A sobering article in the New York Times today: Hiring Hurdle: Finding Workers Who Can Pass a Drug Test .
The sad irony is that alcohol use and abuse is the biggest drug problem in the work world. From impairment on the job, to being hungover on the job, to missed days of work due to the after effects of alcohol use. And alcohol and tobacco use are two of the largest cost factors in empolyer provided health inurance programs.
And yet- drug testing and criminal background checks disenfranchise millions of americans from finding or keeping a job because of marijuana use – even though it often has zero do do with impairment on the job.
Most illegal drugs can only be tested for for 1-3 days after use. Marijuana however can tested for for 2 weeks or more after use.
Increasingly, as soth societal mores as well as laws are relaxed on marijuana, we see more and more people choosing a joint in the evening rather then a drink (or 7). And also increaingly using cannabis to ease their pains, to sleep better, etc.
And increasingly we see people being barred from finding or keeping jobs. Even though they are never impaired on the job. And despite numerous studies in the past showing cannabis users tend to be more productive and safer employees in general. (not being hungover from alcohol, sleeping-aids, pain meds etc, and missing fewer days of work).
Add to this the reality that millions of americans, especially minorities, have criminal convictions for non-violent drug offenses, many of which would not be illegal in their state today, that also serves as a hurdle to employment.
Drug testing is an antiquated system that does little to protect the employer, employees, or society..and has little bearing on the reality of the problem.Something needs to change.