DAOD 9004-1, Use of Cannabis by CAF Members
Table of Contents
Date of Issue: 2018-09-07
Effective Date: 2018-10-17
Application: This DAOD is an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members) and a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) who supervise CAF members.
- Deputy Minister of National Defence (DM)
- Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS)
- Director General Military Personnel Policy (DGMPP) (for overall policy)
- Director Military Careers Policy and Grievances (DMCPG) (for policy and grievances)
- Director Military Careers Administration (DMCA) (for policy administration)
- Surgeon General (Surg Gen) and Director General Health Services (DGHS) (for health education, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation)
cannabis consumption (consommation de cannabis)
In respect of cannabis, its smoking, vaping, ingesting, or absorption by any other means into the body. (Defence Terminology Bank, record number 694927)
cannabis use disorder (trouble de l’usage du cannabis)
A problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least 2 of the 11 criteria in Section II of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Association)
Any duty, training, exercise, parade or service that is military in nature. (Defence Terminology Bank, record number 694930)
misuse of cannabis (mauvais usage du cannabis)
An act or conduct by a CAF member related to cannabis consumption or possession that:
- is an offence under any applicable federal law, including a provision of the Code of Service Discipline, the Criminal Code or the Cannabis Act, any applicable provincial, territorial or municipal law, or any applicable foreign law of the place where a CAF member is located;
- is prohibited by DAOD 9004-1, Use of Cannabis by CAF Members, or an order issued under that DAOD; or
- undermines safety or operational effectiveness.
(Defence Terminology Bank, record number 694928)
|Abbreviation||Complete Word or Phrase|
|C&P||counselling and probation|
|CFDCP||Canadian Forces Drug Control Program|
|CFPM||Canadian Forces Provost Marshal|
|JAG||Judge Advocate General|
|MEL||medical employment limitation|
|NDHQ||National Defence Headquarters|
|QR&O||Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces|
4.1 In this DAOD, “cannabis” and “possession” have the same meanings as in subsection 2(1) of the Cannabis Act.
4.2 This DAOD establishes a framework for the responsible use of cannabis in support of the following objectives:
- the maintenance of physically fit, employable and deployable forces;
- the promotion of safety in the workplace;
- the maintenance of operational effectiveness, including any requirement to maintain a state of readiness; and
- the avoidance of impairment which would prevent the safe and effective performance of duties.
4.3 This DAOD also sets out the roles and responsibilities for addressing misuse of cannabis and for the assessment and treatment of cannabis use disorder.
Standard of Conduct
4.4 CAF members are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner and are expected to make responsible choices in respect of their use of cannabis for recreational or medical purposes.
4.5 CAF members must not engage in any misuse of cannabis. Any misuse of cannabis will be dealt with through the most appropriate administrative or disciplinary action, or both.
4.6 CAF members must inform their supervisor without delay before commencing or continuing a duty if their ability to safely and effectively perform that duty may be compromised due to cannabis consumption.
4.7 The determination by a supervisor that a CAF member’s ability to safely and effectively perform a duty may be compromised due to cannabis consumption should be based on interactions with the CAF member and observation of some or all of the following:
- the odour of cannabis;
- glassy or red eyes;
- unusual talkativeness;
- slow reaction;
- unsteady gait;
- poor coordination; and
Note – Supervisors should be aware that these signs may be caused by a medical condition that may require immediate medical or other attention. In the case of any doubt, a CAF member should be referred for medical assessment and their performance of duty suspended until it is determined that the CAF member can safely and effectively perform their duty.
Cannabis for Medical Purposes
4.8 This DAOD does not affect the right of a CAF member who has been authorized to access cannabis for medical purposes. However, a CAF member who has been so authorized must:
- communicate openly with supervisors and CAF health care providers about any concerns that the CAF member may have regarding their ability to perform a duty safely and effectively as a result of their cannabis consumption;
- comply with QR&O paragraph 34.13(2), Control of Medical Care, which requires that a CAF member report to the medical officer immediately on return if the CAF member has received medical care related to their cannabis consumption while absent from their base or unit; and
- be assigned appropriate MELs by a CAF health care provider.
Note – For the purpose of QR&O paragraph 34.13(2), “medical officer” is a CAF health care provider.
4.9 Cannabis consumption and possession by CAF members is permitted provided such consumption and possession is in accordance with all applicable Canadian federal, provincial, territorial and municipal laws, any applicable foreign laws, this DAOD and any orders prohibiting cannabis consumption and possession that may be issued under paragraph 5.3.
4.10 While the recreational use of cannabis is legal and regulated in Canada, the importation or exportation across Canada’s national borders of any amount of cannabis, including cannabis for medical purposes, remains prohibited under Canadian law.
4.11 Cannabis consumption and possession remain illegal in most countries. CAF members could be denied entry to these countries as a result of their cannabis consumption or involvement in the legal cannabis industry in Canada. CAF members are responsible for obtaining information about the cannabis consumption and possession laws and policies of any country that they intend to visit.
Evidence of Risks and Effects
4.12 The CAF acknowledges that under some circumstances cannabis consumption could undermine the maintenance of physically fit, employable and deployable forces; the promotion of safety in the workplace; and the maintenance of operational effectiveness. This acknowledgement is based on the following considerations:
- cannabis consumption causes impairment of attention, cognition, mood, memory, judgement and motor skills, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on:
- the amount of THC that a CAF member has consumed;
- the CAF member’s health and physical constitution;
- the preparation of the cannabis, i.e. in dry or oil form;
- the route of consumption, i.e. by inhaling or ingestion; and
- environmental factors that alter human metabolism;
- concurrent use of alcohol or pharmaceuticals, such as over the counter or prescription medications, can magnify, alter or prolong the effects of cannabis;
- cannabis is fat-soluble and therefore moves from the bloodstream into the tissues more rapidly, and is eliminated from the body more slowly, than many other intoxicating substances;
- traces of cannabis may remain in the human body for up to 28 days or more following consumption and therefore:
- the level of cannabis measured in body fluids and tissues may not correspond to the degree of impairment caused by cannabis; and
- subacute or persistent cannabis impairment, i.e. the state of cannabis impairment in which a person appears well, constitutes an important occupational and safety risk;
- cannabis consumption can cause significant impairment in the ability to perform complex tasks in casual users up to 24 hours after the consumption;
- cannabis consumption can cause persistent impairment in chronic or heavy users, extending for weeks or months, and may be amplified in extreme conditions, including high altitude, aerospace and hyperbaric environments;
- regular or heavy cannabis consumption can lead to chronic cannabis impairment, i.e. prolonged or permanent neuro-cognitive dysfunction, which persists even after all detectable traces of cannabis have been eliminated by the body;
- cannabis consumption can be harmful to health, especially to the neurological development of persons under 25 years of age, including fetal exposure in utero; and
- cannabis consumption can be addictive.
4.13 CAF members should be aware that cannabis smoke contains many of the same harmful substances as tobacco smoke and therefore can damage lungs and cause bronchitis-like symptoms, coughing and wheezing which, alone or together, can affect their overall physical performance.
4.14 The CAF supports education and health promotion efforts to reduce personal and public harm related to cannabis consumption. CAF members found to be suffering from cannabis use disorder will be offered medical treatment on a voluntary basis in accordance with paragraph 7.1.
5.1 CAF members are prohibited from:
- cannabis consumption during the entire period of the working day or shift of the CAF member;
- cannabis consumption during the entire period that the CAF member is serving on a domestic operation, exercise or collective training, other than any period of authorized leave in Canada;
- cannabis possession during the entire period that the CAF member is serving on an international exercise or collective training, other than any period of authorized leave in Canada;
- cannabis consumption or possession during the entire period that the CAF member is in or on any vessel, vehicle or aircraft, military or civilian, operated by or in support of the DND or the CAF;
- cannabis consumption or possession during the period that the CAF member is on training for the basic military qualification or basic military officer qualification and is restricted from leave, and
cannabis consumption or possession during the entire period of an international operation or OUTCAN posting other than any authorized period of leave in Canada.
Prohibitions Before and During the Performance of Specific Duties
5.2 In addition to the above prohibitions, cannabis consumption is prohibited by a CAF member during the following periods:
|Period of prohibition||Duty|
|cannabis consumption during the 8 hours before any known or expected performance of …||
|cannabis consumption during the 24 hours before any known or expected performance of …||
|cannabis consumption during the 28 days before any known or expected performance of …||
|enduring and total prohibition on cannabis consumption during the entire period of …||
Note – CAF members may seek clarification of any of the above duties through their chain of command.
Request for Additional Prohibitions
5.3 Any Comd of a command or officer holding the senior military appointment in a group at NDHQ may request that the CDS issue orders setting out additional prohibitions on cannabis consumption and possession applicable to CAF members in their organization if cannabis consumption or possession may impact particular positions, tasks, activities or operations, based on the following criteria:
- safety; and
- operational effectiveness, including any requirement to maintain a state of readiness.
5.4 Any request made to the CDS in respect of additional prohibitions to be imposed under paragraph 5.3 must include a precise description of the CAF members to whom the prohibitions would apply and a detailed explanation of the rationale for the request.
Notification to CAF Members
5.5 The applicable commander or CO must ensure that notification of prohibitions of cannabis consumption or possession, or both, is provided to a CAF member when:
- the CAF member is placed on a notice to move period of less than 24 hours and a period of prohibition applies under paragraph 5.2 or 5.3; or
the CAF member becomes subject to a prohibition under paragraph 5.2 or 5.3.
5.6 Any Comd of a command or officer holding the senior military appointment in a group at NDHQ who continues to support the need for any additional prohibitions in orders issued under paragraph 5.3 must, at intervals of not more than one year, review and validate in writing to the CDS any continued need.
5.7 This DAOD will be reviewed on an annual basis. CANFORGENS may be issued to set out added measures.
5.8 Any amendment to this DAOD that may impact DND employees must be communicated to the DM for consultation and endorsement.
6.1 CAF authorities with responsibilities relating to the recruiting and training of new CAF members, and to leadership training for serving CAF members, must ensure that this DAOD is communicated to:
- all applicants for enrolment;
- CAF members during recruit and basic officer training; and
- CAF members on initial military occupation qualification and leadership courses.
6.2 CAF members and their supervisors are strongly encouraged to make themselves aware of all relevant information under the Health Promotion Program regarding cannabis consumption.
7.1 The entitlement to medical care, including treatment and rehabilitation, for CAF members of the Regular Force, the Reserve Force and the Special Force, is set out in QR&O article 34.07, Entitlement to Medical Care.
Triad of Responsibility
7.2 CAF members, CAF health care providers and COs form a triad of responsibility, with each sharing important responsibilities for the provision of medical treatment as well as the safe and effective employment of all CAF members, including those who are injured or ill. Detailed responsibilities are set out in the Responsibility Table in paragraph 10.1.
Voluntary Treatment and Treatment Refusal
7.3 Treatment for cannabis use disorder is voluntary, i.e. a CAF member is not obliged to accept treatment. However, a CAF health care provider must document any refusal of treatment on the CAF member’s medical file. Refusing treatment does not preclude:
- a CAF health care provider from assigning appropriate MELs;
- a CO from making a mandatory referral for medical assessment at a later date; or
- the CAF member from volunteering for assessment or treatment at a later date.
8.1 A CO must ensure that any misuse of cannabis is addressed with appropriate administrative or disciplinary action, or both.
Reporting an Incident
8.2 CAF members, and DND employees who supervise CAF members, are required to report any incident of suspected misuse of cannabis by a CAF member to an appropriate authority.
Actions by CO
8.3 After any report of an incident of suspected misuse of cannabis by a CAF member, the CO of the CAF member must conduct an initial evaluation and take the following actions, as applicable:
- if there is an immediate or ongoing need, one or more of the following:
- adjustment of the CAF member’s duties;
- relief of the CAF member from the performance of military duty in accordance with QR&O article 19.75, Relief From Performance of Military Duty, or QR&O article 101.09, Relief From Performance of Military Duty – Pre and Post Trial;
- initiation of a Change of Circumstances Report;
- an ordering a drug test (see paragraph 8.13)
- contacting of the MP if the initial evaluation of the incident indicates a requirement for a police investigation;
- seeking MP assistance in obtaining all relevant records related to investigations or court proceedings in which the CAF member was implicated;
- referral of the CAF member to a CAF health care provider, using form DND 4006-E, Medical Referral and Certification, for:
- assessment of medical fitness for duty; and
- any recommended medical treatment, if indicated; and
- consultation with the local representative of the JAG as required.
8.4 If the CO determines that there is reliable evidence that establishes on a balance of probabilities that a misuse of cannabis has occurred, then the CO must take appropriate action in accordance with DAOD 5019-2, Administrative Review, DAOD 5019-3, Canadian Forces Drug Control Program, and DAOD 5019-4, Remedial Measures.
8.5 Cannabis consumption by a CAF member amounts to "prohibited drug use" within the meaning of DAOD 5019-3, Canadian Forces Drug Control Program, if a CAF member:
- is subject under paragraph 5.2 or 5.3 to a period of prohibition of 28 days or longer before the known or expected performance of a specific duty;
- is on an international operation, exercise or collective training of 28 days or longer; or
- is on an OUTCAN posting.
In such cases, COs must consult with DMCA in regard to both testing and administrative recourse, as required by that DAOD.
8.6 In cases where a CAF member’s misuse of cannabis does not amount to prohibited drug use within the meaning of DAOD 5019-3, Canadian Forces Drug Control Program, and where a CO considers that release of a CAF member is the most appropriate administrative action, the CO must comply with DAOD 5019-2, Administrative Review, and refer the matter to DMCA for an AR.
Service Tribunal or Civil Court Decision
8.7 Following a service tribunal or civil court decision concerning an offence involving cannabis, the CO must ensure that the following documentation is obtained and considered:
|If ...||obtain the following ...|
|a CAF member is convicted,||
|a CAF member is discharged or found not guilty, or a stay of proceedings is directed,||
Remedial Measure Selection
8.8 In accordance with DAOD 5019-4, a CO or other initiating authority must determine the appropriate remedial measure, if any, to be initiated if a CAF member has been found to have engaged in a misuse of cannabis.
Note 1 – Any further misuse of cannabis subsequent to C&P for misuse of cannabis should normally result in a recommendation by the CO to DMCA for compulsory release of the CAF member in accordance with DAOD 5019-2.
Note 2 – As misuse of cannabis may or may not be considered to be a violation of the CFDCP, DMCA must be consulted prior to the imposition of any C&P.
8.9 C&P is the mimimum remedial measure that should normally be initiated if a CAF member is found to have engaged in a “serious misuse of cannabis” as described in paragraph 8.10.
Serious Misuse of Cannabis
8.10 A CO may determine that a misuse of cannabis constitutes a “serious misuse of cannabis”, based on a finding of one or more of the following:
- an offence involving cannabis has been committed under any applicable federal law, including a provision of the Code of Service Discipline, the Criminal Code or the Cannabis Act;
- injury to a person or damage to property resulted or was likely to result;
- an adverse effect on operations or training resulted or was likely to result;
- there was an abuse of a position of trust;
- discredit was reflected on the CAF; or
there has been a pattern of misuse of cannabis that impacted the CAF member’s performance of duty.
MP Investigation Files
8.11 The CFPM must provide DMCA and COs, upon request, with relevant and available portions of MP investigation files related to the misuse of cannabis. Distributed MP files will generally include a case synopsis, summary of witness statements, relevant investigative activities and investigator’s concluding remarks. CFPM will assess requests for additional information on a case by case basis. All MP files are records under the Privacy Act and therefore may be redacted, or require redaction, before being distributed or provided to the CAF member who is the subject of the investigation.
Testing Under the CFDCP
8.12 Subject to paragraph 8.13, cannabis is not a drug within the meaning of the CFDCP. Therefore, there is no authority to order any tests described in QR&O Chapter 20, Canadian Forces Drug Control Program, for the purpose of detecting cannabis consumption. However, the regulatory authorities to order the tests described in QR&O Chapter 20 for the purposes of detecting other illegal drugs remain valid.
Note 1 – In accordance with QR&O article 20.10, Accident and Incident Related Testing, a CO may order that a CAF member provide a sample of urine in the course of an accident or incident investigation if the causes or contributing factors have not been determined and the purpose is to prevent reoccurrence, promote safety and protect property.
Note 2 – This DAOD does not affect any administrative or disciplinary action that has been taken, or that may be taken, in respect of cannabis use or other involvement with cannabis when cannabis was considered a “drug” under QR&O Chapter 20.
8.13 If cannabis consumption by a CAF member amounts to prohibited drug use under DAOD 5019-3 (see paragraph 8.5 of this DAOD), cannabis remains a drug within the meaning of the CFCDP for that CAF member. Therefore, the regulatory authorities to order the tests described in QR&O Chapter 20 for the purposes of detecting cannabis consumption by that CAF member remain valid.
8.14 Comds of commands and officers holding the senior appointments in each group at NDHQ are to ensure that a sufficiently robust testing regime is in place, that includes drug testing for cause (where such cause exists) and safety-sensitive drug-testing (for CAF members who occupy positions that have been designated as safety-sensitive by the CDS) to be confident in the individual performance of CAF members who are subject to prohibitions on cannabis consumption.
9.1 DND employees and CAF members must comply with this DAOD. Should clarification of the policies or instructions set out in this DAOD be required, DND employees and CAF members may seek direction through their channel of communication or chain of command, as appropriate. Managers and military leaders have the primary responsibility for and means of ensuring the compliance of their DND employees and CAF members with this DAOD.
Note – In this section, “this DAOD” includes any order issued under paragraph 5.3.
Consequences of Non-Compliance
9.2 DND employees and CAF members are accountable to their respective managers and military leaders for any failure to comply with the direction set out in this DAOD. Non-compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for both the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for DND employees and CAF members as individuals. Suspected non-compliance may be investigated. Managers and military leaders must take or direct appropriate corrective measures if non-compliance with this DAOD is detected.
9.3 The nature and severity of the consequences resulting from non-compliance should be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance and other relevant circumstances. Consequences of non-compliance may include one or more of the following:
- the ordering of the completion of appropriate learning, training or professional development;
- the entering of observations in individual performance evaluations;
- increased reporting and performance monitoring;
- the withdrawal of any authority provided under this DAOD to a DND employee or CAF member;
- the reporting of suspected offences to responsible law enforcement agencies;
- the application of specific consequences as set out in applicable laws, codes of conduct, and DND and CAF policies and instructions;
- other administrative action, including the imposition of disciplinary measures, for a DND employee;
- other administrative or disciplinary action, or both, for a CAF member; and
- the imposition of liability on the part of Her Majesty in right of Canada, DND employees and CAF members.
Note – In respect to the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.
10.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:
|The …||is or are responsible for …|
|Comds of commands and officers holding the senior military appointments in each group at NDHQ||
|Surg Gen and DGHS||
|Comd, Canadian Forces Health Services Group||
|Comd, Canadian Forces Recruiting Group and Comds responsible for Reserve Force recruiting||
|Comd, Canadian Defence Academy||
|training authorities and designated training authorities identified for purposes of the military employment structure framework||
|CAF health care providers||
|DND employees who supervise CAF members||
Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD
- Canadian Human Rights Act
- Cannabis Act
- Criminal Code
- National Defence Act
- QR&O article 3.33, Command in the Canadian Forces Medical Service
- QR&O article 4.02, General Responsibilities of Officers
- QR&O article 5.01, General Responsibilities of Non-Commissioned Members
- QR&O article 19.14, Improper Comments
- QR&O article 19.18, Concealment of Disease
- QR&O article 19.56, Report of Arrest by Civil Authority
- QR&O article 19.61, Certificate of Conviction
- QR&O article 19.62, Action Following Conviction by Civil Authority
- QR&O article 19.75, Relief From Performance of Military Duty
- QR&O Chapter 20, Canadian Forces Drug Control Program
- QR&O article 34.011, Responsibilities of Medical Officers
- QR&O article 34.07, Entitlement to Medical Care
- QR&O article 34.13, Control of Medical Care
- QR&O article 101.09, Relief from Performance of Military Duty – Pre and Post Trial
- Framework for the Management of Compliance, Treasury Board
DAOD 5019-0, Conduct and Performance Deficiencies
- DAOD 4003-1, Hazardous Material Management
- DAOD 5019-2, Administrative Review
- DAOD 5019-3, Canadian Forces Drug Control Program
- DAOD 5019-4, Remedial Measures
- DAOD 5023-0, Universality of Service
- DAOD 5070-1, Military Employment Structure Framework
- DAOD 7002-3, Subjects of Investigation and References
- CFAO 34-56, Mental Disorders
- CANFORGEN 39/08, Disclosure of Medical/Social Work Info to Commanding Officers
- CANFORGEN 134/12, Decentralization of Authorities Related to Remedial Measures and Administrative Actions
- A-MD-154-000/FP-000, Canadian Armed Forces Medical Standards (CFP 154)
- ADM(HR-Mil) Instruction 04/05, Health Promotion Program Implementation
- DND and CF Code of Values and Ethics
- CDS Guidance to Commanding Officers
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Association
- American National Standards Institute Z136.1, Safe Use of Lasers (available in English only)
- Form DND 4006-E, Medical Referral and Certification
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