Wed. Jan 20th, 2021

You can get fired for private cannabis​ use: Check your contract

cannabis expo 2019 random drug testingYour company has the right to fire you if you fail a random drug test at work even if you only use cannabis privately. Check your company’s drug policy.

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If you use Cannabis privately make sure you are aware of your company’s drug policy.

News24 reports that 3 United National Transport Union members were fired after using the drug at home furthermore they lost their case at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration.

Pass the Dutchie

The 3 members had failed a random drug test at work. The fact that they work with heavy machinery means their company has a “zero tolerance” policy with regards to drug use.

Irrespective of the fact that the Constitutional Court ruled that you are entitled to smoke cannabis in the privacy of your home, you cannot expect your employer to deviate from implementing the zero-tolerance rule,”

United National Transport Union

Given they are operating heavy machinery, we can see the logic behind this rule.

CCMA commissioner Charles Oaks agrees with us. He found that the prohibition of the employer was reasonable because they work with dangerous heavy machinery.

The men were aware of, and had agreed to, the company’s drug policy beforehand.

Yes, you can smoke cannabis at home or use it for medical purposes, but if the employer wants to test you at any stage, and you test positive, you can be dismissed.

Charles Oaks

Legalise it

There is currently a grey area concerning those who use cannabis by-products for health reasons according to Eugene Du Plessis from SA Mobile Drug Testing.

To test an employee, the company must have indicated in their contract that they will run random drug testing. The employee must have signed the contract thus recognising and agreeing to the clause.

This practice is compulsory for many occupations but whether it covers those who use Cannibas medicinally is unclear.

The Constitutional Court ruled last year that it was unconstitutional to prevent private cannabis use, but a legal process still has to be gone through to rework laws and regulations in line with this ruling. Many recreational and medicinal users, as well as cannabis entrepreneurs, are currently finding their own ways of dealing with the grey areas in the law until the law is rewritten.


I was gonna go to work but then I got high

These are the most common jobs that ask their employees to agree to random drug testing:

  • Train drivers
  • Pilots
  • Ships Captains
  • Drilling companies
  • Deep sea divers who do underwater maintenance and repairs
  • Anybody on an oil tanker or an oil rig
  • Some fields of medical practice
  • The engineering and heavy machinery professions;
  • CEOs and top executives, particularly in the financial sector, or employees who provide high-level financial advice
  • Some call centres
  • Some infrastructure maintenance companies that do repairs such as replacing a municipal utility line

Schools also run random drug testing as long as parental consent.

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