Lifestyle, Research

Off the Clock Cannabis Use Won’t Impact Job Performance

November 13, 2020 02:30 pm ET
Off the Clock Cannabis Use Won’t Impact Job Performance

The War on Drugs has historically relied upon scare tactics and misinformation to steer people away from drug use. But it has also further complicated legalization efforts and kept lawmakers from establishing policies that would seek to combat racism and keep people out of prison. No substance has been more unfairly maligned by the War on Drugs than cannabis. Inaccurately classified as a Schedule I narcotic despite the fact that it has recognized medicinal uses, cannabis has been ignorantly woven into narratives designed to frighten people who don’t know any better.

One of our primary jobs here at Veriheal is to cut through these misleading knots and get to the truth, destigmatizing cannabis and allowing people to make decisions about their cannabis use that are based on actual facts rather than scare tactics.

Some Myths You May Have Heard

It’s difficult to know where to begin when talking about cannabis myths because there are just so many lies and exaggerations out there. One of the most popular these days is that legalizing cannabis will lead to increased crime rates, which is demonstrably false. In states where cannabis has been legalized, the crime rate has actually dropped because the stats are no longer being padded with arrests for minor cannabis-related crimes. What’s more, not having to police nonviolent cannabis crimes has freed law enforcement officers in those states up to focus their attention on actual, serious crime, with the result being that crime rates drop significantly in states where cannabis is legal.

Some fearmongers like to claim that cannabis is a gateway drug, but that’s an extreme oversimplification that has no real basis in reality—studies have shown no direct path between cannabis use and the use of harder drugs. It’s more likely that there are other factors that are common between some cannabis users and those who progress to harder drugs—but, of course, we also know that there is an overwhelming number of cannabis users who never touch other drugs at all. And then there are concerns about how cannabis affects day to day life. We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the lazy stoner—another debunked myth. And recently, Governor Ricketts of Nebraska falsely suggested that legalization would lead to an increase in workplace accidents.  

Off Hours Cannabis Use And Job Performance

A recent study conducted at San Diego State University has shed some light on the relationship between cannabis use and job performance. The study broke cannabis use into two categories—on the job use and after-hours use.

According to the findings of the study, using cannabis during work hours (or immediately before work hours) did show negative correlations when it came to job performance. This is unsurprising, since THC, which is often present in cannabis, is an intoxicating substance, and people’s ability to perform detailed work is likely to be inhibited when they’re in an altered mental state. But more notably, the study also found that after-hours cannabis use had no negative impact on job performance. As long as employees were sober during work hours, their job performance was unimpaired. In fact, Dr. Jeremy Bernerth, one of the study’s coauthors, suggested that after-hours cannabis use might even provide some benefits to employees, as it would allow them to relax and destress, thus enabling them to return to work the next day with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

So enjoy your after-work smoke, vape, or edible treat guilt-free. Your ability to do your job won’t be harmed as long as you keep your cannabis use a practice in which you participate on your own time, and not during work hours. 

Post Your Comments

Crystal says:

This seems like a grey area at some dispensaries. People make mistakes high or not. Most people I know are functional pot smoking career people. Some get fired for medicating prior to work if someone suspects you were under influence because you made a mistake at work. In the other side the management or favored employees never get asked to or pin pointed as being under influence. Is it illegal or is it don’t ask don’t tell? So confused. Most my coworkers have worse days when un medicated at work.

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