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Ask Dan
Q.
A show that my company will be exhibiting at is located in a city where recreational marijuana use is legal. What policies can I put in place to restrict my staff's use while at the show?

A.
When companies are exhibiting at a trade show, there is some temptation on the part of staff to view it as a recreational outing, where the usual rules and office regulations don't apply as rigorously as usual. However, unless you suspect your people are definitely planning on imitating Cheech and Chong movies at the show, I would be hesitant to stir the pot, so to speak, by unnecessarily creating any new guidelines.

The reason I counsel restraint on this matter is that most companies generally employ drug-related screening efforts and/or policies to curtail the use of any kind of intoxicant, be it marijuana or mescal, in job-related settings. Because your company will therefore likely already possess a standing policy against the use of any substance that may impair an individual's safety, or the safety of others, while on the job, I would take the following action in lieu of creating a new company policy.

First, during the course of routine pre-show training sessions or briefings, remind your staff that these standing policies are in effect at company functions. Next, roughly a week or so before staffers head to the show, send an email to them reiterating the same points. With any luck they'll get the message, and your plans for a smooth show won't go up in smoke. E



Dan Lumpkin, organizational psychologist, is the president of management-consulting company Lumpkin & Associates in Fairhope, AL. Need answers? Email your career-related questions to askdan@exhibitormagazine.com.
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