Joshua Jacquot says his boss won’t allow him to take the medication he needs during working hours because that medication is cannabis.
It’s doctor-prescribed, legal and, according to the 23-year-old assembly line worker, it is the only thing that helps him cope with his depression and anxiety.
Jacquot says that when he informed Ventra Assembly several months ago that he wanted to take it at work, he was told to use regular prescribed drugs instead. He said he’s already tried them and they don’t help. He went off on sick leave in November, he said, and continues to fight, because he can’t use the medication he needs at work.
“I’m frustrated, I’m angry, I’m upset,” he told reporter Brian Cross, insisting that if he’s allowed to use his weed, he won’t be high on the job.
He’d use a strain of medical marijuana with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. And to comply with no-smoking legislation, he would take capsules or cannabis oil.
“They would allow me to have Percocets or Fentanyl at work, but they’re not going to allow me to have medical marijuana with high CBD,” said Jacquot.
“I’m not saying I want to smoke weed every five minutes, but I need it to deal with my depression, I want to be able to use it.”
The province’s Human Rights Code requires that employers accommodate any medical treatment, “including the use of marijuana, that an individual requires in order to access services or to be a productive member of the workplace,” a recent Ontario Bar Association report on the issue says. It often comes down to a balance between the employee’s right to be accommodated and an employer’s obligation to ensure safety in the workplace.