Cannabis is Risky Business

Talking about medical cannabis in professional and business communities is risky.

But I’m going to do it anyways.

Here’s why:

I started to learn about medical cannabis when I watched "Weed" the CNN documentary series hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. (Watch it now.) 

This documentary features a number of different patients, many were children. The documentary profiles Charlotte Figi, a child with Dravet Syndrome, who experienced horrible life-threatening seizures.

You watch Charlotte go from having hundreds of seizures a day, to being free of seizures and beginning to develop as a normal child. It's incredible. 

Prior to this, admittedly, when I saw adults speaking about the benefits of medical cannabis there was a small part of me that wondered if they were being entirely truthful. Adults are capable of lying or telling a version of the truth in order to make a point about cannabis.

But sick children cannot lie.

This was the beginning of my interest in cannabis.

Today, I have a deeply personal story about medical cannabis. My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer for a second time. She is accessing medical cannabis legally through Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). She uses it for anxiety and fear resulting from her diagnosis. It can also be used as an appetite stimulant and for pain.

She deserves to have access to any-and-all treatments that will help her get better.

Everyone deserves this.

The stigma about cannabis remains because it’s a drug that’s been under prohibition for decades. The result? Many people don’t know cannabis is an option, or if they do – they don’t know how to access it.

Times are changing though. Legal cannabis is sweeping the United States, both medically and recreationally. Medical cannabis is legal in Canada federally and has been since 2001. Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana recreationally. The exact framework for this hasn’t been confirmed but it is expected that we will follow a model like the one in Colorado.

The growing cannabis industry has been called the “green rush.” It’s not a mainstream topic yet, but it will be very soon.

We need to be talking about cannabis in professional circles and considering the impact it will have on our personal lives, communities and workplaces.

I’m applying my expertise in workplace matters to this topic and have started a blog called Cannabis At Work. This site provides information for employees and employers about how to accommodate medical marijuana in the workplace.

It’s a way for me to have a constructive, elevated conversation on this topic.

Here’s the hard truth: I’m afraid. Anxious. The risk surrounding this conversation is real.

But necessary.

I have opinions on this topic and I will continue to share them with you. If you want to join me, check out Cannabis At Work and subscribe if you like what you see. You can also follow @cannabisatwork on Twitter or me personally @alisonlmcmahon. You can also find my opinions at Civilized, where I will be contributing regularly. 

Ready to start the dialogue? I am.

Can we see some ID?

Are you of legal age?

18 yrs+ in Alberta or Quebec and 19 yrs+ in all other Canadian provinces and territories.