Innovative Staffing Solutions has dismissed 300 drivers after they tested positive for marijuana use. This follows the recent legalisation of cannabis consumption in South Africa for private use.

Arnoux Maré, MD of Innovative Staffing Solutions, says the legalisation of cannabis consumption does not mean drivers who test positive are not in violation of their work code and conduct.

“A trucker driving under the influence of cannabis can be likened to a non-coherent person barrelling a 60-tonne missile down the road at 80 to 100km per hour. If he or she loses control of the vehicle, innocent people are likely to lose their lives and infrastructure could be seriously damaged,” he notes.

Maré says the company cannot take the risk of incurring damage to people or personal and public property. “Our drivers are expected to act responsibly. After all, they are responsible for ensuring valuable vehicles and their cargo gets from one destination to the next safely.”

All drivers at Innovative Staffing Solutions sign a contract that specifies the terms of their employment. “The contract states that the employee undertakes and understands that he/she is not allowed to work or be on either the employer’s, a client’s or any premises where working duties are performed, while under the influence of alcohol and/ or intoxicating drugs,” says Maré.

“Marijuana may be legal, but employers still have grounds for dismissing those who test positive for the use thereof. This is similar to the legislation around alcohol. It may be legal, but being drunk at work is a dismissible cause,” adds Maré.

He says Innovative Staffing Solutions prides itself on its comprehensive safety measures. “We do not take dismissals lightly. We, however, cannot accept behaviour that could place peoples’ lives in danger or our business at risk,” concludes Maré.