of legalizing marijuana because the group feels it would be a detriment to workplace safety. The group is concerned that with alcohol and drug use already so rampant on work sites, legal marijuana would do nothing but worsen the situation.
“The legalization of marijuana will have an adverse impact on workplace safety and on an employer’s ability to ensure a safe work environment,” Enform CEO Cameron MacGillivray wrote in a letter obtained by the Calgary Herald. “Enform respectfully submits that any legislation that is considered must address the obligations of employers to maintain a safe work environment and the workplace safety risks associated with marijuana use and abuse.”
Although Enform does not appear to be so naïve as to think that it has the power to put a wrench in the wheels of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s master plan to legalize the leaf in the northern nation, the group is lobbying for a set of rules, specific to its industry, which include prohibiting the sale, possession and consumption of cannabis products throughout safety sensitive work areas.
“If (employees) can start carrying it around in their shirt pocket like a pack of cigarettes and fire it up on their way to work and it’s perfectly legal? That’s definitely a concern,” said Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada. “Our members have a duty to ensure a safe workplace.”
The petroleum industry is hoping to get the government’s support in establishing strict regulations when it comes to the workplace safety aspect of allowing marijuana to be bought and sold in a manner similar to beer. Enform has requested a meeting with the nation’s marijuana task force in hopes of presenting its argument for why work-related prohibitions are necessary.