Employment Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization
Drug testing. It’s a trope used as an anxiety-inducing plot gadget in numerous stoner comedies. Perhaps it has even made its manner into your real-world job search along with your present or former employer. For years medical drug screening has been a software utilized by well-meaning however cautious corporations who need to guarantee their latest rent is targeted on their work and not underneath the affect or partaking in unlawful actions on private time. It’s additionally massive enterprise with some estimates predicting the drug testing market may have a worth of $13.89 billion by 2027.
While that’s all effectively and good, the growing variety of states which have legalized medical and even leisure marijuana use locations a snag within the beforehand streamlined system. Can, or ought to, corporations anticipate their staff to not have interaction in completely authorized behaviors exterior of workplace hours? As it seems, many states are wrestling with precisely that query.
The Push to Legalization
Beginning within the 1990’s states started taking a severe take a look at the potential advantages to marijuana use. By the time the millennium rolled round, 5 states had legalized medical marijuana use by way of a health care provider’s prescription. In 2012 Colorado and Washington have been the primary states to legalize leisure marijuana use. Today 11 states have legal guidelines on the books legalizing recreations weed use.
Marijuana and Drug Testing
Years in the past, employers realized the utility in drug testing potential new hires. The logic went that anybody who engaged in illicit drug use throughout private time in all probability wasn’t as much as firm requirements. You might remove drawback staff and make sure that anybody you introduced on board was consistent with your company tradition and targeted on their day by day job duties. Marijuana was typical one in every of quite a few substances examined for on broad screening panels carried out by third-party drug testing labs.
With the appearance of legalized leisure marijuana use, nonetheless, many staff are rethinking screening for its use, and for drug use altogether. As of 2017, one in seven U.S. adults admitted to occasional marijuana use. With the growing variety of states taking motion on the subject, it solely stands to cause that the quantity will proceed to extend. Marijuana use continues to be studied for its advantages on a spread of well being circumstances from insomnia to ache administration and is persistently touted as a helpful and pleasant software for a lot of adults. While the subject is hotly debated, many advocates tout marijuana as a safer drug of alternative than alcohol for leisure use, a authorized however regulated substance.
With the rise in use and authorized standing, it’s not too arduous to see the quandary employers are confronted with relating to drug testing for marijuana. Companies in states that enable leisure marijuana are narrowing the potential applicant pool by eliminating in any other case proficient candidates from consideration. With the rise in acceptance and mainstream use of weed employers additionally run the chance of alienating youthful expertise who are typically extra targeted on firm tradition and inclusiveness within the office. Then there are the authorized concerns. New York state not too long ago passed a law prohibiting pre-employment screening for marijuana in all however a handful of professions resembling construction workers, nurses, and police officers. While drug screening for marijuana use continues to be allowed in lots of states, it’s not arduous to think about related laws being enacted because the push in the direction of federal legalization continues.
What Can (and Should) Employers Do
While the decision continues to be out on marijuana’s final standing, there are commonsense steps employers can take now to supply steerage and readability with their new and current workforce. For starters, corporations are effectively inside their rights to ban using medication or alcohol whereas staff are on responsibility. Reasonable insurance policies that clearly spell out the flexibility of employers to terminate anybody who exhibits as much as work intoxicated or excessive are an accepted and protected course. Likewise, it’s additionally an affordable expectation for careers in industries that cope with public well being and security that staff chorus from drug use that will affect their skill to function at a excessive degree of consideration.
What corporations shouldn’t do, nonetheless, is throw the infant out with the bathwater by enacting zero-tolerance insurance policies that alienate and restrict their entry to high quality expertise. Finally, it might be value your time and cash to seek the advice of with an employment lawyer to study concerning the legal guidelines of your specific metropolis or state regarding drug screening and use. Taking this holistic method permits corporations to adapt to altering the societal acceptance of marijuana whereas nonetheless defending their enterprise.