April 2015 Archive

Workforce Implications for Changes in Marijuana Testing

Starting a Conversation

In his remarks at the 2015 State of the Region Conference, John Molinaro, president and CEO of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, introduced the topic of workplace marijuana testing as a consideration for keeping qualified workers on the job. His excerpted comments follow.

Many of the tests commonly used for drugs (other than alcohol) measure historical use, not present intoxication.  This means they test as much or more for whether a worker is complying with broader cultural or moral standards than whether the worker represents a safety hazard to the company and coworkers.  This may have been acceptable at a time when we had significantly more workers than jobs, but as workforce supplies become more constrained we must rethink this norm.

Testing for past exposure is especially true for marijuana use.  Commonly used tests for marijuana use have a look-back period of 30 days to six months.  The most…

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