National Defence issues new policy on the use of cannabis by civilian employees
As the Government of Canada prepares to legalize cannabis on October 17, 2018, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are taking measures that continue to promote a healthy, safe, and impairment-free work environment for all members of the Defence Team.
Following the September 7 release of the CAF’s Defence Administrative Order and Directive (DAOD) 9004-1, Use of Cannabis by CAF members, DND has issued a similar policy for civilians focused on preventing impairment in the workplace.
The new policy for civilians – known as DAOD 2007-2, Use of Cannabis by DND Employees – applies to all civilian members of the Defence Team, as well as officers and non-commissioned members of the CAF who act as managers or supervisors of DND employees.
All civilian employees are required to familiarize themselves with the new policy to fully understand the regulations to avoid any potential consequences of misuse. CAF members who supervise civilian staff must also be aware of their responsibilities outlined in the DAOD.
Both policies come into effect on October 17, and were developed to foster a healthy and safe workplace for all members of the Defence Team, and to ensure that the Canadian military remains a fit, deployable, and effective force by establishing periods of prohibition for the consumption of cannabis.
Deputy Minister of National Defence, Jody Thomas, stated that, “The legalization of cannabis represents a major societal and cultural change in Canada. I have full faith in the professionalism of the Defence Team as we go through this transition and that we will continue to ensure we have a safe work environment.”
While the complete details can be found by reading the DAOD’s, the following is a high-level overview of the prohibitions and restrictions imposed by the respective policies:
- Continued zero tolerance of impairment in the workplace;
- 8-hour period of prohibition of recreational consumption prior to regular duty performance in the workplace;
- 24-hour period of prohibition of recreational consumption prior to a safety sensitive duty in the workplace; and
- 28-day period of prohibition of recreational consumption prior to safety sensitive duties involving operating in a hyperbaric environment, i.e. diving, submarine service or use of a recompression chamber; or controlling or directing an aerospace platform or asset.
Recreational cannabis consumption by a CAF member is prohibited in the following situations:
- During the entire period of the member’s working day or shift;
- During the entire period that the CAF member is serving on a domestic operation;
- 8-hours before any duty;
- 24-hours before certain duties that involve heightened risk and a higher-than-usual need for attention to detail (refer to DAOD for details);
- 28-days before operating in a highly demanding environment or in a precision-oriented task (refer to DAOD for details); and
- During the entire period of:
- an international operation, exercise or collective training, other than any period of authorized leave in Canada; or
- a posting or attached posting outside Canada, other than any period of authorized leave in Canada.
For the latest details about the legalization of cannabis, Defence policies, impacts on health and travel, and other cannabis-related resources, the Defence Team is encouraged to visit the Cannabis: What you need to know intranet page.
Additional information can also be found on the Government of Canada’s cannabis web site.