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We Should Abolish Drug Testing for Cannabis

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As an enthusiastic lover of cannabis for nearly two decades, one of the biggest banes of my existence was always the dreaded work place drug test. I’ve lost out on more than a few good jobs because I could not pass a UA, despite having a great looking resume and all of the right qualifications. Every cannabis user out there can relate to the stress of not knowing whether or not enough time had passed since they’d put down the pipe.

Smoke Weed or Keep Your Job?

Things did not change when states began legalizing cannabis. In fact, many medical cannabis users found themselves out of a job, simply for daring to take their medicine. This of course caused a lot of undue financial stress that certainly was not helping people who were already in a delicate physical state. People who suffered from debilitating medical conditions were basically out on their asses, even if their doctor had suggested they try cannabis. This is not the case with people who are prescribed, for example, prescription pills.

Drug tests have always been unfairly biased against cannabis users anyway. Cannabis being fat soluble makes it stay in the system for weeks longer than far more dangerous substances like meth and heroin, which are out of the system in a matter of days. It’s time to get rid of employment related drug testing for cannabis. 

What do we get from drug testing for cannabis? Law abiding citizens in legal states are unjustly punished for partaking in a perfectly legal activity, which of course leads to financial ramifications. Medical cannabis users are forced to choose between treating their medical condition or keeping their job, a thing that is necessary for them to treat their medical condition in the first place. On the employer’s side, companies are losing out on tons of qualified candidates, people who would surely be assets to their companies. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Caesar’s Palace stopped testing employees for cannabis last year. Image Source: Travel Channel

A Lot of Employers are Phasing Out Drug Testing for Cannabis

Fortunately, employers across the US are starting to come around to the idea of doing away with drug testing for cannabis. Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, where recreational cannabis has been legal since July 2017, announced early in 2018 that they would no longer be including cannabis in the list of substances they would test employees for. Other companies in legal states have complained that testing for cannabis eliminates a significant portion of their pool of qualified employees. Yeah, we know. We cannabis lovers have experienced this frustration for years!

There are no state laws that protect recreational cannabis users and few protections exist for medical cannabis users, though the groundwork has been lain down. Now they just need the legislation. Even members of the Trump administration have shown a change in attitude towards cannabis testing. At a hearing of the House Ways and Means committee, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta hinted that employers should reconsider drug testing for cannabis so as not to disqualify qualified candidates.  

Change is already in the works. I think that soon we will see the last of drug testing for cannabis. Spark one up in celebration folks!

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Have you ever lost a job because of testing positive for cannabis? Got anything else to add? Tell us in the comments!