Dealing with a drug test can be a difficult for both employees and companies. A recent local report however indicates that cannabis may soon become no more relevant than testing for booze or ciggies.

Clearing The Smoke: Cannabis use work in South Africa is a report that takes a look at the relevance of cannabis orientated drug test in the work place. particularly in consideration of the last year’s Cape Town High Court ruling in favour of some form of legalization and the ongoing Constitutional Court challenge to reinforce this ruling.

The report states that “Should you be caught in possession of cannabis in South Africa today, you will have a legal defence. Many NGOs in the sector have noted that more and more magistrate’s courts are simply throwing out cannabis possession cases. It’s not because of anything else, except that cannabis arrests make up around 60% of all arrests countrywide for the possession of illegal substances, and they [the courts] simply do not have the manpower or infrastructure to prosecute all of these cases.”

Clearing the smoke Cannabis at work

Clearing the smoke Cannabis at work

“Worldwide we have seen many countries legalising the use of cannabis in various ways. Research is starting to show that instead of being a dangerous dependence producing substance, cannabis is actually a medicine and is helping more people everyday to treat their anxiety, depression, stress, epilepsy, MS, FM, cancer and many more.
Cannabis WILL be legalised in South Africa, and a lot quicker than you think. Any employer not aligning their policies and procedures regarding drug testing and cannabis right now, will be in a world of trouble the day it’s legalised.
The real question though, is what action should you take? It is imperative that you ensure that the organisation you use to assist you with writing and implementing these changes has a clear and deep understanding of the policies and procedures of drug testing AND of the looming legislative amendments to the law.”

While there is clearly a role for companies to play in the well being of their employees, it remains to be seen what the company bosses actually do when a dealing with drug tests that turn out positive for weed. Will they turn a blind eye or gladly kick you out the front door? What will define being high on the clock? And are there jobs that should have a zero tolerance policy on cannabis?

Word around the water cooler is that some big brands are already not fussed about employees who light up after hours. But I wouldn’t hold my breath for it being legally cool to toke up on the job any time soon.

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