skip to Main Content

Cannabis Legalization

The federal government has legalized the consumption of recreational cannabis across Canada effective October 17th, 2018.

What does this change mean?

The Cannabis Act creates a legal and regulatory framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. This newly created Cannabis Act does not change the way in which impairment due to substance is interpreted in the workplace. WorkSafeBC Regulation 4.20 Impairment by Alcohol, Drug or Other Substance, which stems from the Workers Compensation Act and has been in place for some time, prohibits a worker from being at work while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The Act and Regulation will continue to be the governing workplace legislation, despite the legalization of cannabis.

Under Section 116 (2)(d) of the Workers Compensation Act, a worker is required to “ensure that the worker’s ability to work without risk to his or her health or safety, or to the health or safety of any other person, is not impaired by alcohol, drugs or other causes.” Employees are not permitted to be impaired in the workplace. Impairment includes instances in which one’s ability to work, or behavior, is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance; it can include the following:

  • Weakened judgement, thinking, and decision-making
  • Decreased motor coordination, reaction time, and sensory perception
  • Psychological or stress-related effects, such as mood swings or personality changes

Within this context employees are also not permitted to use cannabis products while on duty or anywhere on campus grounds. This includes all forms of ingestion (smoking, vaping and edibles). Alcohol and illegal drugs are also not permitted while in the workplace or on College premises. Employees should take into consideration the effects of prescription and non-prescription drugs, and fatigue, as potential sources of impairment. If there is any such source of potential impairment, it should be disclosed to the College.

Exceptions may exist for employees or students who have been prescribed cannabis by their attending physician, for the treatment of a diagnosed medical condition. Employees seeking a medical accommodation should connect with Nav Dhaliwal, Coordinator, Workplace Reintegration & Attendance Promotion  in the People Services department ( Students seeking a medical accommodation should be referred to the Accessibility Services department (

A workplace policy, along with accompanying procedures, addressing Substance Use and Impairment is currently being created. It will be shared with the campus community once it is finalized. At this time, the College would also like to remind everyone that Langara has been a Smoke-free Campus since May 1, 2018. For more information about the campus-wide Smoke-Free Policy, please click here.

Back To Top