CANNABIS CULTURE – For many the answer is make or break.
Imagine you are a job seeker who has been laid off because of the pandemic. You are checking your phone and email constantly as today is the day you learn if you are offered employment from the company you interviewed with last week.
The interview went well, and you are perfectly qualified for the job.
At last, you get an acceptance call from your interviewer who lets you know that more information about the employment package will be emailed shortly. You are ecstatic and your day has been made. As you are scrolling through your employment package, you see the words “Pre-Employment Drug Test”, and your heart drops.
As an avid weed smoker, you know there is no way you are going to pass the drug test in the one-week time frame given.
Wait a minute, you live in Colorado where recreational marijuana use is legal.
Surely the company does not test for marijuana.
If they do, the company probably won’t care.
You are a law-abiding citizen and you should not be punished for what you do in your free time. You go ahead with the drug test, nervous but confident in your logic. Fast forward one-week, you get a call from the same person who gave you the offer, but this time they are withdrawing it.
It turns out that the company did care about marijuana, and in Colorado it is perfectly legal for companies to reject employment offers because of cannabis detection.
This story exposes a problem that will become more prevalent as more and more states start legalizing recreational marijuana use: pre-employment drug testing is very common among companies. However, it is expected that one does not have to worry about marijuana use in legalized states. Unfortunately, some state laws have been explicit in their lack of protection for marijuana users from pre-employment drug testing. The same goes for off-duty drug testing. For instance, in Colorado, one of the first US states to legalize recreational marijuana use, the state Supreme Court confirmed in Coats vs. Dish Network that employers have the right to fire people for marijuana use even if it is off-duty. Only one state, Maine, explicitly protects recreational marijuana users from being fired by employers.
This patchwork of state laws is a precursor for what may happen with federal legalization if no specific protections are included in the future bill. This editorial is not arguing whether or not companies have the right to drug test; it simply wants to emphasize that the problem exists.
Understanding that problems exist for marijuana users in legalized states is important.
Different state laws and employers can prevent individuals from getting a job even if they are perfectly qualified. Most people are willing to cut back their marijuana use if they know a drug test is coming.
They can cut back, take the test, and smoke after the test is over.
Instead, companies blindside prospective employees with an unexpected drug test and ruin their chances of getting the well-deserved job. In addition, rather than take a risk and apply to certain companies, avid marijuana users may unconsciously limit themselves by avoiding companies where they may be subject to drug testing. Individuals may be perfectly qualified for a job, but the risk of drug testing may stand in the way of them pursuing their dream and progressing their career.
A database detailing what companies drug test and what type of test is administered is one useful tool to mitigate the problems detailed above. Individuals can look up companies they are interested in and modify their marijuana usage for enough time to pass a drug test if one is required. Or they might move on to another company if they don’t feel like changing their lifestyle. Knowing the type of drug test that is administered is important as the detection
windows vary. A hair follicle test can detect marijuana use up to 90 days while a urine test can only detect it up to 30 days.
Given the usefulness of such a company drug screening database, I decided to make one. The site it is on is called Do They Drug Test?
Only after I finished making the database, I realized I wasn’t the first — BUT –most the data included in other databases are far from current. Since companies are likely to be hesitant in telling me if they drug test and what type, I made this database user-fueled.
After all, people who work at a certain company know exactly what the company policies are.
At the moment, the database has 300 submissions from Redditors who really liked the idea. Most the submissions are from 2020 or 2021 which is much more relevant to current job hunters. 300 submissions are a great start, but more submissions will make the database have an even greater reach. In addition, more data points will make the database more accurate by making outliers apparent. All contributions to this user-fueled database will help broaden its reach to a variety of job hunters.
Creating a submission only takes a minute and is completely anonymous. If you think the database can be useful, please consider visiting the site and submitting your experiences.