Moves to discriminate recreational drugs could make it harder for employers
to force anti-drugs policies on their employees, legal experts have claimed.
Last week the Police Foundation released a report into criminal penalties
attached to drug use and made radical proposals including the downgrading of
drugs such as Ecstasy to the lowest Class C, and the decriminalisation of
possession of cannabis.
The initial reaction of the Government and its Drugs Czar Keith Halliwell
has been to pour cold water on such recommendations, but many believe the UK
will eventually follow other European countries into decriminalisation, which
would have knock-on effects on company policies.
Jonathan Chamberlain, partner at law firm Wragge & Co, said,
"Employers would find it harder to justify anti-drugs policies which were
not directly related to the workplace."
He added, "If they were dismissing an employee for something that isn’t
a criminal offence they had better have a very good reason for doing so."