Drug Testing for Weed by Employers is Getting Lax
With marijuana legalization becoming increasingly more popular across the country, some people are wondering if individuals will be allowed to enjoy weed smoke breaks at work. Others wonder if they can pick up a joint with their co-workers at the end of a crazy day at the office. But what’s going on with employers’ drug testing for weed? In some states, employers have started to care less about workers smoking marijuana. Many aren’t worried about passing weed drug tests as long as their employees can still perform well at work. Other employers, however, are still allowed to ban the use of weed on their premises. That means they can even fire employees that fail weed drug tests. That’s because, under federal law, marijuana is still illegal.
Do employers care about weed in a drug test?
Medical and recreational marijuana use is more socially acceptable than ever, and even more and more states are legalizing the use of the drug at a rapid pace. So should employers even bother testing for weed anymore?
Employers that drug test typically uses a five-panel screen that includes amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). Some employers, however, have dropped marijuana from the panel.
“More and more employers appear to be treating marijuana use like alcohol use and ignoring off-duty recreational use,” said Anne-Marie Welch, an attorney with Clark Hill in Birmingham, Mich.
Do state jobs drug test?
Yes. Federal, state, and private employees are all subject to drug testing. Many federal employees, such as those who handle classified information, those who work in national security, law enforcement officers, employees with duties to protect property, life, health, and safety, and even the President are subject to drug testing. Most state laws are similar to federal laws and generally maintain the legality of drug testing for state employees. Many private employers require that their employees undergo drug testing.
What is a pre-employment drug test?
A pre-employment drug screening test is done on the potential candidates to test for drugs and alcohol. A test typically looks for traces of illegal drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin, opiates, phencyclidine, amphetamines, and legal drugs like valium, other sedatives, or alcohol.
When Employers Drug Test Weed
It appears that most employers across the country will have to figure out answers to questions that would have never crossed anybody else’s mind two decades ago. For now, the employers themselves are going to have to figure out how they want to handle the drug test weed situation in their workplaces.
Let’s consider the state of Illinois, where there are no clear rules about the drug test weed situation as of yet. The Chicago-based firm Relativity is a legal technology company that has over 850 employees working for it across the country. This company has decided to forgo drug testing for potential employees. Since marijuana is becoming increasingly more legal recently, Relativity doesn’t see any need to change its standards.
An Employer That Won’t Drug Test Weed
There are two main reasons why Relativity doesn’t do drug testing for potential employees. First, Relativity doesn’t feel that the job opportunities they offer require a pre-employment drug test. Second, Relativity feels like it can trust its employees to make the right decisions and to be productive members of its team while still following the law.
Illinois recently went from legalizing medical marijuana to legalizing recreational marijuana in 2020. That means that as of this year, more people in Illinois are now using weed. That trend is similar to what happened in Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana in 2014. Right now, about 15.5% of Colorado adults use marijuana at least once a day, which is an increase from 13.6% in 2014.
Questions About Drug Test Weed
So, in states like Illinois, employers have a whole new set of questions to consider. Most conditions permit the use of medical or recreational marijuana to allow employers to make decisions about how their employees use weed. Whether employers decide to fire employees who fail a drug test weed is up to the workplace itself. While some still do test their current and prospective employees, other companies are becoming laxer about the issue.
Employers have the right to use drug-free workplace policies if they’d like. So, that means employers can require drug testing and fire employees that don’t pass their weed drug tests. Much of this has to do with the fact that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. And it will likely stay illegal under the Trump administration. So, until the federal government declassifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, employers have the power to either enforce or not enforce drug policies at their workplaces.
If you Have a Medical Marijuana Card can you pass the drug test?
After several states in the US have passed the bill on legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, about 3.5 million have registered for the state-issued medical marijuana card. Even though some states have legalized marijuana for medical use, it’s still regarded as a Scheduled I controlled substance under the Federal Controlled substance Act. This means that authorities and employers can still conduct drug tests for marijuana. However, most states still have no law protecting against discrimination for patients with medical marijuana cards
Keep it Loud
Subscribe for free to our weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest issue of That Loud. Stay safe, and please try to support local businesses.