Some officials are concerned about how the new marijuana laws will affect the employee situation in their municipalities.
Warden Rodney Cooney told county council Thursday the human resources issues are “scary” for municipalities since there isn’t a test for cannabis like with alcohol. He said it would also be a concern to businesses.
Referring to the federal government’s new marijuana legislation which comes into place in October, Cooney said, “They got a moving target and they’re shooting at it in the dark. It’s scary.”
He said cannabis stays in the body for up to seven days and you can’t just send an employee home from work when suspecting it.
In an interview after council, he gave the example of a backhoe driver using cannabis, working with three people in a hole.
#2 CANNABIS WARDEN
Cooney said, “As a CAO department head and business owner, if you have someone who can’t perform their duty because of cannabis and you are paying a person’s salary, I don’t care if it’s $30 an hour, $100 an hour or $14.50 an hour, you should have the right to send that person home until they can come back to perform such duties you hired him for.”
He pointed to his own municipality of Stirling-Rawdon which has 31 employees and said it could be expensive for the municipality if any of them had to be paid for doing lesser jobs, if they were using marijuana.
When asked if there was a legal issue with sending an employee home in that situation, Cooney said it was being studied.
Cooney recently attended an Ontario East Municipal conference in Cornwall where the issue was discussed by human resources experts.