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Quebec groups worry about impact of cannabis in the workplace

Someone smoking a joint.
Someone smoking a joint. MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images File

Quebec’s largest labour federation and a major business group say the provincial government needs to pay particular attention to the workplace consequences of cannabis use.

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The Quebec Federation of Labour and the federation that represents Quebec’s chambers of commerce made the comments Thursday as public consultations continued on the repercussions of legalizing cannabis.

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The head of the business group said in an interview that studies in jurisdictions where cannabis is legal have shown a drop in employee productivity, increased absenteeism as well as mental health problems.

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Stephane Forget also fears a spike in the number of work-related accidents against the backdrop of imperfect screening tests.

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Forget says certain tests will allow employers to determine that someone has used cannabis within a certain time frame but will not enable them to pinpoint the level of impairment.

The Quebec Federation of Labour, meanwhile, fears employers will adopt zero-tolerance policies which will encroach on workers’ private lives.

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