With legalization just a day away, it looks like employees of Canada’s largest airlines will be prohibited from using recreational pot.
In preparation for the legalization of cannabis on October 17, both Air Canada and WestJet have revised their alcohol and drug policies to specifically cover the use of recreational cannabis by employees.
Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson for Air Canada told Daily Hive the safety of the airline’s customers and employees is a top priority and as a result, employees are prohibited from using cannabis.
“The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. As a result, employees working in safety-critical areas at the company, including flight operations and aircraft maintenance, will be prohibited from using cannabis and cannabis products at all times, both on-duty and off-duty,” said Fitzpatrick.
“For all employees, the recreational use of cannabis is prohibited while on-duty or in the workplace.”
Fitzpatrick says the airline is acting out of an “abundance of caution” based on the current understanding of the effects of cannabis. This includes the after-effects and the potential of lingering in the human system.
“This policy will be reviewed regularly and updated to include new information related to recreational cannabis use,” said Fitzpatrick.
As for WestJet, “the use, possession and distribution of cannabis will be strictly prohibited on company premises, company worksites, while on duty and at company social functions,” said Lauren Stewart, a spokesperson for WestJet in an email to Daily Hive.
Additionally, Stewart says any employee in a safety-sensitive position or other position as specified are prohibited from using cannabis while on and off duty at WestJet.
“We believe these changes reflect our reputation as an industry leader in safety and our expectations that all employees report fit for duty and remain fit for duty at work,” said Stewart.