Organizations across the U.S. are beginning to adjust their drug-testing policies to eliminate screening for marijuana. Amazon is one company that has decided to no longer screen for marijuana use. Amazon plans to treat it the same as alcohol use and only monitor for on-the-job impairment. For the first time in U.S. history, states are legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use so a change in drug testing policies may be necessary. Can this add to employee risk and liability?
Keep Testing For Marijuana?
Marijuana is still federally illegal and is considered a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Because state and federal laws differ for marijuana use, drug testing can be complicated especially for companies across multiple states. What does all of this uncertainty mean for employers?
Some companies may choose to remove marijuana screening from their drug testing policy for various reasons. The window of detection for marijuana use is a common reason. Employers often wonder how accurately impairment can be decided based on a positive test because marijuana stays in your system longer than many other drugs. So… there still isn’t a viable option for testing for real-time impairment. Another frequent concern of HR professionals is an issue of privacy in states that have legalized the drug.
Does Testing Help Limit Employee Risk?
There are many reasons to continue screening for marijuana use. Other ongoing benefits of testing include it can prevent drug users from applying to your company. Continued screening or random drug testing can also help protect your company from legal liability if an accident occurs. According to a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, employees that tested positive for marijuana were 55% more likely to have industrial accidents, 85% more likely to be injured, and 75% more likely to be absent. Screening for cannabis may be beneficial, particularly for those in safety-sensitive positions where employee risk is concerned.
Untangling the issue of whether or not to screen for marijuana can be tricky. Let Blueline experts help you implement a drug testing program that will keep your company and employees safe and compliant.