All Air Canada Staff in “safety-critical” positions will be unable to unwind with a toke – even while off-duty.
“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,” a statement sent to Global News reads.
Cabin crew and flight dispatchers are also on the list of positions that will be banned from recreational cannabis use once the substance becomes legal across the country in a few weeks. All staff not on the safety-critical list will have to obey a fairly standard drug policy that says staff must be sober while at work and cannot consume cannabis while on-duty or at the workplace.
And while Air Canada says they are “acting out of an abundance of caution based on current understanding of the effects of these drugs,” workplace drug policy expert Katrina Ingram says it seems strange that they would choose to treat cannabis differently from alcohol.
“I think it’s interesting that they’d be treating these two substances a little bit differently, and it’s probably borne out of a position of not really understanding what the implications are going to be for cannabis use,” Ingram told Huffington Post after Air Canada announced their new policy.
Air Canada does have a medical marijuana policy that they claim is less restrictive and more considerate towards the rights of patients. They have also committed to regular reviews of the new marijuana policy.