Companies Testing for Marijuana are Increasingly having Problems Hiring the People they need.
In addition to losing thousands of workers to raids carried out by immigration authorities, many employers say they can’t fill job vacancies because of drug testing for marijuana. Some are quietly dropping the requirement.
Marijuana testing, the bane of many cannabis consumers’ existence for the past thirty years, now excludes too many potential workers as weed is being consumed in the U.S. more than ever.
The Associated Press interviewed a variety of companies and found that filling jobs has increasingly become a challenge in the past 20 years.
“It has come out of nowhere,” said Michael Clarkson, head of the drug testing practice at Ogletree Deakins, a law firm. “I have heard from lots of clients things like, ‘I can’t staff the third shift and test for marijuana.’”
The AP pointed out that while still in the early stages, moving away from weed testing will likely pick up as more states legalize recreational cannabis and a growing number of former weed warriors are seeing the absurdity of their old ways.
Indeed the current administration seems to also be shifting its attitudes. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, reported the AP, suggested that employers should take a “step back” on drug testing.
“We have all these Americans that are looking to work,” Acosta said. “Are we aligning our ... drug testing policies with what’s right for the workforce?”
While there is no definitive data on how many companies drug test for marijuana, the Society for Human Resource Management found that at least 57 percent screen all their job candidates.
Interviews with hiring executives, employment lawyers and agencies that help employers fill jobs, done by AP, indicated that dumping the weed screening tests is one of the main steps that companies are taking to expand their pool of candidates needed to fill the near-record level of job openings.
So, it only makes sense…near record job openings and near record weed consumption. Drug testing is anti-productive.