Drug Testing and Legal Weed | PotSaver
Drug Testing and Legal Weed
With so many states now legalizing cannabis medically and/or recreationally, a question that I commonly have continuously reappears. What’s the deal with drug testing in the workplace and cannabis? Of course, there are some jobs that will still require testing, such as government positions, law enforcement and some heavy machinery jobs… But for all the other types of jobs and positions out there, but what’s the deal?
Common Drug Testing
Drug testing is common for many jobs still today. A urinalysis (UA, or a pee test) is the most commonly used way to test for drugs and is still widely used for job screenings.
When you take a drug test, they aren’t testing for marijuana compounds per say, but the inactive metabolites instead. Inactive metabolites are the byproducts of a substance after it runs throughout your system. In simpler terms, they test for traces of natural byproducts that help process the THC inside your body. This means they aren’t testing for THC, or marijuana specific compounds, and they can’t tell the amount of THC or how much it impairs you.
The amount of time it takes for your body to be rid of those metabolites is different for each person. Supposedly, constant consumers may process the compounds as quickly as a newer consumer. Although these compounds also store themselves in fat cells, it also depends on how quickly the fat cells are processed. Consumers with a lower body weight don’t store as much as higher body weight consumers. It’s fair to say that drug testing isn’t exactly a precise way to detect usage. In any case, all these things can affect the final test results.
We aren’t seeing very many (if any) decreases in testing for cannabis in the common workplace drug testing. Although state-to-state laws are changing, the thing to remember about cannabis is that it’s still Federally illegal. All federal laws supersede the state laws, which means that all federal government jobs (or branches, such as the Army, Navy, Marines, and so on) are all covered by federal laws jurisdictions. That also means that as a nation, cannabis is still a schedule 1 drug. This is the highest level of illegal drugs, along with heroin and LSD.
So many jobs follow the federal law and make it something to test for. This means that if you are not a medical card-carrying cannabis consumer, any job has the ability to test you, and hire or fire you, depending on the tests results. If you do test positive for cannabis, they can legally fire you from your position or not hire you.
Even if you are a card carrying medical cannabis consumer, sometimes it doesn’t always pay in your favor. Although medical consumers see a doctor, get a prescription and are logged into a system, that doesn’t mean they clear of the drug testing complication. There have even been cases of card carrying medical marijuana consumers that were fired after being tested and the results were positive.
A 2015 Colorado Supreme Court case stated that a disabled man who was a medical cannabis consumer was working at Dish Network. He was fired after testing positive for cannabis. Though the court ruled on a new state law that stopped employers from firing workers for “off-duty behavior that is legal”, the employer won the case in the end. Why? Cannabis is still federally illegal. This isn’t a rare case either, and in other states, there have been similar cases with the same sad result.
New in the News
This common problem of jobs vs cannabis is getting to be a big deal… So much so, that states are looking at employer testing statistics. It’s looking like employers are eliminating cannabis from drug testing statewide. Colorado has conducted a survey, and 7 percent of employers chose not to test for cannabis in pre-hire screenings. 3 percent of businesses completely stopped testing for cannabis in all of their tests.
Along with Colorado, California is following suit with a job placement company. It is saying that only one-fifth of their total clients still test for cannabis in their testing. They state that employers are afraid of losing out on great employees for something so miniscule as being a cannabis consumer.
Oregon is also getting in on this by passing a law that states employers are not legally allowed to fire an employee for legal off-duty activities. The Senate Bill 301 states that a medical cannabis cardholder is unable to be fired for consuming their medicine.
Smokey’s Tips for Passing a Drug Test
As stated above, there are many things that affect how quickly your body processes the cannabis compounds. Here are some tips of what worked for others:
- Time! Obviously, the best way to pass a test is to wait a period of time without participating in consuming. 30 days is the most known amount of time to wait. After 30 days, all compounds should be entirely out of your system with no questions.
- Hydrate! The more you drink water, the more your system flushes itself out. Drinking water is recommended, but there are some rumors of “detox drinks.” At the end of the day, water should do the same, as the thought behind this is to just flush out your system.
- Be Active! Do you remember when I told you that THC and other cannabis compounds are stored in fat cells? The best way to break down and process all the compounds inside our fat cells is to be more active. The more active you are, the more fat cells your body will process in a shorter amount of time. Sweat it out!
- Healthy eating! Making good, health-conscious choices for food (such as leafy veggies, red meats and good protein) will help the body detoxify more efficiently.
- Pre-Testing. Interested in a good way to make sure that you’ll be ready for the real thing? Buy a home-test from a pharmacy and do it yourself. Try the night, or day, before just to be sure that you’ll be ready for the test you “studied” so hard for!