With the rise of cannabis use, and CBD products gaining more and more mainstream attention, more of us are thinking about the effects on our wider lives. Social impacts like what our friends think, and medical outcomes outlined by the science are one thing, but for many of us it’s the way our employers view cannabis use that keeps us up at night.
Will your employer fine you, fire you, turn a blind eye, simply never check in the first place, or maybe, just maybe, support you on your health and wellness journey? We’ve set out to provide some much needed balance to an argument where all too many people write that the moment you take cannabis or CBD products, you’re putting your career in jeopardy. The issue is far more nuanced and complicated than that, so it’s about time we dived into the details and took a closer look at the cannabis UK legalisation businesses will be paying attention to.
Firstly, we need to talk about what we can’t provide in this article: 100% guarantees of career safety. It wouldn’t be right and it certainly wouldn’t be accurate, so we’re going to steer well clear of any form of value judgement or estimation of likelihood. We also can’t hope to cover every single industry, profession and role in a short article like this, so we’re not going to try to. Instead, we’re going to focus on using our experience as Londonderry’s premium CBD product supplier to provide you with insights into how you can move forward.
What’s your first step?
The first thing we all need to face up to is the fact that something is not the case in the UK right now: cannabis legalised for unlimited consumption. This may not be what we want to hear, and many of us will argue that the health benefits far outweigh those of thousands of legal products and supplements, but it remains the reality of the current state of cannabis legalisation in the UK today. We’re not doing this to be difficult, or to try and shut the argument down — we’re doing it to make sure that everyone knows the state of play in 2023 as we sit down to write this piece.
There is a growing body of both public sentiment, and scientific research, that supports a full declassification. The problem with this is that cannabis UK legalisation is not at this point yet, so for all intents and purposes, taking cannabis should still be seen as illegal. You can however take CBD products like our Northern Irish CBD wellness range without any risk of prosecution. CBD products are 100% legal and there is no sign that this will change at any point in the future. For this reason, we see CBD usage as completely separate to the arguments surrounding cannabis UK legalisation.
How to check if cannabis is legal in my profession?
No employer will explicitly sanction the use of smoked cannabis because it’s currently illegal in the UK. Likewise, no employer can reasonably prohibit the use of CBD products because they’re legal in all areas of the UK and this is not set to change in the future either. Why are we making what may sound like an obvious point? Because although we both know the clear medicinal benefits of cannabis use, businesses are solely focused on abiding by the law of the time.
Even if individuals within the company fully support the use of cannabis in their private lives for everything from relaxation to pain relief, they will not be able to do so in a professional capacity. The sooner we move away from expecting, and trying to make these types of arguments, the sooner we will all start to make progress as we answer the employment questions.
The simplest thing to check are the terms of your contract. Many contracts will explicitly ban the use of any prohibited substance during the terms of your employment. Some will go further and retain the right to randomly search and drug test during work hours and when you are on their private commercial premises.
The common mistake here is that people who buy cannabis online will assume that if they don’t use it during work hours, they haven’t fallen foul of the employer’s rules. This is incorrect and could lead to substantial headaches in the not too distant future. If your employer reserves the right to conduct random drug testing, and you are found with traces of cannabis in your system, you will fail the test and be found in breach of your employment contract.
Some high-safety focused industries like the military or aviation will typically fire you for gross misconduct, others may take a slightly more nuanced view. But like we said out the outset here, this article is not designed to try and guess, predict or prejudge likely outcomes. We’re far more focused on giving you the tools and information needed to make an informed choice.
What if you take a cannabis prescription UK employers are aware of?
In theory, if it’s prescribed by a doctor and not explicitly banned by your employer, you’re well within your rights to take it in line with the stated dosage. The problem with this argument is the scope of cases that it actually applies to. While more and more doctors are becoming increasingly aware of the clear health benefits of cannabis, the chances are highly remote that you’ll be prescribed it on the NHS.
What should you do if you don’t know when cannabis will be legal in the UK?
Instead of trying to figure this one out — the law moves at a very slow pace — opting for pure, tested and independently certified CBD products is always the way to go. From our base here in Londonderry we produce, pack and ship the UK’s finest and purest CBD products day in, day out. Ideal if you want to be able to experience all of the benefits of cannabis without any of the potential headaches and legal minefields that come with it.
By taking CBD that’s free from THC, you can show your employer, if they ever ask, that you’re taking a proven health and wellness product purely for medicinal reasons. For those of you in highly specialist professions where bodily testing is standard procedure, you may want to seek expert advice on whether or not to declare CBD. There is no legal grey area here, but it might be, for the case of an elite athlete for example, that you have to demonstrate that you’re not intentionally taking something with a clear performance enhancing benefit.
What’s your next step?
As Derry/Londonderry’s leading supplier of premium quality CBD supplements, we recommend ending your search to buy cannabis online, and the complexities of UK cannabis legislation. By shifting towards our proven range of independently tested products, you can experience all the same health and wellness benefits, along with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re never going to fall foul of the complex nature of UK employment law. Ideal when you want to sleep easy knowing that you’re giving your mind and body everything they need the right way.
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