Former cop urges caution regarding cannabis in the workplace as legalization looms



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Ed Secondiak, a former RCMP drug enforcement officer, spoke to a group of local employers about issues that may arise due to the impending legalization of marijuana at Medicine Hat College on Friday.–NEWS PHOTO JEREMY APPEL

Ed Secondiak began his Friday lecture on cannabis in the workplace by cautioning against potential dangers of the soon-to-be-legalized substance.

“We would consider marijuana a dangerous drug simply because impairment is not recognized by the individual or perhaps the person (working) with them,” said Secondiak, a former drug enforcement RCMP officer who now works with ECS Safety.

The talk at Medicine Hat College was organized by APEX and intended for local employers, whom Secondiak encouraged to ask questions at any time.

“(Cannabis) delays decision making linked to workplace accidents and injuries,” he warned.

Secondiak noted the vast increase in the herb’s potency, measured in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) percentage, throughout the years.

Marijuana typically contains 20 per cent THC after being dried out for smoking.

“In the ’70s, ’80s, into the ’90s, the THC content of the marijuana sold on the streets was half a per cent. With the super-duper stuff, maybe as high as two per cent,”…