Should Employees Be Forced To Take Weed Drug Tests?

Now that more states are legalizing cannabis, should employees be forced to take weed drug tests? Experts are saying no.

In an age where cannabis legalization is becoming more widespread, employers are asking themselves: Should employees be forced to take weed drug tests? Surprisingly, or perhaps predictably, experts are saying no. In fact, studies are showing that drug testing isn’t curtailing drug use at all.

Drug Testing in the Workplace

If you’ve ever had a job, you might have had to take and pass a drug test. Many job offers are contingent on whether or not you can pass such a test. But does mandatory drug testing even work?

Is it a fool-proof way of thinning the herd and weeding out undesirable job candidates? Most experts on the matter agree that it’s not. In fact, the consensus seems to be that drug testing is a waste of time and financial resources.

More to the point, more prospective employees are failing required drug tests than ever before. According to a study conducted by the oft-used Quest Diagnostics, 4.6 percent of job applicants tested positive for drugs in 2016.

It might not seem like much, but it’s the highest recorded percentage since 2004 when the rate of positive drug screenings was 4.5 percent.

Still, some employers maintain that they don’t want to hire anyone who uses drugs. This is perfectly understandable, especially since many work environments need to have their workers’ safety as a top priority.

But the fact remains that even if an employee tests positive for a drug like cannabis, it doesn’t mean that they’re impaired. Weed can stay in your system for up to 100 days, even after you’ve stopped smoking.

Unsurprisingly, Quest Diagnostics found that the rate of employees who have tested positive for cannabis has been steadily rising. There was even a sharp increase in cannabis positivity after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational weed.

As a result, prospective employees are being disqualified or fired from jobs. And employers are losing out on otherwise qualified employees.

Final Hit: Should Employees Be Forced To Take Weed Drug Tests?

Some people think that regular cannabis use indicates a poor work ethic, and will therefore negatively affect the rest of the employees. Others disagree. Furthermore, some believe that a required drug test is a violation of privacy.

After all, for the most part, what employees do on their own time isn’t really their boss’s business. Unless, of course, it reflects poorly on the company.

So what is the solution? Some employers have stopped drug testing altogether. Others remain vehemently opposed to hiring anyone who engages in drug use. Even if it’s only cannabis.

And with more and more states legalizing recreational weed and implementing medical marijuana programs, the rates of people failing mandatory drug tests will only increase.

So should employees be forced to take weed drug tests? The logical answer is no. As long as the employee doesn’t arrive to work impaired or otherwise stoned, then cannabis use shouldn’t be an issue.

" Chloe Harper Gold : Chloé Harper Gold is a writer in New York City. In addition to cannabis, she is passionate about horror, science fiction, and feminism. You can find more of her writing on Horror Film Central, Feministing, and Twitter.."