Employers considering a tolerant attitude towards recreational cannabis in the workplace should consider safety hazards and legal liabilities.
In the heyday of the two-martini lunch, employers regularly tolerated alcohol in the workplace or employees presumably impaired by alcohol returning to work. Over the succeeding decades, employers began to concentrate on the business and legal liabilities imposed by drug and alcohol use and impairment in the workplace — including increased absenteeism, mistakes, sexual harassment, workplace violence, and accidents/injuries. Employers also discovered that their insurance companies claimed exemptions for certain claims if the employee that created the issue had been consuming alcohol at work. As a result, employers largely began to adopt policies that prohibited employees from using or being under the influence of alcohol (and drugs) while at work. Most employers since have prohibited alcohol and drugs entirely or restricted alcohol to occasional company Christmas parties and social functions.