Drug testing for a variety for jobs from the fast food industry to newspapers have been ubiquitous, but Leland Rucker, senior editor at Sensi Magazine says it’s a practice that’s on the decline.
“It’s always struck me as odd that employers would try to weed out cannabis users simply on the basis of a blood test, and it’s always been curious to note that people are tested because they use cannabis, even if only off the job, and aren’t tested for alcohol, a substance that can be much more dangerous and cause more problems than cannabis ever could.”
The Denver Post, owned by Digital First Media, admitted as much by finally ending pre-employment drug testing for all non-safety sensitive positions in the fall of 2016. You’re now graded for how you write, not your state of mind when you do it. Rucker says it’s part of a slow decline of pre-employment drug tests. “For as long as I can remember (it) has been a requirement for getting almost any job. Excellence Health Inc., a Las Vegas-based health care company with around 6,000 employees, no longer drug tests people on the pharmaceutical side of the business. Last month, AutoNation announced it would no longer refuse job applicants who tested positive for weed. Even the US Army has “lowered” its standards and forgiving past cannabis use.
More people are failing drug tests, too. Quest Diagnostics reported recently that failed tests are at an all-time high. As more states legalize, those numbers will only go higher. With unemployment hovering around 4 percent, drug testing expenses and today’s world is more accepting of drug use, it’s making less sense than it did before.
Rucker says this is the crux of the matter. “As the tech world found out years ago, by allowing cannabis users, employers are now able to hire the best, most productive people. Eliminating someone solely for a blood test that shows THC in a person’s system doesn’t show impairment, just that the person has used THC. Don’t allow it onsite, but otherwise, as leaders are finding out, who cares?”
Some are staying the course. Restaurant Brands International Inc., which owns Burger King, hasn’t altered its corporate marijuana policy. Ford Motor Co. still treats pot as an illegal substance.
That could change. “We assume that a certain level of employees are going to be partaking on the weekends,” an employment lawyer told the AP. “We don’t care. We’re going to exclude a whole group of people, and we desperately need workers.”
Leland Rucker joins us Thursday mornings at 8.20am, on KGNU’s Morning Magazine, to talk about the latest news in cannabis.