Perfect Policies: Does Your Office Really Need a Cannabis policy?
I’m going to save some of you a lot of
time and thousands of dollars. My name is Lewis Eisen And I’m seeing a lot of policy whack- a-mole these days. You know Whack-a-Mole®, the game will you stand with a hammer ready to hit anything that pops up through the holes? Well policy whack-a-mole is a very similar thing. It’s a game played by offices—corporations and government where the executives sit around and just
wait for things to change, and then it’s, “Well I need a policy.” “Oh, there’s a new app, I need to hit it with a policy.” “The law has changed.” “Oh somebody had a security breach: Policy.” It’s a bit of a problem and it’s
happening a lot these days in Canada and a number of the States because of the
recent change in the cannabis laws. Cannabis has now become legal. And we
have people walking around going, [panicking] “Oh my god, pot is legal we need a policy.” [panicking] “We are going to be in such trouble if we don’t have a policy.” “Next week our entire workforce is going to show up stoned out of their minds…” [laughter] [panicking] “…and if we don’t have a policy we’re not going to be able to do a thing about it…” “…They’re gonna break the equipment. They’re gonna ruin our reputation…” “…We’re gonna have all kinds of liability issues…” “…and they’re probably going to eat all
the munchies in the vending machines.” [laughter] They’re panicking. Okay, so time out here. We need to be level-headed about this, and I say we need to be level-headed because I just saw a national organization pay six digits to a firm to write them a cannabis policy that they did not need. A waste of time and money. Do you need a cannabis policy? I mean, we create policies out of an
abundance of caution. We want to head things off before they happen.
That’s fair enough. Now, do YOU need one? If your policies are in order, the answer is No. You will already have rules around
how employees behave. You will have procedures.
You will have rules on roles and responsibilities. You’ll have rules around discipline and punishment. Two facts are pertinent here: The first is that some substances are illegal.
Let’s call those “List A” substances, ok? Those include things like heroin, certain weapons, contraband. You don’t get to decide what’s on that list.
Somebody else decides that. All you can do is decide what you’re going to do if you find employees using or involved
with one of these substances. The second fact is that
some substances are legal but intoxicating. Let’s call those “List B” substances. That’s things like alcohol, prescription drugs, certain non -prescription drugs like
antihistamine and sleeping pills. You don’t get to decide what’s on that list either.
Science decides that list. All you can do is make rules around what happens when employees show up unable to do their jobs because of one of the substances on that list. Now all that’s happened in Canada and in these States, the change of law—for better or for worse— cannabis has moved from List A (the
list of illegal substances) to List B (the list of legal but
intoxicating substances). That’s all. And if your policies are in order
you don’t have to do a thing. You don’t even have to blink!
It’s all handled for you. Now, you may have gaps in your policies,
so you may need to fill in gaps around the rules around List A,
the rules around List B Maybe you need to work on some procedures,
and roles and responsibilities. That’s fine, you can fill up those gaps as you need to. And if your policies aren’t what I call
Perfect Policies, that is inside a policy framework, and
clear, succinct, and respectful you may have some work to do
in that regard as well. But don’t panic! Now, if you have no policies in your company
about employee behaviour, yeah okay, you have a serious problem.
You have my permission to panic. [laughter] And you can start panicking right now or
at the end of the video. This kind of reminds me of what happened when Facebook came out. People are using Facebook, and so [panicking] “Oh my god! We need a Facebook policy!
We need a Facebook policy!” And then they find people are using Twitter.
[panicking] “Oh we need a Twitter policy!” and “I need a Snapchat policy!”
“I need an Instagram policy!” That’s policy whack-a-mole.
And that game never ends! You don’t want to be playing that. It may be that this—the change in the law is an opportune time for you
to take stock of your policies and see what kind of state they’re in. Now if you don’t know how to tell what kind of state they’re in, I can help you with that. If you follow the link on the screen I will send you a Policy Suite Health Diagnostic.
Free. With my compliments. It will help you figure out
whether or not your policy suite needs work. We’re going to have a lot of changes coming up. Other substances will jump from one list to the other and you don’t want to have to be playing
policy whack-a-mole every time that happens. So my advice: Put your hammer down. Upgrade any policies that you need to upgrade,
but don’t fixate on a cannabis policy. Save your time and money. Spend that time and money on showing your employees some love. Take them out to lunch. Or at least buy them more munchies
for the vending machines. [laughter] You know, better yet, pick up my book How to Write Rules that People Want to Follow It will show you how to make all your policies
Perfect Policies. [applause]