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Can Employers Drug Test in States With Legal Weed?

Full-spectrum CBD will make you fail a drug test.
Full-spectrum CBD will make you fail a drug test. /

Your state finally legalized weed, and you’re excited about all the new possibilities where you live. However, the burning question revolves around whether or not your boss will still impose mandatory drug testing. Can employers still drug test you now that weed is legal? Before burning one down on the way to work, check out some of the nuances of drug testing in the workplace in the event you need to cleanse your system from THC.

Where is Weed Legal?

Unless you keep your finger on the pulse of cannabis laws, you may have missed some of the latest states to legalize. Things are moving quickly to end cannabis prohibition, but not everyone is on board yet. As of this writing, 19 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized weed for recreational adult use. Thirty-seven states have a medical marijuana program, either solo or on top of their recreational program.

The states establish cannabis laws. However, there is an overarching federal law that can trump state laws. Unfortunately, cannabis remains a Schedule I drug, making it federally illegal. There are plenty of states without legal weed where Delta-8, Delta-10, and sometimes even full-spectrum CBD can make you fail a drug test. Even new hemp-derived cannabinoids like HHC and THC-O can trigger a positive test, so it’s good to know what your boss or future requires as far as drug testing.

The Difference Between Private and Federal Employers

If weed is federally illegal, but you can still smoke it in most states, what’s the deal with work? It comes down to your job. Working for the government and working for a private employer come with varying rules and regulations that affect whether or not you can smoke weed. 

Drug Tests by Private Employers

Private employers are companies like Amazon, Target, your local grocery store, or essentially any job not related to the federal government. As a private company, your employer has the right to establish its own rules for drug testing. Some companies don’t test at all. Many have policies for pre-employment drug screening as a condition of the job. Even more include clauses in the employee handbook indicating that suspicious behavior may result in drug testing. 

Consider a warehouse job where you operate a forklift or other machinery. Should you begin to show signs of being high on the clock, it’s not unreasonable that your employer would require a drug test. If an accident happens on their watch, a whole slew of complications arises with worker’s compensation and insurance policies.

Some employers drug test via urine, blood, saliva, or even hair follicle testing. The main reason that private employers drug test is for pre-employment screening, random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and post-accident drug testing. The trouble with weed is that THC stays in your system for a long time, sometimes many weeks, even after you’ve stopped using it. So, unfortunately, even if you live in a pro-pot state, your boss might frown upon your love of getting high.

Drug Tests by Federal Employers

All federal employees are required to maintain a drug-free workplace. There is zero wiggle room here. Federal employers must drug test their staff, and this can include private employers who receive government funding. Federal jobs include those in public transportation, aviation, public health, law enforcement, engineering, and several other roles. 

Even though marijuana is generally considered safe, it’s reasonable to expect a brain surgeon to abstain from puffing down a joint right before carving into someone’s skull. Likewise, you probably don’t want the bus driver to be absolutely blitzed while taking your kids to school. Should the US ever vote for total decriminalization at a national level, it’s likely that federal employees will always have some kind of drug testing in the workplace to ensure public safety.

States With No Drug Testing Policy

“Open states” are those without defined policies regarding weed and alcohol use on the job. This means that employers in these states can make up any rules they want, including abolishing all drug testing across the board. However, this also means that there might be some crazy bosses out there slapping you with a drug test right after a holiday weekend. 

While no rules may sound nice, it also opens up the door for a lot of uncertainty. For example, would you rather know you might have a drug test at some point during employment or continually wonder if today’s the day?

Do Employees Have Any Rights in States With Legal Weed?

It makes sense that some employers want their staff to avoid recreational weed, especially before or during work. But not all cannabis consumers are using it to get high. Many are the medical marijuana patients who have paved the way for legalization through their devout advocacy. These employees may be using cannabis to function and, without it, might not be able to perform their jobs at all.

What About Medical Marijuana Patients?

Sadly, a medical marijuana card is not enough to protect employees fully from termination. Yet, it all depends on where you live. Some states are okay with marijuana use so long as you’re off the clock. Sometimes, it’s a bit of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ scenario. For a full breakdown of patient protection state-by-state, read the full list

If you require marijuana to function daily, it’s best to discuss it with your potential employer beforehand. Unfortunately, the courts tend to side with the employer if you end up terminated because of your medical marijuana use. 

The Bottom Line on Employee Drug Testing

Failing a drug test can mean termination, suspension, or a mark on your permanent record (aka resume). Whether you’re a private or federal employee, there is a chance you’ll be taking a drug test at some point. To protect yourself from losing your job, you can best plan ahead with a detox kit or drink. The experts at Pass Your Test are the leaders in detox products, helping thousands of people pass drug tests. 

Their highly-targeted formulations will help you flush your system on any timeline, no matter what kind of drug test you take. If you have less than two weeks to prepare, reach for their 10-day detox kit. This is the perfect kit for anyone that consumes daily and has a lot of toxins to purge. The complete kit includes herbal capsules, a detox guide, home testing kits, and access to customer support. 

Short on time? No worries. You just need a detox drink. Check out their 5-day detox kit, or even the same-day cleanser. Capsules and a detox drink get to work within 90 minutes and offer a six-hour window to pass your test. You can get your kit just in time for the drug test with free overnight shipping. All of PYT’s kits come with a 100% money-back guarantee. The only thing you have to lose is your job, so hop online and order a kit to have on hand anytime you need it.

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