At the moment, public support for cannabis legalization is the highest it has ever been. However, this does not mean that everyone wishes to legalize. There are certain industries that wish to keep marijuana illegal. For instance, prisons and even law enforcements both fight legalization. However, there is one more player that people often forget: the drug-testing industry. Everyone knows that drug testing is extremely expensive and that it unfairly singles out cannabis users. Even so, the drug-testing industry is still a major advocate of keeping cannabis illegal. Why? Well, the industry has a lot to lose. There are some who believe that the industry is selfishly going against legalization efforts and just trying to keep its revenue up. In order to understand how and why various members of the drug-testing industry seem to be working against the cannabis legalization movement, studies looked at federal lobbying records and spoke to professionals about the science and economics behind drug testings.
“If you take marijuana out of the equation of the standard drugs that are screened for, you’re going to have a very, very small percentage of employees ever flunking drug tests,” Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said. “In fact, that percentage might be so small that employers rethink their cost-benefit analysis on whether the cost of doing all of these tests are worth the reward of finding a very small minority of employees who may be testing positive.”
Another expert spoke out on not just the science and economics, but the fairness of it.
“Someone passing or failing a drug test has no bearing on whether or not they’re going to be impaired at the job two weeks later,” Jason Williamson, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, said. “I think that’s a huge piece of the puzzle that I’m sure drug-testing companies don’t need or want to talk about, but that public institutions and private industry should be considering.”
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