Adults who consume alcohol legally and responsibly outside of work aren’t penalized by employers. It should be no different for marijuana.

by Paul Armentano, LA Progressive

Voters and politicians are reshaping America’s marijuana laws for the better. The possession and use of cannabis is now legal for medical purposes in 38 states and legal for adult recreational use in 23 of those.

Unfortunately, antiquated and discriminatory drug testing policies often haven’t kept up with these changes.

It’s reasonable for employers to expect sobriety on the job. But requiring would-be hires and employees to undergo urine screens for past cannabis exposure are invasive and ineffective. They neither identify workers who may be under the influence nor contribute to a safe work environment.

Portrait of anonymous man smoking weed

That’s because conventional urine tests only identify the presence of non-psychoactive “metabolites” — by-products that linger in the body’s blood and urine well after a substance’s mood-altering effects have ended.

Even the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledges: “A positive test result, even when confirmed, only indicates that a particular substance is present in the test subject’s body tissue. It does not indicate abuse or addiction; recency, frequency, or amount of use; or impairment.”

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