Marijuana Use is on the Rise. Protect Your Business by Reducing Risk.
Marijuana use throughout the United States continues to rise as the legalization of marijuana increases in various states. Employers are in a difficult position maintaining the productivity of their workplaces, and more importantly, the safety of their employees, clients, and data with surging marijuana use. Unlike other drugs, marijuana’s uncertain position between legal and illegal makes it different than other impairing substances.
Marijuana Use is Both Legal and Illegal in Most States
Despite widespread marijuana legalization, marijuana remains an illegal drug in the U.S. The federal government has held firm in classifying cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Schedule 1 drugs are those which the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) determines have a high potential for abuse and have no currently accepted medical use. The DEA reviewed its classification of marijuana in 2016 and chose to keep cannabis on the Schedule I list.
“Schedule I drugs cannot be prescribed by doctors or distributed at pharmacies. Possession and distribution of a Schedule I substance can be criminally prosecuted in federal court. Approval for research and clinical studies on Schedule I drugs is extremely limited. Additionally, Schedule I drugs receive no oversight or regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” writes Jackie Pirone for Occupational Health & Safety Online.
However, the federal government has generally chosen not to prosecute those who possess and distribute marijuana in compliance with state laws. For that reason, marijuana is in a grey zone being both legal and illegal at the same time. Still, the federal government treats marijuana as an illegal drug for purposes of oversight, and requirements for drug-free workplaces still require that employees test negative for marijuana along with other illegal drugs.
You can smoke it. You can eat it. It can even be applied topically to your skin.
No matter how the drug is ingested, daily marijuana use among adults has been increasing since 2007. In fact, some studies show daily use to be at its highest rate in 30 years. According to Reuters Health, one in seven U.S. adults used marijuana in 2017, with the highest use in adults ages 18 to 34. As a business owner or manager, you need to consider the risks posed by employees that are high on marijuana.
Protecting Your Business from the Risk Associated with Marijuana Use
Drug testing in the workplace has to be the cornerstone of a drug-free environment. That is because an employee who is high on marijuana can have impaired motor skills. Therefore, there is a greater likelihood of vehicular accidents or similar issues that could endanger your employees and clients. You can protect your business through regular pre-employment, random, and post-accident drug testing as part of your drug-free workplace.
You can find useful information about workplace drug testing in our previous blogs, A Practical Guide to Workplace Drug Testing and 6 Things You need for Drug Testing in the Workplace
Why is Marijuana Use on the Rise?
While some debate that the increase in marijuana use is directly related to the legalization of marijuana in many states, the perception of the risks also plays a part. In fact, the younger generation entering the workforce today does not recognize the risks. Similarly, they often compare marijuana to the effects of alcohol. If alcohol is legal at a certain age, then why are the effects of marijuana any different?
The answer is up for debate, but what is not in question are the dangers they both pose to both the user and those around them. Equally important is that marijuana still affects motor skills, decision making, and judgment, and that can lead to accidents.
As of the date of this blog, Marijuana laws are rapidly evolving in the United States. Eleven states and Washington, DC, have now legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults over 21. And 34 states have legalized medical marijuana. As more and more states adopt legislation to permit marijuana use, the rate of marijuana positivity in workplace drug tests has also increased.
What Steps can Employers Take?
Marijuana use in the American workforce is increasing. Therefore, it is important for employers to have a drug testing policy and regularly conduct drug tests. Drug testing a prospective employee solely at the time of their application is no longer sufficient. If you are a business owner or you manage a group of employees, you don’t want them to feel like you don’t trust them. However, it is also your responsibility to make sure they are carrying out their responsibilities in a safe environment.
As recreational and medical marijuana is legalized in more states, it is natural for employers to be concerned about the safety of their workers. At the same time, there is no need to over worry. There are many steps to ensure your employees are respecting workplace regulations. uVera Diagnostics is here to help.
uVera Diagnostics Offers a Variety of FDA 510(k) Cleared and CLIA Waived Test Kits
At uVera Diagnostics, our drug testing kits are compliant with FDA regulations. In addition, they test for marijuana and multiple substances simultaneously.
Are you concerned that marijuana use is on the rise in your workplace? Do you think your employees might be cheating on their drug tests? Rest assured, cheating is difficult to do with recent advancements in technology. However, there are still some precautions you can take.
Prior to onsite drug testing, ensure no soaps or powders are in the bathroom to alter urine specimens. Also, ask employees to leave personal belongings in a secure area before undergoing a test. Then, as soon as you receive an employee’s urine sample, use a fresh temperature strip to ensure the temperature is within the standard 90-100ºF range. Out of temperature urine is a potentially altered specimen.
uVera Diagnostics has a variety of FDA 510(k) cleared and CLIA waived drug test kits. These are affordable, convenient, simple to administer, 99 percent accurate, and provide fast results.
Easy, Fast Results for Employee Drug Screening in a Wide Range of Industries
Set to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) cut-off levels, uVera urine drug test kits are for business and organization use in a wide range of industries. For example, our clients range from staffing to medical and criminal justice to construction companies, and more.
Among our most popular testing kits is our CR3 Drug Test Cup. This patented test cup has an innovative design (including a large opening, slanted top, and snap-shut lid) that simplifies the process for drug test administrators. The CR3 Drug Test Cup is a keyless split-sample cup that comes in 5-panel, 6-panel, 10-panel, 12-panel, and 14-panel options. In order to start the test, all you need to do is twist the bottom. You will have results in approximately 5 minutes. Plus, a residual sample is saved to be used later, if needed, for GC/MS confirmation.
Also widely used because of its convenience and fast results is our All-in-one Urine Drug Test Cup. Similarly, this one-step urine test uses an integrated test cup and is available in a variety of panel options (5 panel, 6 panel, 7 panel, 10 panel, 12 panel).
In addition, we have many other drug testing kits for random drug testing. Contact us today with questions about your drug-free workplace initiative.
For More Information on Marijuana Use and Drug Testing, Click Here or Call 1-866-242-5930
Posted by Bill Nee, VP Sales/Marketing uVera Diagnostics and Co-designer and Developer of the CR3 split-sample drug test cup.
About Bill Nee
Bill has 27 years in sales management and marketing and is a 12 year veteran of the drug testing industry. As a parent and co-worker, Bill’s energy is focused on drug testing on every level. Addiction is all around us in alcohol, prescriptions and street drugs, and that is a constant reminder a drug free society starts with each and every one of us.
This information is meant for awareness and education purposes only. Any medical or life-saving advice should come from experts. Always consult with your physician about any and all drugs. If it is an emergency, call 911 or emergency services.