Recreational marijuana is now legal in eight states, in addition to the District of Columbia. Some of what we know about legal marijuana is publicized heavily. For example, a recent study came about that showed a link between increased traffic fatalities and legal marijuana. What about the workplace?
With marijuana use on the rise, more employees are testing positive for marijuana. The rate has gone up so high that states like Colorado are recruiting workers from out of state simply because they have a better shot at passing a drug test. The marijuana industry has lobbying agencies, and they operate much like the tobacco industry, their mission is to promote laws that restrict employer’s ability to conduct drug tests. As a result, there are a number of misconceptions about marijuana in the workplace.
You can easily tell if an employee is on marijuana at work
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. People that smoke marijuana have a “skunky” smell, and their eyes may appear bloodshot. Nowadays there are edibles products, which are essentially foods with THC in them. They can come in the form of cookies, candies, brownies, you name it. There’s really no way to tell if a food has THC in it. The amount of THC in edibles is also very high.
It’s impossible to test for recent marijuana use
Many people believe all drug tests for marijuana will show positive results even if a person hasn’t used it for weeks or months. Everyone’s bodies are different, so THC will be present in our systems for varying lengths of time. In addition, there are new oral swab tests that have detection times in hours.
Marijuana is safer than alcohol
This is one of the most popular slogans out there, and it’s the most misleading. Marijuana does affect a different part of our brain than alcohol, and it is impossible to stop ones heart because of marijuana. Studies have shown, however, that employees who smoke marijuana are more likely to have workplace injuries or skip work.