How Legal Marijuana Affects Employer Drug Testing
In recent years, the legalization of marijuana has become a hot-button issue. So far, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have legalized recreational pot, while many others have legalized medical cannabis use, with related ballot initiatives appearing almost everywhere.
No matter if it is being used for medicinal or recreational purposes, marijuana is becoming more widely accepted in today’s society. This brings up a controversial issue: should employers continue drug testing for marijuana in the workplace? While drug testing is NOT required in all workplaces, according to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, some employers do have the right (and some are required) to test against a variety of drugs. Further more, according to the Department of Transportation, safety-sensitive employees are still subject to federal DOT drug testing regulations, regardless of state laws regarding legalized marijuana.
While we don’t want to judge anyone for the decisions they make, we think it is important that employers maintain their right to pursue and enforce a drug-free working environment. In fact, as legalization spreads throughout the country, the responsibility for maintaining a drug-free workplace rests ever more squarely on the backs of the employers themselves. While those who use marijuana are not necessarily bad people, the use of marijuana, can still affect the user’s motor skills, as well as reaction time, and use of sensory skills. In the long term, it can reduce the ability to accept and retain information, kickoff mood wings, and cause lack of motivation. Employers who wish to avoid these consequences must continue to test their employees for cannabis use.
Contact us for help maintaining a drug-free work environment or for more information about legal marijuana drug testing. Our expert drug testing staff stand ready to help.
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