West Australia: Mining Industry Standing Down Workers Testing Positive For Medical Cannabis

The Australian Broadcasting Corportation writes

Mining companies in Western Australia are standing down workers who legally use prescription cannabis, as they struggle to determine what level of use makes an employee unfit for work.

Tom (name changed for privacy reasons) said he was stood down from working on a Fortescue Metals Group site for more than five weeks, and later resigned, over the confusion and stress caused by his legal use of medicinal cannabis.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy told a recent WA parliamentary inquiry there was no clear consensus on how much THC in a person’s system constituted impairment, but most took a zero-tolerance approach.

The ABC has seen FMG policy documents stating it will consider allowing the use of medicinal cannabis in order to be “progressive and equitable” but only if THC levels are below 50ug/L (micrograms per litre), which some users say is so low it is ineffective.

FMG’s position on the use of medicinal cannabis is a response to what it says is the “growing prevalence” of the drug’s use by workers throughout the mining industry.


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