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Does Recreational THC Inhibit Job Performance?

On November 6th, 2018, Michigan residents voted for the legalization of recreational marijuana use. This act allows adults 21 years and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants in their home for recreational use. While the use of recreational marijuana may be legal in many states, most of these state’s laws do not inhibit an employer’s ability to deny employment to applicants with THC in their system. This legalization forces companies to ask themselves: Does using recreational marijuana off company time impact job performance? Some of our clients say no. 

While the workplace remains a drug-free environment, many of our clients have loosened their pre-employment requirements by no longer screening for THC. “They’ve realized there is a difference between being impaired and having it in their system.,” said WSI Vice President, Steve Beebe, in a recent interview with WWMT. “We are seeing more and more companies that are allowing that and not looking at it as a pre-employment condition.”

Beebe goes on to say that whether or not you’re screened for THC is on a company-to-company basis. You may not be initially screened, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be asked to test for THC later on. Instances such as being up for a promotion in a higher risk job, like a forklift operator, may require a screen.

It seems there has been a shift in society and that the stigma associated with using recreational marijuana lessens the more we discover about the drug. In a July 2019 Gallup poll, 12% of U.S. adults said they smoke marijuana, a percentage that is essentially unchanged since 2015. 

For more information about the legalization of marijuana in Michigan, check out our blog: Let’s Be Blunt

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