The decades-long pre-employment practice of drug testing for marijuana seems to be on the decline, according to a recent article in Bloomberg. To blame: a tight labor market and loosening legislation on marijuana use.
Not surprisingly, companies located in the states that have legalized either recreational or medicinal marijuana seem to be leading the way. Last year, a survey of employers in Colorado showed that the number of companies testing for pot fell to 66 percent; in 2016, it was 77 percent.
The upside is that this trend is also causing some companies to provide more support for employers struggling with problem drug use. “We want to help these people, instead of saying: ‘Hey, you can’t work for us because you used a substance,’” one healthcare company’s spokesperson told Bloomberg.
With unemployment currently at four percent in the U.S. and more and more applicants failing drug tests, many companies say they have no choice but to re-evaluate their drug-testing strategies.
Yet 61 percent of Americans still believe that drug testing should be required for “all or most jobs,” according to a survey by Rasmussen Reports. What’s more, despite increasingly lax attitudes regarding marijuana, many professions (especially when it’s a safety issue) and high-profile companies say they will never alter their drug policies. Companies are also reserving the right to test after an accident or if an employee comes to work notably impaired, notes Bloomberg.
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