Editorial Archive

Cannabis legalization comes into effect October 17, 2018

10/16/18 5:09 PM

From the Human Resources Department

Tomorrow, October 17, 2018, cannabis use and possession will become legal in Canada (within certain parametres). In Ontario, the laws associated with recreational cannabis include An Act to enact the Cannabis Act, 2017 and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017. Further restrictions on the use of recreational cannabis may exist under municipal bylaws, lease agreements, and other policies (including, for example, policies of employers and property owners).

Obligations of TTC employees in relation to alcohol and drug use are set out in the TTC’s Fitness for Duty Policy. For unionized employees, obligations are also set out in the various collective agreements currently in place.

Although cannabis will no longer be illegal, cannabis is still a drug that can diminish a worker’s ability to perform his or her job safety and productively. Its use, sale, possession is still restricted by various laws. Because cannabis has the potential to negatively impact an employee’s fitness for duty, its use and possession will continue to be governed by and subject to TTC policy. In particular, it is still a “Drug” as that term is defined under the Fitness for Duty Policy, and is still considered an “Illicit Drug” at this time for the purposes of the Policy.

All provisions in the Policy that apply to Illicit Drugs continue to apply to cannabis.

Employees are prohibited from using or consuming illicit drugs, including cannabis, in a way that has potential to impact their Fitness for Duty, and employees are still subject to drug and alcohol testing, including for cannabis. Employees who test above the cut-off level for cannabis will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.

To account for the changes in the law, provisions in TTC policy that accommodate alcohol use and possession in certain circumstances, will also apply to cannabis. For example, provisions governing alcohol use will be modified to account for cannabis use, so long as that use is in compliance with applicable laws, is done responsibly, and so long as the employee is not returning to work within a timeframe in which they may be experiencing the effects, carry-over effects or withdrawal effects, or test positive for cannabis. Similarly, as is the case with alcohol, possession of cannabis on TTC business, premises, worksites (as defined in the Policy) remains prohibited. Employees may have cannabis in their personal vehicle on TTC property, so long as it is lawfully possessed and locked in the trunk of the vehicle or otherwise appropriately secured. Furthermore, as with alcohol, employees are not to purchase cannabis from authorized establishments while in uniform, even when off duty.

The TTC will be issuing a revised and updated policy that will reflect, among other things, the legalization of cannabis. In the meantime, visit ttc.ca (Random drug and alcohol testing at the TTC) for more information about Fitness for Duty.

October 16, 2018

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