5 reasons weed has no place at work

Smoking weed can negatively affect many aspects of your work performance, including your concentration, motivation, safety and interpersonal skills.

How cannabis affects your workWeed is one of those drugs that users will defend until the very end – they’ll argue it doesn't affect them, it helps them be more creative, have more drive and is a short cut when they need to relax. They say it isn't addictive and is linked more with cures than with causes when it comes to illness. But one thing very few people argue with is that weed, like alcohol and other drugs, has no place at work.

So what it is about weed that makes even some of the toughest cannabis advocates avoid use in the workplace?

1. Weed affects your brain

Work is about being switched on, and too much weed can cause necessary mental functions to slow down or switch off. Longer-term and heavy use of weed can have an effect on the parts of the brain that are responsible for functions such as short-term memory, concentration and your ability to do complex tasks (especially if you started using as a teenager). In any job, whether it’s an accountant at a desk who stares at numbers all day, a truck driver who spends long hours on the road or that guy who puts together all the Ikea displays, there are certain tasks that require good focus in order to be efficient and not to frustrate or even endanger other people around you. Add to this the importance of remembering a report you wrote last week or the number of the vehicle you serviced, and the ability to learn a new process to progress with your job, and weed can have a detrimental effect on your everyday job, your career growth and your work mates.

2. Weed affects your work mates

Most jobs require you to build, not break down relationships. While some people won’t feel the adverse effects of weed, others – and this is a common post in user forums – feel less motivated and less inclined to get the job done. This lack of motivation can obviously have an effect on your own work and how quickly you’ll build your career, but equally important, it may mean that others who rely on your work may be affected or may feel the need to cover for you or pick up your slack, meaning your relationships with workmates may start to crumble.

3. Weed affects your reaction times

Watch out!!! Can you react as quickly as you need to when there is danger or a potential hazard in the workplace? Evidence suggests if you’re stoned, the answer is likely that you can’t. A lot of people who drive while stoned often use the common excuse that they ‘drive better because they’re slower’, and while they don’t drive better, they are right in asserting that cannabis can make you slower and affect your reaction time. In a workplace where heavy machinery or potentially hazardous tools are used, drug-impaired, slow reaction time and impaired judgement can mean quick dismissal.

4. Weed can make you paranoid

Work can be a stressful place – and adding paranoia and anxiety to the mix can really up the stress-factor. For some people who use weed, the drug can increase anxiety and paranoia, even when they aren’t actually using it. If you’re paranoid at work, whether in an office or a mechanical depot, you’re likely to not be as efficient and switched on, not relate as well to co-workers and find it difficult to focus or deal with the usual frustrations. It can be tough fixing a train, speaking at a press call or just handing in a project – it can be even tougher if you think someone is out to get you!

5. Weed affects your safety

The combination of all of these is that your capacity to contribute to the safety of your environment can be severely diminished and you can put yourself and others at risk. Imagine losing focus while driving a tractor or forgetting key figures when developing plans for a new bridge. The effects of your weed use can be much more far-reaching than they first seem.

If you want more information about the effects on cannabis on work skills, visit our drugs at work online centre

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