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Uruguay Allows Stoned Workers

A worker rolls up a joint as he heads to work in Uruguay, where smoking on the job is legal.


Uruguay Allows Stoned Workers

Ever since Uruguayan President Jose Mujica put his seal of approval on regulations outlining the country’s legal marijuana policy, the business community has been trying to catch a glimpse of the controversial new laws in order to learn how they might affect their productivity.

It did not take long before a number of employers emerged from the sidelines with complaints over how Uruguay’s newfound legal weed status does not allow them to penalize those workers who come to work stoned. In fact, while article 42 of the decree 120/2014 states that employees are forbidden to use cannabis during the work day, there are no provisions outlined in the document that explicitly prevent employees from reporting to work under the influence of marijuana.

Interestingly, the decree indicates there is no disciplinary recourse for an employer to take if he suspects an employee of being stoned on the job, “if the worker has not engaged in the commission of any other actual fault punishable derived from obligations emerging from the work contract, or motivated not by the problematic use of cannabis.” This essentially means as long as an employee’s work performance is not affected by the apparent use of marijuana, the employer should have no grounds for a complaint – and cannot issue a penalty.

However, Uruguay’s Chamber of Commerce is not comfortable with the ambiguous language in the final decree and have since filed a lawsuit that claims the law “invades the contractual employment relationship between individuals, affecting the power of the employers and putting at risk the lives and the physical integrity of the remaining workers.”

The lawsuit states that if employers have the authority to punish employees for coming to work under the influence of alcohol, they should also have the right to inflict penalties on those who show up high at the workplace. Claudia Piacenza, who oversees the chamber, recently told AFP that the decree is “nonsense” and “an experiment in every sense of the word.”

Earlier last month, President Mujica invoked an appeals process on the lawsuit that will keep the complaint idle for 150 days before it can be heard in court.

What do you think? Should workers be allowed to be stoned on the job? Tell us in the comments below.



  1. ric

    June 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    all very true, in my minds eye.’if my worker’s what ever the industry used weed in their food,coffee,or smerfed it all i’d have to do is motivate them to perform to the best of their abilities,for eg- just play music to please them& lead them on. with thirst quencer’s& maybe munchies but purely healty stuff.&no they don’t all have to be stuff’d wth weed.the variety of life to each their own.but sharing it we do co’s we’v only human after all.P&L

  2. Micky

    June 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I think they should leave the workers alone as long as they do their job in a safe manner and production is still where needs to be

  3. Jeffy maple

    June 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I’m in total shock that this would even be a issue like seriously companies an jobs don’t say anything about people who are on hard drugs(oxycodone an morphine an other heavily used pain killers) that are not only way worse than a naturally grown an naturally used drug (marijuana) but they effect u in way different ways then marijuana does like honestly I think company’s should make the people who are those types of drugs like heavy pain killers an antidepressants should have to take evaluations daily an if they don’t then they get punished cause the man made drugs that doctors hand out like candy are not only 100 times worse but they are literally tearing apart our society

  4. Aaron Silva

    June 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    You shouldnt be penalized or even questioned about showing up to work high, you have every reason to take your medicine, its like companies are saying you cant show up to work on antidepressants or pain relievers, weed is an all natural cure for a lot of the shit stress from work causes, let us smoke, we want to work so we can buy more weed… Think about it

  5. Scott Davids

    June 20, 2014 at 2:20 am

    In many cases cannabis increases productivity and efficiency. If it is not affecting the employee in a negative way, there is clearly no problem.

    • Nat Turner

      June 21, 2014 at 5:01 am

      What he said. If it doesn’t affect work in a negative manor leave it alone. Alcohol affects the mind negatively POT does NOT.

  6. balu

    June 20, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Take me 2 uraguay noww

  7. Edoardo Maldarelli

    June 20, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Peace ! Edo

  8. jake47

    June 19, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    It would probably improve their focus and effeciency, I know when I smoke one I’m concentrated and thoughts are from a higher conscience
    No pun intended

    • Nat Turner

      June 21, 2014 at 5:07 am

      How much longer do we allow the negative connotations GOVT. has attached to the word “HIGH”? When do WE take back our lives?

  9. Holzknecht

    June 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I dont like it in Work! But i smoke a lott of Ganja in my Freetime. And would my Partner at work like to Smoke same herb in Work Time. i and i would Never have anything to worry abaut. I came from Austria and there are allmost all buildings worker Even worker on the Highway Drink allot bier. I hate that. For everybody would be better they smoke a fat Joint too.
    Really!! So. Legalize the Herb now!!
    Peace to all my People One Love

  10. Leo

    June 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    For as long as it will not affect your productivity at work, there should be no problem with that. With all due respect to all the stoners out there, just be reminded that we all are responsible for our actions. Smoke at you own risk and smoke moderately at work. hehe 😀

  11. Carlos

    June 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    As long as it doesn’t start problems with his or her job.

  12. canila

    June 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Uruguay pa todo el mundo!

  13. Maureen

    June 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I think some people could handle it & some people can’t.

  14. Sammy

    June 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I think that if the employee is not preforming to standards while high or causing of concern in any way or showing apathy because he is stoned then I would say I do not agree with stoned workers. But if he is doing as told and his concentration levels are the same are have shown an improvement towards tasks given then if should continue. But there should be a set amount how much the user can smoke during work.

  15. Rebecca Salley

    June 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Everyone needs to stop comparing alcohol and weed. They are totally different.
    I’m perform better, do things better when I’m high. It’s also when I’m the smartest. It helps you focus and to get shit done!!
    It also helps with diseases and chronic pain so that during the day these patients can try to live a normal life and meeting the demands or work and family.
    The pain medicine that comes from the Dr, makes you like a zombie and all you want to do is sleep. I can’t do that!! It doesn’t matter that I’m recovering from a car accident, I’m still a mom to a 4 year old daughter.
    Being a mom never stops. So smoking weed is ideal for me and my chronic pain. I can function and do the household demands and raising my daughter. Instead of sleeping all the time, not engaging with my daughter. Missing parts of her life while you sleep.

    Marijuana helps people

    Alcohol hinders your judgement and makes you angry. They are not the same.

    Marijuana is safer than the pills you get from the Dr. Period!!!

    Marijuana is saving children from daily seizures.

    How has alcohol helped children? It hasn’t!!!

    It’s time for Marijuana to be accepted. Alcohol and pills are accepted and they kill people and Rob people’s lives!!! ONE LOVE!!!!

    • josh bruner

      June 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      I absolutely love what Rebecca had to say about the differences between cannabis and alcohol. It is true that being “high” is much more beneficial then being drunk period. Doesn’t matter if your at work, home, visiting family, taking a walk in the park, going to walmart, being high you are ABLE to perform these activites to where your drunk, or on pills you put not only your life in danger but everyone else around you as well. Being high opens up the creativity inside of all of us it also lowers our stress helps us eat helps us sleep takes away headaches/migraines and the list goes on. Being drunk or under the influence of pills causes the mind to not operate properly, examples being having impaired vision, slower reaction time, judgement skill is decreased, and the list goes on. So there you have it the good vs the bad now everything i have said is based off of my opinions.

  16. Oscar Williams iv

    June 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Take me 2 uraguay noww

    • Holzknecht

      June 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      yeah mee too 😀

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