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Companies May Drop Marijuana Screenings In Order To Hire More Employees

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For many Americans who smoke cannabis, it's been hard to find a job that will hire due to strict drug laws and tests that need to be done. For some companies, drug tests are mandatory even though there are certain states that allow medicinal marijuana for health purposes.

According to experts from human resources, some companies may be dropping pre-employment weed screenings in order to employ more people.

Weed The People

A survey that was conducted in 2011 by the Society for Human Resource Management stated that 57 percent of employers conduct drug test on potential employees, a number which may have decreased over the years. In 2014, a survey in Colorado conducted by Mountain States Employers Council showed that at least 77 percent of the employers gave drug screening to candidates, even though the state legalized marijuana that same year.

According to attorney James Reidy, chair of the labor and employment group at the Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green law firm, many employees have complained that smoking marijuana is no different than having a beer on a Sunday night. Glassdoor expert Alison Sullivan stated that the number of jobless people in America is at its lowest level, which hadn't occurred in 18 years.

Sullivan continued that more companies are beginning to feel the pressure in finding employees, which is causing more employers to reexamine existing company policies, practices, and benefits.

Several in-demand jobs such as nurse aides, cooks, servers, and housecleaners have already begun dropping drug screening to fill positions.

The Changing Attitude Toward Marijuana

Others have suggested that the attitude toward marijuana itself has also changed. Some experts suggest that because more states are legalizing marijuana, it could leave a company "vulnerable" for a lawsuit if an employee is terminated for smoking weed even though it is considered "legal" in their state.

Abigail Wozniak, associate Professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, who researched drug screenings and the labor market, stated that it is hard for employers to find workers. To attract people, employers can't turn them away because they believe a person who is under the influence can't do the job.

"It's not so obvious that drug screening is about productivity ... It may be about finding workers who follow the rules. As the rules change, it becomes less important for employers to screen out folks on the basis of marijuana use," Wozniak stated.

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