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Is the shortage of workers, a result of drug tests and low unemployment?

A report presented at the national conference, which was sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration at the earlier part of the month revealed that American employees in states that marijuana has been legalized are increasingly failing drug tests on the compound. The research carried out by Quest Diagnostics tracks the outcomes from drug tests in all the 50 states yearly and discovered that 4.2 percent in the average rate of positivity for Colorado and the national population last year. The rate of positivity for marijuana varies based on the percentage of drug tests carried out throughout Colorado with an outcome of failed test results at 2.5 percent, which was a little higher than the 2 percent from the national average. But Colorado cannot be compared with the percentage from Nevada (43 percent), California (11 percent) and Massachusetts (14 percent) where recreational marijuana has been legalized since 2016.

The director of Quest science and technology, Director Barry Sample stated in a statement released with the research that although it is very early to presume that it a pattern, the data generated indicated that marijuana use is moving into the workforce which can also be found among those that are tasked at keeping the security of the community.

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The sample was of the opinion that determining if the drug test was a pattern was too early but Smart Approaches to Marijuana didn’t take long before participating in the research. By stating that the data was similar to the data that was observed when marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington and it will be a typical result that will always be seen in states that were negligent enough to follow their footstep. The founder of SAM, Kevin Sabet asked if we are willing to see our driver, nurses, doctors, pilots, and truck drivers high on drugs and the careless evaluation of legalizing marijuana needs to be stopped.

However, the outcomes from Quest from the previous years indicated that Colorado has never witnessed an alarming rate of positive results on marijuana compared to Massachusetts, Nevada, and California. In 2013, the failure rate of marijuana tests in Colorado was about 1.9% (the year after which recreational marijuana was legalized), 2.2% in both 2014 and 2015, and 2.5% in 2016. The rate in Washington was about 2.6% in 2017, which was a mild increase in the result from 2013.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the unemployment rate in Colorado was below the national average’s 3.9 percent in May 2018. Where the state is only at 3% while Denver is at 2.8%.

The president of Denver employment agency, J. Kent Staffing stated that several shortages of employees have been experienced by most of her customers in different agencies as a result of the positive test results of marijuana but indicated that a low number of workers was already a part of Colorado’s strong economy from the onset. She continued that marijuana tests are not carried out in every economy but those still implementing it are experiencing difficulty in filling important roles together with the low rate of unemployment has posed more difficult for agencies that carry out drug tests.

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Industrial agencies and national corporations having stringent drug policies are facing the most challenging experience in all the states. Booher recommends that for industrial sectors that require consistent driving and machine operation and the likes, more tests are being carried out. Many of the national companies have policies in every state.

In 2012, the Colorado branch of Dish Networks laid off Brandon Coats, a paralyzed marijuana patient due to a failed drug test even though there has been no occurrence of getting high in duty. Coats filed a lawsuit against his previous employer but the Supreme Court gave a judgment that was in Dish’s favor because according to federal law, marijuana is still illegal and Dish’s business extends beyond Colorado.

As a result of THC, the psychoactive substance found in marijuana that is usually tested for with its association to fat cells, it can be discovered within the body system for several weeks or even months even after its effects have worn off. Law enforcement agencies and agencies testing for impairment and drugs have been faced with serious problems on the difference between being stoned and testing posting for THC. The Denver section of the Nation Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has been advocating a recent type of drug testing for employers intending to determine impairment instead of evaluating urine, blood or hair follicle to combat the situation.

The director of the Denver NORMI, Jordan Person stated that an individual should be sacked on Wednesday for an occurrence they performed on Saturday and testing for impairment should be based on what happened currently and not what has happened on Saturday with friends. The most important question should be on what you just did today.

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Earlier this year, Person was at the forefront of the Colorado Legislature campaign with the intention of passing the bill that will facilitate the implementation of the technology and simultaneously putting an end to employee termination from positive marijuana tests. Persons stated that sponsorship was secured by NORMI for the bill in the House of Representatives, on the basis of discovering a Republican sponsor within the Senate. But it was difficult for the group to move the needle. However, she intends to lobby for similar technology in the coming year at the Capital.


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