An Australian Approach to Corporate Wellness

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Corporate wellness transcends nations, influencing not only the means of production, but also the products themselves. 


The quality of what workers produce, the sign of good work versus warning signs of shoddy workmanship, the integrity of a good or service versus a worker’s commitment to service—all of these things, and more, reveal the health of a given workforce


Or: Workers are less likely to perform well if they are unwell in general; if they cannot get the right treatment because they have no legal rights concerning a specific treatment; if that treatment includes medicinal cannabis, which is illegal in 17 states.


In that situation, workers should look abroad. They may have to go abroad to get the treatment they deserve.


At the same time, employers in the United States should look to Australia. They should read the reports and review the evidence concerning Australian advances in the development and use of medicinal cannabis. 


They should popularize what the facts prove, that medicinal cannabis flourishes best in an environment that puts science first.


We should know, after all, that criminalizing science—outlawing ethical scientific research—is not conducive to healthy minds or the health of the body politic; that the real crime is the lack of a uniform policy in which access to medicinal cannabis is clear and consistent; that Australia proves what America can achieve, as the similarities between the two countries far exceed the differences.


Similar systems of language, culture, institutions, literature, history, law, and tradition unite us.


According to Asaf Katz, Chief Operating Officer of Cannvalate, Australia is a global destination for innovation and investment involving medicinal cannabis. 


More important is what medicinal cannabis can do to alleviate anxiety and depression, in addition to chronic pain and fatigue.


More important is the demand for medicinal cannabis by workers and people of all ages. Demand is so high, pun very much intended, that Americans travel outside America—they go to Australia—to get some of the most effective strains of medicinal cannabis; staying in Sydney or Melbourne while receiving treatment from clinicians, doctors, and nurses.


If corporate wellness is to be transnational, it must emulate the best of all nations. 


If workers have a moral right to medicine, if they have a right to choose their medicine, if their choice is medicinally sound, if the medicinal use of cannabis can help them, companies have a duty to support them—we, in turn, have a responsibility to assemble in defense of right.


The alternative is unacceptable.


The alternative is more of the same: the denial of medicinal cannabis. The alienation of workers and the exclusion of tens of millions of Americans from the workforce. The abrogation of rights and the worsening of physical and psychological blight across America. The avoidance of justice at the expense of enforcing and obeying the rule of law.


The alternative is nothing of the sort.


Better then to go down under than for companies to go under, as I like to say, because it is in our national interest to help science than to hinder it.


Better to seek solutions than to deem some things insoluble.


Better for companies to solve what they can—and stay solvent—than do nothing.


If the solution is readily available, if it is legal in most states, if it is vulnerable from the tyranny not of the majority but of the minority, if it is to reflect our best hopes rather than our basest fears, if science is to succeed and wellness to prevail, medicinal cannabis must be legal.


That statement is free of politics, as it should be; as it must be, if science is to be a nonpartisan discipline with bipartisan appeal.


That statement is an appeal to what makes wellness possible: the search for truth—the search for certain attainable truths—regarding health, science, medicine, and the treatment and prevention of disease.


That statement is a statement of principles.


Putting these principles first is the first principle of running a company that values wellness, that rewards the value of wellness, that recognizes wellness as invaluable to a cause greater than profits or productivity.


Respecting that value is virtuous in its own right.


Promoting these values is righteous altogether because we need companies smart enough to know—and strong enough to do—the work of wellness. The work of humane leadership. The work of silent courage but steadfast resolve. The work of the chosen few.


The work of promotion is an exercise in repetition because ideas do not sell themselves.


Ideas may have miraculous effects, but they are very much a product of our world, not the world to come.


Ideas do not by themselves solve the insoluble and salve the inconsolable whose ranks include the faithful, the devout, the modest, the sick, and the poor. 


Ideas win legitimacy through the toil, sweat, and tears of believers. People who believe in the power of ideas. People who use ideas as a tool of persuasion, not coercion. People who refine their ideas, infusing their arguments with logic, facts, and analysis.


Ideas are the essence of science, from which hypotheses and tests ensue.


Ideas are the reason why we work to improve wellness, in spite of the costs and regardless of the challenges, in spite of the critics and regardless of the consequences, in spite of the commentators and regardless of the conditions.


Ideas inspire us to continue the work of science.


Ideas compel us to work harder.


The work goes on, the promise endures, and the campaign for corporate wellness shall never die.


Let us join that cause, now more than ever.