Does Cannabis Really Affect Workplace Performance?

A new study has concluded that a sneaky after-work joint won't affect your work performance the next day. In fact, your supervisor probably won't even notice.

A recent study published in the Group Organisation Management Journal has shed some light on the age-old question: does cannabis use affect workplace performance?

The study, conducted by Auburn University and San Diego State University researchers, investigated the potential effects of cannabis use on workplace performance.

The global cannabis industry is gaining traction as an economy driver. Acceptance rates and its demand has increased drastically. In fact, the states where cannabis is legalised are currently reaping the tax and sales revenue rewards of adult-use cannabis. Yet, there are some political bodies that are still fighting against legalisation.

One driving argument in the U.S. is the detrimental impact of legalisation on workplace productivity and the struggle that employers and supervisors will face if the plant is added into the Constitution.

Interestingly, according to researchers, despite anti-cannabis advocates arguing that the plant will be problematic for employers, no empirical evidence exists to support this claim. The study offers a fresh perspective for the consequences of cannabis legalisation.

In turn, the study attempts to address the "void" between the stigmatic perceptions between cannabis use and workplace performance.

The results of the study offer an interesting insight that has the potential to demount a front-running objection into cannabis legalisation.

Does Cannabis Affect Workplace Performance?

Researchers looked into the correlation between cannabis use and workplace performance. Specifically, if cannabis use affected task performance if it was smoked before, during, or after work.

Supervisors were then asked to evaluate employees using a performance-based measure. This measure assessed interpersonal workplace behaviours, task productivity, and potential harmful behaviours. In order for researchers to gain an unbiased insight into employee performance supervisors were not made aware of employee cannabis use.

As expected, the study concluded that although cannabis use negatively impacted productivity if used before and during work, performance is not affected by cannabis use the night before a shift.

The results not only offer a pleasant reprieve for those who take part in a sneaky after-work joint, but also halts the anti-legalisation objection that cannabis is a detriment to workplace productivity.

Overall, researchers commented on the importance of evidence-based claims for political bodies.

This suggests a strong need to expand and reframe existing substance use theories to include explicit reference to the manner and timing in which cannabis is used. Failure to do so could lead scholars or organizational leaders to incorrectly suggest all forms of cannabis use are harmful, which may subsequently support the continuation of broad policies prohibiting all forms of cannabis use.Jeremy B. Bernerth & Jack H. Walker – Study co-authors

What Does This Mean For Legalisation?

The recent findings offer a modest victory for those currently in the midst of a legalisation tug-of-war.

This initial finding could be the key in overturning an archaic opinion regarding cannabis use. In doing so, however, it's important for political bodies to "favour" the evidence rather than personal beliefs.

The study co-authors go on to explain that further methodological and theoretical research is needed to properly understand the nuances of cannabis use.

The cannabis industry has had a headlining year and finally appears to be finding its place in the global economy. With the U.S. election and NZ referendum approaching fast, 2021 is looking to be a turning point for cannabis.

Despite anti-cannabis advocates attempt to hinder the progress of the cannabis industry, the growing evidence in its favour, its building acceptance rates, and its revenue turnover are all signs pointing to legalisation.

As it stands, the only thing left to ponder is not a matter of whether or not cannabis will be legalised, it's when.

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Taylor Ridewood
Taylor Ridewood

Taylor is a Sydney-based writer with a background in psychology and professional writing. She has a keen interest in the benefits of medicinal cannabis and enjoys researching the multi-faceted effects of cannabis on the body and mind.

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