Are Pre-Employment Marijuana Tests Necessary Anymore?

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With more states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, a culture shift is happening in the workplace. Larger companies such as Amazon have stopped testing for marijuana as a requirement for work. Should all companies follow suit? Let’s take a closer look at pre-employment marijuana tests to determine if they’re still necessary.

Should Companies Still Drug Test For Marijuana?

Follow State or Federal Laws

When deciding on marijuana policies in your workplace, always look toward state and federal laws as guidelines. For example, while marijuana may be legal in your state, it is still illegal on a federal level, so if your business could be at risk, you may want to continue to follow the federal guidelines in this instance. It’s also important to recognize the differences between medical and recreational marijuana.

Enforcing a Drug-Free Workplace

Even if you choose to no longer test for marijuana, you still want to encourage a drug-free workplace. How can you do that without regular testing? Much like alcohol, there is a certain level of trust in the contract you have with your team members. However, if you see signs that their work is impaired, you can take action.

Adopt a Business Need for Drug Testing

Most legal action around marijuana has revolved around the protection of off-duty use. That means employers can still create a business reason around non-use during work hours. Employers never have to tolerate on-the-job recreational use of marijuana. Employers are encouraged to test only when reasonable suspicion of impairment is triggered. Signs can include:

  • Strong smell of marijuana
  • Dilated or watery eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsy behavior or sleep on the job

Consider Workplace Safety

When impairment is in question, you have workplace safety to consider. If you’re testing for reasonable suspicion, you need to be consistent in your response. Even in places where marijuana is legal, you always have a responsibility to keep your entire workplace safe, including other employees, regardless of the type of work your company does.

Do you want to know more about compliance in the workplace?

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