Unfortunately, rules and laws on drug testing aren’t uniform or clear or stable. In many states where marijuana has become more accessible and legal, employers are still legally able to drug test for weed, as well as fire any employee testing positive.
When Can Employers Drug Test?
Worsening the confusion more, when an employer does ask for a drug test, these tests don’t show whether someone is cannabis-intoxicated at the time it was administered like a blood alcohol test would indicate. Tests only show whether there’s THC in the bloodstream, and this can be fresh THC or residual from up to 30 days earlier.
Is Testing in Neighboring States Unfair?
So, an employee could live in a state where marijuana is illegal and takes weekend trips to the next state over (many people living in neighboring states only have to drive a few minutes to a few hours to reach a dispensary) and legally smokes marijuana. However, an employer could administer a random drug test or the employee could be going for a new job and test positive, potentially discounting them from a job they would excel in.
Alcohol vs. Marijuana
Again, this brings up the debate about whether what an employee does in their own spare time is subject to their employer’s eyes. Some workers provide marijuana to alcohol because it’s less likely to leave him or her feeling hung over, incapable of going to work the day after, and under dangerous conditions to drive. That’s because, unlike alcohol, marijuana doesn’t metabolize out of the system within several hours. Though some see marijuana as an altogether safer stress reliever than alcohol, because it sticks around in the bloodstream so long, it can put you in a tricky position.
So what’s the difference between after-hours drinking and after-hours pot smoking? Marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
For workplace drug and alcohol testing that meets all DOT testing requirements, contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs today!