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When the law says to use Marijuana is O.K., but the boss disagrees



Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Michigan, a state that recreated recreational use last year, tests all its employees. "A positive test for marijuana use will disqualify a candidate," the company told The Detroit Free Press. When contacted by The New York Times last month, the company allowed its rules to prevent possession or use at work.

Josh Hovey, who served as Communications Director for the campaign to legalize leisure marijuana in Michigan, said he had met regularly with the State Chamber of Commerce and local businesses before the referendum. "And much of what they were concerned about was their HR policy," he said.

In other states, such as Minnesota, where medical marijuana is legal and 19 Fortune 500 companies are based, there has not been much interaction between lobbyists for lawful marijuana and business.

"We have not seen large corporations reach out to us about this problem," said Leili Fatehi, campaign manager for Minnesota's responsible marijuana regulation.

Change came quickly to states, but on the cover of drug tests, there is a certain layer.

Quest Diagnostics gathers data on more than 10 million drug trials per year. Only a small number of companies have turned marijuana off the list of drugs they are looking at, and nationally, about 99 percent of all the general workforce are drug marijuana tests.

"Mostly, it has not had much effect in the recreational use conditions and no measurable effect in the medical marijuana states," said Barry Sample, Quest's senior science and technology manager.

There have been subtle but genuine differences at state level. From 2015 to 2018, the number of companies in both Colorado and Washington that included marijuana on their drug test panel fell just under 4 percent. In Nevada's first year of legalization, marijuana testing fell more than 8 percent among employers.


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