'You don't want guys stoned': Canadian oil companies come out against legal marijuana

Oil drillingAndrew Burton/Getty ImagesCompanies say marijuana might pose a danger to oil workers.

Canadian oil CEOs are coming out against marijuana legalization, fearing that it will increase costs and reduce their employees’ dependability, reports CBC.

Kevin Neveu, the CEO of Calgary-based Precision Drilling told CBC that his company’s opposition to marijuana legalization is based on his experiences in Colorado.

Neveu said that it became much more difficult to find new recruits — mostly young men — who could pass the company’s mandated drug tests.

“We have certainly failed more people in Colorado (for drug use) after legalization than we did before,” Neveu told CBC.

Neveu said that even though marijuana is legal in Colorado, his employees must operate heavy machinery in remote environments, meaning they definitely don’t want their employees to be under the influence.

The company is also on the hook for paying for their employees to be randomly drug tested, which can cost anywhere from $US85 to $US325 depending on the precision of the test, CBC reports.

Enform, an oil industry training organisation, released a statement in April criticising Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s legislation for legalizing marijuana, saying it fails to cover how workplace regulations can be harmonized from province to province.

Mark Salkeld, president of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, told CBC that marijuana legalization will pose a particular problem for the oil industry due to the harsh operating environment.

“You know, you don’t want guys stoned in those environments. Or even hungover,” Salkeld said.

The Canadian government will roll out federal legalization and commercialization by July 2018.

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