Cannabis was legalized in Canada back in 2018, before the NPF was certified. At that time, the RCMP put a policy in place that required 28 days’ abstinence from cannabis products, before any work shift. This policy was not consistent with the police universe.
The NPF National Policy Health and Safety and Collective Bargaining Committees have been advocating for a review and modernization of this policy since 2020.
We are pleased to report that the RCMP has updated this policy simply requiring Members to be fit for duty when reporting for work. This new policy is now consistent with our comparator police universe.
We recommend that all Members review, understand, and abide by the revised policy. In short, it states that, “employees are required to be fit to perform their duties and carry out their responsibilities, and are not to be impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other impairing substances” while working. Please review the Occupational Safety Manual (OSM Chapter 17 Substance Use) on the Infoweb.
This policy excludes underwater divers and pilots who must continue to follow the requirements of their professional governing bodies.
This is a big step forward for the RCMP and the NPF Membership and we thank Vice-President Peter Merrifield, employee Co-Chair of the National Policy Health and Safety Committee, as well as Vice-President Dennis Miller and Pacific/North Region Director Rob Farrer, Co-Chairs of the Collective Bargaining Committee and members of both committees for advancing this issue.
We are also grateful to RCMP Commissioner Michael Duheme for his leadership on this topic.