Companies are Eliminating Cannabis from Drug Testing: What to Know
Many U.S. states have legalized some form of medicinal or adult-use marijuana in recent years. However, preliminary employment drug tests have remained a barrier for those seeking employment. The number of those failing pre-employment drug screening for cannabis reached as high as 4.5% in 2019, the highest percentage reported in nearly two preceding decades. Employment drug testing companies fail people all the time for small amounts of THC in their bloodstream. Now that cannabis is recognized by many states as medicine, maybe it’s time to remove THC from the list of substances being tested, or stop testing completely. Learn more about the latest no drug test employers.
Adult-use statistics and legalization stats have each moved up, with no telling where final numbers will land; all the while activists say that it is past time for companies to eliminate drug testing entirely. Seems some companies are listening. Here’s everything you need to know about U.S. companies ending employment drug testing.
History of Pre-Employment Drug Tests
Drug testing got its start in the early 1970s, shortly after one of the most controversial wars of our time, the Vietnam War. Then-President Richard Nixon directed the U.S. military to initiate a urine drug testing program, which yielded nearly 14% positivity rates among those returning home from war. Two years later, Quest Diagnostics began testing civilian employment candidates and existing workers in NY. It is widely known that President Nixon introduced and implemented some of the toughest anti-drug measures the United States had ever seen, and that we are still fighting the ramifications of his anti-cannabis policies and rhetoric today. Some refer to him as the abusive father of The War on Drugs.
While he declared that drugs were “public enemy number one” to American’s sovereignty and growth, top aides also reported that the War on Drugs was created “as a political tool to fight blacks and hippies,” according to a 22-year-old interview recently published in Harper’s Magazine.
Amazon At It Again
Yes, you heard it right. Major companies the likes of the almighty Amazon are making moves to forgo the dreadful and burdensome pre-employment cannabis drug test. The Amazon company is eliminating employment drug testing for positions that previously required it.x It can’t be a coincidence that these policy changes come alongside announcements that the dominant online retailer has announced they will be D.C. lobbyists, either.
For what, you ask? Oh, just weed. No big deal.
Some believe this move is the precursor to Amazon entering the regulated cannabis space, but Amazon executives visited with numerous organizations working to end the War on Drugs, assuring them that they were doing this for social — not economic — good.
Announcing their support for federal cannabis reform earlier last month, Amazon became the largest US corporation to stand behind federal decriminalization efforts. According to a public announcement still viewable on their website, Amazon reports that their “public policy team will be actively supporting The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act,” otherwise known as the MORE Act, which would decriminalize cannabis and provide for expungement of some non-violent cannabis offenses.
Despite one-third of Americans living in a state with medicinal or adult-use cannabis and more than 60% of voters in favor of federal decriminalization, corporate and federal America has remained firm in the belief that cannabis is a Schedule 1 Drug. Supporters and existing lobbyists hope that the retail giant’s existing lobbying expertise coupled with the insatiably deep pockets of Bezos’ favorite baby, that the arm will begin to fall in the wrestle for federal legalization and a new standard that will end testing for weed.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) presented their highly-anticipated and “long overdue” draft legislation bill on Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Schumer referred to the state of South Dakota saying that, “If South Dakota can legalize recreational marijuana, so can the Senate!”
“At long last, we are taking steps in the Senate to right the wrongs of the failed War on Drugs,” Schumer said. Schumer recognized that his own attitude toward legalization has evolved but now feels strongly about ending prohibition, as does “70% of the American population that support legalization.”
It’s not just Sen. Chuck Schumer who’s pushing the House and Senate to be more cannabis friendly. Assembly Bill 1256 was introduced by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward. Intended to prevent employers from using past evidence of marijuana use, such as a hair or urine test, as justification for discrimination against an employee, such as denying or terminating employment, according to Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a sponsor of the bill.
Other No Drug Test Employers (For Cannabis, Anyway)
The fitness giant neither pre-employment cannabis drug tests or warns of random drug testing. Despite varying online reports, those looking for employment in the fitness field can almost ensure that they won’t be drug tested. If there is an accident or workman’s comp claim filed, you may be asked to submit to a drug-screening.
Senior level positions may still require a pre-employment drug screening, but entry and mid-level positions can likely count on not being tested for drug use prior to employment.
This rental car chain reportedly only tests for middle management and above.
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