The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) supports a harm reduction approach when responding to the legalization of non-medical cannabis. Canada will become the second country in the world to legalize non-medical cannabis.
Information to Support Professional Nursing Practice
Registered nurses and nurse practitioners are essential to provide education about the legalization of cannabis, potential risks, and support for populations that may be at increased risk including pregnant women, youth and people with addictions. To learn more about cannabis and your role as a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, please review:
- Cannabis and Your Health – Government of Saskatchewan
- Cannabis – CNA
- Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis and Cannabinoids – Government of Canada
- Medical Cannabis: Ask a Practice Advisor – SRNA
Fitness to Practice
Registered nurses and nurse practitioners are professionally accountable to ensure their physical, mental and emotional capacity remains healthy to meet the standards of care and the CNA Code of Ethics 2017 to practice safely. Impairment from cannabis use is treated the same as impairment from alcohol and other substance use.
If the use of cannabis or other substances is preventing registered nurses and nurse practitioners from utilizing professional judgement to make appropriate care decisions, the individual should contact their manager and refrain from practice because of their professional responsibility to protect the public. If an individual registered nurse or nurse practitioner has concerns about their own fitness to practice, they can also access the following resources:
- Discuss with primary care provider
- Review employer policy
- Access employee family assistance
- Contact an SRNA Nursing Advisor – Call 1-800-667-9945 or 306-359-4200 (ask to speak to a Nursing Advisor on the Practice team), or email us at email@example.com
Reducing Harm of Cannabis Use
Harm reduction is a patient-centred, non-judgemental approach designed to reduce drug-related harm without abstaining from the use of the drug. Principles of harm reduction include promoting health and well-being, maintaining privacy and dignity, and respecting informed decision-making. To learn more about harm reduction and cannabis use please visit:
- Harm Reduction for Non-Medical Cannabis Use – CNA
- Reducing Harms for Non-Medical Cannabis Use: Webinar – CNA
- 10 Ways to Reduce Risks to Your Health When Using Cannabis – CAMH
Cannabis Use in the Workplace
To learn more about the strategies to address risk of impairment of cannabis in the workplace please visit:
- Workplace Strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis – CCOHS
- Cannabis in the Workplace – WorkSafe Saskatchewan
- Toolbox Talk: Impairment in the Workplace – WorkSafe Saskatchewan
Difference Between Medical Cannabis & Non-Medical Cannabis
The rules for medical and non-medical cannabis will remain different.
- For medical cannabis, Canadians require a medical document issued from a prescriber to possess medical cannabis for relief of symptoms of a disease or disorder.
- Non-medical cannabis will be legal for purchase in retail stores after October 17, 2018. Please visit Cannabis: Be Informed. Rules in Saskatchewan to learn how much a person can possess, where cannabis can be consumed and travelling inside and outside Canada.
Legalization of Cannabis
On October 17, 2018, The Cannabis Act will be implemented in Canada, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. The purpose of The Act is to improve public safety by reducing illicit activity, provide a regulated supply and restrict access of youth.
For more information about the federal rules please visit:
- Introduction of the Cannabis Act: Q & As – Government of Canada
- Cannabis laws and Regulations – Government of Canada
- Cannabis in Canada. Get the Facts – Government of Canada
- Cannabis Stats Hub – Statistics Canada
The SRNA will be hosting additional webinars and discussions on the SRNA Online Community of Practice. Please join us to share information, resources and perspectives on various topics including the nursing implications of legalizing cannabis in Saskatchewan. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in receiving an invitation to the Online Community of Practice. SRNA Nursing Advisors on the Practice team are available to discuss the implications of cannabis on nursing practice.
To contact the SRNA for practice advice, please call
1-800-667-9945 or 306-359-4200 (ask to speak to a practice advisor), or email us at email@example.com