Legal Marijuana and Drug Testing in the Workplace

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September 29, 2014: The Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. held a symposium discussing workplace drug testing in the era of marijuana legalization. The output of this effort is provided in a whitepaper published by Dr. Robert DuPont in March 2015.

With medical marijuana laws in place in 23 states (at the time of this posting), and with recreational marijuana legalized in Colorado and Washington, the laws can be confusing for employers seeking to maintain drug-free workplaces. Exploring marijuana in the workplace raises discussion on the history of marijuana in the U.S., policy, science, use trends and legality of such policies.

Marijuana use in the workplace has been a problem in the workplace. Job applicants who test positive on pre-employment drug tests are 77% more likely to face termination within their first three years of employment. 

The IBH Work Place Drug Testing in the Era of Legal Marijuana includes several key points:

  • Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. 
  • Workplace drug testing programs help improve the health and safety of employees. 
  • Positive results for marijuana rose 6.2% in 2013. 
  • About 9% of marijuana users seek help for addiction to the drug and more marijuana users seek treatment than any other illegal drug. 
The IBH report states "...Drug-free workplace programs protect the workplaces against the negative effects of individuals at work under the influence of drugs," and promotes workplace policies to ensure a drug-free environment.

You may obtain a copy of the white paper here.