The growing job market in the U.S. has helped to make a change in the employment industry that many did not see coming. That change comes in the form of lax regulation on whether or not employees can smoke marijuana and whether or not they will be tested for the substance in drug testing.
Employers have been working to increase the amount of employees they are hiring, but those that choose to drug test in the country are running into trouble due to the high amount of individuals who use marijuana recreationally or for medicinal reasons. With the market on marijuana quickly growing, and legalization approaching sooner than many think, it seems like this is only a fair step in the right direction. For decades in the employment industry, many different employers have frowned upon the use of marijuana and treated it as though it is as serious as many other drugs, which science is currently disproving.
One example of this comes from the Excellence Health Inc, in Las Vegas. The company currently employs as many as 6,000 employees, and they have chosen to take on a new policy of not drug testing employees who are coming to work in the pharmaceutical side of the industry. The company states that “We don’t care what people do in their free time. We want to help these people, instead of saying: ‘Hey, you can’t work for us because you used a substance.” This type of sentiment is something that is becoming less rare in the modern day as legalization for the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis is happening all across the country. The company also stated that they have hotline for workers who believe they have a problem with substances.
Another example of this comes from AutoNation Inc, which is currently the largest auto dealer in the U.S. Being quite a big company, AutoNation recently announced that they would no longer refuse applicants who come up positive for the use of marijuana, and that pre-employment drug testing may not be an option in the future as they believe marijuana is becoming increasingly popular in the modern day.
Many states across the country have begun to legalize marijuana for use across the board. A survey from the Mountain States Employers Council of Colorado recently showed that use of testing for marijuana has dropped by as much as 11% from 77% to 66% in the previous year. This is something that is becoming a huge positive for individuals looking to get jobs, as marijuana use is becoming more and more prevalent in the country.
This type of drug testing has created a tighter labor market, which is having a large impact on the amount of growth that companies can undergo. If the market on jobs is growing sparse, companies will have a increasingly difficult job finding employees. Although the impact of marijuana use in the workplace is something that is quite minuscule on the grander scale, the step that companies are taking to help solve this issue shows the more lax attitude that companies are having and how that could effect legalization in the country.
Jeremy Kidd, a professor at Mercer Law School recently stated that “the benefits of at least reconsidering the drug policy on behalf of an employer would be pretty high. A blanket prohibition can’t possibly be the most economically efficient policy.” The labor market is quickly being dwindled down by the use of drug testing, so to have an alternative to this unfair invasion of privacy is something that those looking for employment will likely see as a positive. The changing attitude of marijuana in the country is helping to create a booming economy of cannabis in the U.S. and only time will tell how well this trend can continue.