I can see why people still need HR. On a regular basis, I have people writing and asking about drugs. Mostly marijuana. Questions like, “My employee smells like weed. What can I do?”
Part of me sympathizes with business owners and managers. It hardly seems fair that you have to show up to work sober while some other dude rolls into the office high. I’d love to smoke weed all day, too, but adulthood beckons.
But another part of me is like, really, how do you know what this employee smells like? There are a lot of reasons why people might smell like marijuana. And, depending on the job, does sobriety matter?
[Sidenote: That last question isn’t easy. Some say that sobriety always matters at work. Employees have an obligation to be present, be engaged, and create a culture of safety. Others think that weed is no big deal, and given certain circumstances, it might increase engagement by abating anxiety or other medical issues.]
If your employee smells like weed, I think it’s important to “work human.” Just because she smells like weed doesn’t mean she’s high. And just because you smell it doesn’t mean that other people smell it.
I would also ask you to consider your own biases and personal life experiences when determining whether or not this is a big deal. Lots of successful people smoke weed and get high. Are you bringing your own fears and assumptions to this encounter? Do you have political or religious beliefs that are impacting your judgment on this situation?
Then there’s the messy intersection of health privacy laws and local drug regulations, too.
If I’m in your shoes as an employer, I would take a pause. Check your assumptions, and definitely talk to someone in human resources before you even consider writing to a blogger.
You need information and support from a source that can help. That resource is HR.