Why You shouldn't Be Fired For Off-Duty Cannabis Use
4 min

Why You shouldn't Be Fired For Off-Duty Cannabis Use

4 min
Legislation News

Cannabis still sits in a grey area when it comes to public perception. The upshot is you are likely to lose your job for using in your spare time. This is wrong on so many levels.

Workers are being punished for smoking recreational and medicinal cannabis during their spare, personal time. Do employers have the right to cross their jurisdiction and intrude on your personal life? We don't think so. In fact, we believe cannabis use actually highlight positive traits.

Despite recent relaxation of cannabis laws in certain countries and states, the western world is still active on the front lines of the war on drugs, its prime ammunition being cultural manipulation, propaganda pushing and the utter denial of scientific evidence. Such intolerant and belligerent decision making from those in the upper echelons of the current power structure is highly unfortunate for the residents of these nations. Those who wish to partake in cannabis as a recreational, religious or medicinal substance risk hefty fines, damaged reputations, losing their careers and even prison sentences.

Even those who reside in parts of the world where the herb is legal to utilize recreationally and medicinally are not safe from the ingrained stigma of cannabis use. This was reflected in a decision made by the Colorado High Court which ruled that employers can fire staff members for using medical cannabis off-duty and in the privacy of their own homes. This ruling boils down to the fact that cannabis use is still not legal under the umbrella of federal law in the United States.

When these laws and judgements are weighed for their worth using the faculties of reason and logic, hypocrisy, and outright deceit and clearly identified. What people choose to do outside of work has absolutely nothing to do with the institution that they work for, as they are only subject to their rules within working hours, while being paid for their services. Companies should, therefore, quite literally, mind their own business.

Not only should people be allowed to partake in cannabis outside of working hours if they choose, especially for medicinal uses, but there are even several arguments in place that state that it is beneficial and indicates intelligence.


Since the aim of a business in a capitalist system is to optimize profits, it only makes sense that members of a workforce should have key decision-making skills in order to obtain maximum results. Well, using cannabis recreationally and medicinally is arguably a far better personal choice than opting for the far more damaging, yet legal, narcotics such as alcohol and caffeine.

Alcohol is responsible for roughly 3.3 million deaths annually across the globe, and contributes to acts of violence and recklessness, with research suggesting that the substance is more dangerous than heroin and cocaine

The question must be asked: how is it that an employer may be concerned that their staff members may be smoking cannabis, a harmless herb with no toxicity, but blindly ignore the socially acceptable fact that they may be drinking a poison that modifies behaviour in a dire way and displays poor decision-making capabilities?

Medical use of cannabis also highlights an individual's ability to make superior health choices. Many people suffering from chronic pain, and conditions that cause pain, choose to use cannabis to treat it. And rightly so, it is proven to assist pain. Once again the controversy in this area is completely absurd and misplaced. The alternative to this natural and harmless treatment are prescription medicines that are opiate-based, highly addictive and literally deadly, yet legal, profitable and regarded as acceptable in the workplace. CDC data shows that a massive 14,000 people died in the US from prescription opioids in 2014 alone [5].


Another advantageous element within employees to help a business thrive is their ability to muster creative solutions in the face of problems and innovation. The more quality ideas that are bouncing around, the more potential for better products and increased profits.

It just so happens that cannabis has been researched on its effect to enhance just this characteristic.

V. Krishna Kumar, PhD, discusses a scientific review that may have determined the mechanism that enables cannabis to catalyse creative thinking:

“Schafer and colleagues (2011) reviewed literature suggesting that the effects of cannabis on creativity have not been extensively studied nor are the mechanisms by which it stimulates creativity well understood. However, they suggested that cannabis produces psychotomimetic symptoms, which in turn might lead to connecting seemingly unrelated concepts, an aspect of divergent thinking considered primary to creative thinking. A drug induced altered state of mind may indeed lead to breaking free from ordinary thinking and associations, thereby, increasing the likelihood of generating novel ideas or associations. Weiner (2000), for example, noted “From American Indian use of peyote to Chinese people using plum wine, to Coleridge’s opium use, and Hemingway’s alcohol consumption, individuals have found that the exaggerated emotions and altered perspectives they’ve gained from drugs stimulated their creativity.”


It is now common knowledge that the war on drugs has been and continues to be an utter failure, boasting trillions of dollars of wasted money and the incarceration of millions of non-violent “criminals”. There is no need to continue this unnecessary vilification of innocent people, nor a need for people’s workplaces to probe their personal lives in search of false wrongdoing.

However, it matters not. Even as the way things are, people are choosing to utilize their sovereign freedom and partake anyway. Oh, and they are still turning up to work and performing as effective and productive members of society.

Not only do huge amounts of people use cannabis in their spare time, but a survey conducted by actually identified that 1 in 10 Americans actually show up to work under the influence of the herb. With such huge numbers involved and an economy that is still functioning, we have collective proof that cannabis use does not need nannying.


The evidence that is continually and frequently emerging is becoming enough to completely obliterate what remains of the old rags of propaganda that surround cannabis. With this new information, it is time to rewrite the rule-book and accept that this healing and recreational herb has a place among the daily lives of anybody who wants or needs it. These people should be free to enjoy and utilize this medicinal substance without constant and barbaric threats such as loss of employment and prison. Turning up to work stoned may not be the best of choices and may be against safety regulations, but what an individual chooses to do in their spare time is entirely up to them. It should also be added that cannabis does not come without its own potential problems. Everybody is different and thus will use the herb differently. Those with addictive and self-sabotaging traits will obviously perform worse than those who are stable and centred.


  Guest Writer  

Written by: Guest Writer
Occasionally we have guest writers contribute to our blog here at Zamnesia. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, making their knowledge invaluable.

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