If you record a positive cannabis test during workplace drug testing in Sydney or surrounds, or in fact any part of Australia, can changes to the law regarding medicinal cannabis protect you?
On 24th February 2016, new national laws were passed in parliament to pave way for the use of medicinal cannabis. While the states and territories are not fully on board – Victoria has legalised the use of medicinal cannabis and Queensland has announced a trial – it’s believed that all states and territories will either legalise medicinal cannabis or have a trial in place by year’s-end.
So what does this mean for you as a cannabis user? What does it mean for your workplace, if you conduct drug testing and have an employee provide a positive test for cannabis?
In a word, nothing.
Drug testing in Sydney – cannabis is still illegal
The new laws are only designed to legalise the manufacture, supply, access and use of medicinal cannabis products for seriously ill patients. Tight restrictions will apply and to qualify as a patient who receives medicinal cannabis you will need to be suffering from issues such as epilepsy, brain tumours or chronic pain. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, palliative care patients and those with HIV may also have access, now or some time in the near future.
If you think the laws will protect you as a user of cannabis, think again. Even if you believe using cannabis is helping you for an illness or pain, unless you have a serious illness and medicinal cannabis has been prescribed to you, it is illegal to use cannabis.
So, if you get caught during workplace drug testing, you’ll still face the normal consequences as set out in your employer’s drug and alcohol management plan.
Consequences that could include dismissal from your workplace.