NSC Publishes Its Position on Cannabis and Safety

The National Safety Council (NSC) has called on employers to restrict cannabis use for those in safety sensitive positions — regardless of whether cannabis consumption is allowed by their state. In a recently released policy position, the NSC defined safety sensitive positions as “those that impact the safety of the employee and the safety of others as a result of performing that job.”

“Research clearly shows that cannabis impacts a person’s psychomotor skills and cognitive ability,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the NSC. “In order to protect our employees and those around them, we need to acknowledge the impairing effects of cannabis. We urge employers to implement policies stating no amount of cannabis consumption is acceptable for those who work in safety sensitive positions.”

In a 2019 NSC survey, employers expressed the following:

  • 81 percent were concerned about the drug having a negative impact on their workforce
  • 71 percent indicated their organization’s written policies cover employee use of illicit cannabis, while only 54 percent said their policies cover employee use of legal or prescribed cannabis
  • 24 percent indicated they would dismiss an employee found to be misusing legal cannabis, such as being under the influence while on the job

Although cannabis remains federally illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, NSC has called for an increase in research to discover a way to detect cannabis impairment and gain a better understanding of the effects the drug has on the human mind and body.