National Drug Screening creates video discussing employer concerns. WSJ reports marijuana use up.

National Drug Screening Video Discusses Employer concerns and points to the need for a marijuana impairment test. WSJ reports marijuana use up.

Employers Looking for “Magic Bullet” Test for Marijuana

National Drug Screening’s video notes that marijuana state laws are rapidly changing, that federal law with respect to its legality may well change in the near term, that marijuana is the most used illicit drug in the U.S., and that California recently tried to pass legislation to ban workplace marijuana testing.  In all of this change, according to National Drug Screening, Inc., one thing stands out: While employers can currently test for marijuana use, they cannot test for marijuana impairment.  The problem is, they say, this:

  “Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid is the non-impairing metabolite of   marijuana, and it is the only marijuana metabolite that most laboratories test for in employment drug testing. Lab testing can show the presence of marijuana/cannabis, but tests cannot prove impairment… Determining whether employees and job applicants are using cannabis on the job or on their own time is exceedingly difficult… State laws will continue to change, and it will become increasingly difficult for employers to take adverse action for positive marijuana    tests. The trend is that when there is a positive result for marijuana, employers will have difficulties refusing to hire an applicant or taking adverse action against an employee.

National Drug Testing, Inc., like many others, anticipates the following solution to the problem:

“Currently there is no impairment testing for marijuana, which is a big challenge. When it becomes available, this test will be a magic bullet, like the blood test for alcohol or the breathalyzer.”

But There IS a Test for Impairment from Marijuana

Impairment Science, Inc. is the first to meet this ‘big challenge.” ISI’s Druid app, which tests for impairment due to any cause, was initially created specifically to test for impairment from marijuana.  Druid is the only digital app that has been recognized as accurate and highly sensitive in several scientific research studies, the most recent of which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology . The app has also been calibrated so that its scores compare to approximate blood alcohol levels.

With Druid, employers can test their job applicants and employees for fitness for duty, as opposed to testing for only drug use, which, as National Drug Screening states, can show the presence of the drug but not whether the individual is in fact impaired. Determining whether employees are impaired on the job is no longer “exceedingly difficult.” With Druid employers can now take adverse action against an employee who is unfit for duty and who may be unfit because of marijuana consumption.

Indeed, Druid is the “magic bullet.”

Marijuana Legalization Increasing Creating Concerns for Employers

The legalization of marijuana continues with more states legalizing both medical and recreational use. Increased use of marijuana in general is likely will spill over into the workplace.

Positive Marijuana Tests are Up

The Wall Street Journal reported that positive marijuana tests are up among U.S. workers and that the shift in the legal landscape has created shifts in workplace testing. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“The proportion of U.S. workers who tested positive for marijuana in urine climbed higher in 2020 while the overall share of positive drug tests plateaued last year, according to Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the largest drug-testing  laboratories in the U.S. About 2.7% of the approximately seven million drug tests Quest conducted on behalf of employers came back positive for marijuana—up from 2.5% in 2019 and 2% in 2016.”

Positive marijuana tests have climbed among American workers as more states  have allowed marijuana for medical and recreational use in recent years.   Seventeen states have passed legalization measures, according to the National   Conference of State Legislatures—including, most recently, New York, New  Jersey, Virginia and Arizona.

Along the way, the shifting legal backdrop and changing cultural attitudes have prompted some employers to stop testing for it while others have quit factoring it into hiring decisions. Some businesses say testing policies promote accountability, although many take a more lenient stance toward marijuana than toward other drug.

Sign up for our Newsletter