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Workplace Drug Tests Show Record Marijuana Use

A record number of employee drug tests are showing positive results for marijuana, The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports, as legalization becomes more prevalent.

The numbers: “Of the more than 6 million general workforce tests that Quest screened for marijuana in 2022, 4.3% came back positive, up from 3.9% the prior year. That is the largest marijuana positivity rate since 1997.”

More alarming: As many tests can pick up marijuana use from days or weeks prior, a positive test doesn’t necessarily indicate impairment on the job. However…

  • “The percentage of employees that tested positive for marijuana following an on-the-job accident rose to 7.3% in 2022, an increase of 9% compared with the prior year.”
  • “From 2012 to 2022, post-accident marijuana positive test rates tripled, tracking with widening legalization.”

On the positive side: “Positivity rates last year for certain classes of opioids and barbiturates declined.”

The legal tangle: Differing marijuana regulations across the U.S. have created a headache for employers trying to enact workplace policies.

  • That’s why the NAM’s Legal Center hosted a panel on marijuana policy at its first Manufacturing Legal Summit back in November.

Interested in learning more? The next NAM summit, which convenes in-house counsel from manufacturing companies as well as outside experts, will be Nov. 6–7 in Washington, D.C. Registration has just opened, and you can sign up here.

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