Are marijuana laws changing employee screening?


Are marijuana laws changing employee screening?

It’s pretty much a given.

In the world of employee drug testing, screening for marijuana is standard. It’s been part of federally regulated workplace drug tests since the 1980s and, according to a study from The Institute for Behavior and Health, marijuana “has been and remains the most widely used illicit drug in the workplace.”

But testing for marijuana may not be on employers’ to-do lists much longer.

Why the change? According to reports, it’s the flock of states making marijuana legal in some form or another.

Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws on their books and a handful of those states—Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia—have OK’d recreational marijuana, too.

With the legalization of marijuana, employers are facing a choice—to test or not to test?

In several states, testing is being phased out. In Maine, when recreational marijuana laws hit the state in February 2018, employee-screening rules will have a new twist. Next year, employers will still be able to test for marijuana, but refusing to hire a new employee solely because they failed a drug test for marijuana will be against the law.

These changes related to testing may not be the most important issue, though.

Experts say one of the critical issues for businesses is that they create a “comprehensive, legally acceptable drug policy that clearly addresses decriminalized marijuana use.” It’s also important for that policy to address medical marijuana use, as many state laws require employers to give special accommodations to those users.

Keeping track of changes like these can cram your already crowded to-do list. But the team at ClearStar can help! We partner with companies to help them not only with screening, but also to keep them up-to-date on related laws. Contact us today to learn more


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