What is the Future of Getting Stoned at Work?

Jun 12, 2018

I’ve been stoned at work, most of the multiple times even with my boss’s consent or participation. Which intrigued me because the author of a recent article in High Times wrote about the subject. So, I thought I’d get personal, and compare it with my experiences getting stoned at the office.

“People have been using cannabis at work since cannabis was discovered,” Joshua Kirby, CEO of California cannabis brand Kin Slips, told High Times. But now that public consumption of cannabis is becoming more and more normalized and socially acceptable, the question of using marijuana in the modern workplace is more and more relevant.

High Times asks the proverbial and yet somewhat obvious question. “With more than 55 million adults regularly consuming marijuana and 56% of Americans now finding pot “socially acceptable,” it’s only a matter of time before marijuana and work go hand in hand. Right? Maybe…”

Yeah, maybe. Pot is like alcohol in a lot of ways. Is it socially acceptable to drink during the day at work? Generally, at most jobs, no. It impairs abilities, can distract you, and can even be dangerous. From truck driver to hair stylist, to elementary teacher, to police officer, to doctor, or aerospace engineer, many professions, and on-the-job substance use just don’t mix.

And yet I’m drinking a vodka and coke right now while writing this article. Just like Ernest Hemingway, but hopefully with a bit more moderation. And a graphic designer I work with can’t work unless he’s got some cannabis in his vape. We also work in settings that allow that kind of flexibility because it oils our creative juices. And we’re doing fine.

“For any work that requires a high level of precision or responsibility like driving a forklift or working in a hospital, safeguards must be in place to ensure that abilities are not impaired by alcohol, cannabis or any other substance,” adds Kirby, “However, cannabis can be a great asset for work that relies more on creativity and collaboration if used correctly and responsibly. At the end of the day, it really comes down to the individual and the method of consumption.  This is especially true for people who engage in creative problem solving for a living.”

My friend and I will just pull out a bong or a bottle of gin whenever we feel like it (my drink of choice is a gin and tonic, but I’m flexible if need be). Of course in many creative business environments, even if quite liberal, such obvious acts might be a bit much. So, how does High Times suggest dealing with that? Well, Mr. Kirby has a few options:

“There is no right or wrong way to consume cannabis,” continues Kirby, “it really is up to the individual and the company’s guidelines. Depending on the work environment, smoking flower or vaping may be too obvious or disruptive, so more discreet formats would make sense.”

Kirby is, of course, referring Kin Strips, his company, which specializes in sublingual strips and all natural edibles ranging from 10 to 20mg of THC. “And yeah—they pack a punch,” says High Times.

Of course, I still get my work done.

Ron Silver, Chef and owner of Bubby’s in Tribeca, NYC, has started to explore what a green-friendly workplace looks like that isn’t a traditional creative agency. He is pushing the envelope with his menu items, incorporating a CBD-infused sweater into a few dishes. He also lets his employees get high, but only at appropriate times.

“I’m in the weed business,” Silver, “And certain cannabis companies have this thing called ‘The Dab Room.” You go for a meeting, but you never leave the Dab Room. You never have the meeting. You’ll fly all the way to Los Angeles for a meeting that never happens—so, yeah, I do sort of find it to be unproductive in a certain kind of way. But also, I’m a boss, and I burn doobies with my employees all the time. I’m always the guy at the company party rolling up doobs. So, in our restaurant, we have a cannabis culture—but it’s not always predicated on 4:20. If everybody’s getting high at 4:20 dinner won’t go so well.”

So, downsides to consuming cannabis at work include wasted trips to the coast and attentive waiters at dinner service. Nobody likes a waiter who forgets to bring your steak. But the idea of a cannabis happy hour is intriguing and will probably eventually become the solution for many companies. If a company sponsors a weekly happy hour for their employees, perhaps that will include pot. Basically, as alcohol goes, so does weed. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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