Area businesses encouraged to review drug policies

  • By IAN FOLEY
  • Wednesday, January 21, 2015 11:00pm
  • News

Companies need to update or review their drug policies.

That was the message of Renee Schofield, CEO of The Safety Specialists, who spoke at the Kenai/Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Wednesday at the Kenai Visitor Center.

“If you don’t have one, you need to get one,” said Schofield, whose company provides businesses with safety solutions, training and a variety of testing. “If you haven’t looked at it and haven’t reviewed it with your employees, you need to do that soon. And by soon, I mean this afternoon.”

Some jobs, including those within the Department of Transportation, will continue to have a zero tolerance policy toward marijuana. However, many companies will have a choice whether their employees are marijuana-free come Feb. 24.

Schofield said that one issue employers might face is edible marijuana in the work place. She said that without a clear drug policy, employees could consume food that was laced with cannabis oils without repercussions.

“Most of us don’t think about the edible side of it, and how that’s going to affect us,” Schofield said. “We all think about the smoke, rolling joints and all of that, but what’s going to affect you now is that it’s going to be in oil, so it will be topical.”

She said that policies prohibiting employees from being “under the influence” would be particularly troublesome.

“We all understand that we don’t drink at work, but we haven’t established the regulation to what is under the influence with marijuana,” Schofield said. “What is the cutoff? 0.02, 0.04, 0.08 on alcohol. We don’t have that for pot.”

Schofield said that because many regulations and laws regarding marijuana haven’t been established yet, many people are unsure about what to expect with marijuana being legalized.

“The problem is not that we’ve legalized, it that’s we don’t have any guidelines,” Schofield said.

Schofield said that with solid policies, employers should feel confident that they have the legal authority to uphold them.

“To date, there has not been a situation where an employer has failed as long as they’ve had a rock-solid policy. This is why it’s so important.”

Schofield said that having policies is important not only for employers, but for the wellbeing of employees and other people in the community.

“The goal for all of us is to make sure people stay safe, people stay healthy and that we continue to do the jobs we do in our communities,” Schofield said

Reach Ian Foley at ian.foley@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

A moose is photographed in Kalifornsky, Alaska, in July 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Illegal moose harvest down from past 5 years

The large majority of moose this year were harvested from North and South Kasilof River areas.

Renee Behymer and Katelyn Behymer (right) of Anchorage win this week’s vaccine lottery college scholarship sweepstakes. (Photo provided)
Dillingham and Anchorage residents win 6th vaccine lottery

“Get it done,” one winner said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”

Kenai Vice Mayor and council member Bob Molloy (center), council member Jim Glendening (right), council member Victoria Askin (far right), and council member Henry Knackstedt (far left) participate in a work session discussing the overhaul of Kenai election codes on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska.
Kenai City Council gives sendoffs, certifies election results

Both council members-elect — Deborah Sounart and James Baisden — attended Wednesday.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
COVID is No. 3 underlying cause of death among Alaskans so far this year

The virus accounted for about 7.5% of all underlying causes of death after a review of death certificates.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives during a floor debate on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, over an appropriations bill during the Legislature’s third special session of the summer. Multiple organizations reported on Wednesday that Eastman is a lifetime member of the far-right organization the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Data leak shows state rep is member of far-right organization

Wasilla area lawmaker said he joined when Oath Keepers first started.

Christine Hutchison, who lives in Kenai and also serves on the Kenai Harbor Commission, testifies in support of the use of alternative treatments for COVID-19 during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Medical liberty’ petition brought to Kenai City Council

Some members of the public and Kenai City Council spoke against health mandates and in support of alternative treatments for COVID-19

Amber Kraxberger-Linson, a member of Trout Unlimited and streamwatch coordinator for the Chugach National Forest, works in the field in this undated photo. Kraxberger-Linson will be discussing at the Saturday, Oct. 23 International Fly Fishing Film Festival the organization’s educational programming for next summer. (Photo provided by Trout Unlimited)
Out on the water — and on the screen

Trout Unlimited to host fly fishing film festival Saturday.

This screen capture from surveillance footage released by the Anchorage Police Department shows a masked man vandalizing the Alaska Jewish Museum in Anchorage in May. (Courtesy photo / APD)
Museums statewide condemn antisemitic vandalism

Two incidents, one in May, one in September, have marred the museum this year.

Three speech language pathologists with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District were recognized for excellence during the Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association last month. (Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)
Peninsula speech language therapists awarded for excellence

“I was very honored to be recognized by my peers and colleagues,” Evans said in an interview with the Clarion.

Most Read