To say the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we see our work lives is a vast understatement. For one, we’re finally becoming more comfortable with the concept of the “stoned professional.” A survey of 1,001 remote employees released by americanmarijuana.org found that 15 percent of respondents worked from home under the influence of cannabis. 16 percent of those respondents never worked from home while high before COVID reared its ugly head, and 23 percent reported that they are currently getting high at least one day a week.
They’re not being sneaky about it, either. 35 percent of respondents reported that co-workers or superiors suspected or caught them while high. The most common repercussion was receiving a warning (59.6 percent of those who were caught reported this slap on the wrist), though a shocking 28.1 percent reported getting terminated.
Many companies have changed their relationship to cannabis during the pandemic. The most famous is Amazon, which not only dropped its drug testing requirements for employees who don’t operate heavy machinery, but the business also registered as an official cannabis lobbyist in the United States last month. 38.4 percent of survey respondents reported that their company had altered its cannabis policies during the COVID-era (though, the survey did not specify whether those changes had widened or restricted employees’ ability to use cannabis on the job).
Despite the assumption that cannabis use negates productivity, getting high during at-home work hours may actually be good for employers. Many of the people who tapped in to answer the survey stated that weed was crucial for their job performance. Indeed, for 51.1 percent, cannabis on the job increased their creativity. For 42.6 percent, use of the drug increased their productivity.
Even more respondents found that it addressed mental health issues. 52.9 percent said that consuming cannabis on the job helped diffuse the stress of this unprecedented year and a half.
Okay, but who is actually toking? Women who identify as weed consumers reported using the plant while working at slightly higher numbers (37.9 percent compared to men’s 36.6 percent.) Consumers between 20- to 29-years-old consumed more than their older peers, and were more likely to consume at work if they held white-collar jobs and were employees, as opposed to management.
Much of this consumption was likely taking place solo, but that’s not necessarily what workers were gunning for. In fact, 28.7 percent of employees reported wanting to blaze with coworkers, and 17.8 percent with their boss. I mean, who wouldn’t want better workplace camaraderie, or more open relationships with their teammates; 42.1 percent of respondents say they already suspect a boss or coworker of being a blazer. Some 44.2 percent think that their company’s overall consumption of the plant has also increased during the pandemic.
Once the smoke cleared though, the survey made it clear that marijuana was only one of the substances people are employing during the old nine to five. Over-the-counter drugs were by far the most-consumed substance at work during the pandemic, having been consumed by a full 43.6 percent of respondents. The next most prevalent substances were (by descending order) alcohol, CBD, THC, and nicotine.