Getting Lost in the Weed

February 08, 2019
Drugs & Alcohol
Engagement & Retention
Recruiting & Hiring
Read time: 2 mins

Cannabis was the hot topic at the “Workforce Health Update for Employers” this past Wednesday, where experts got together to talk about Marijuana in the Workplace: The Impact on Workers and Employer Policies, sponsored by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and featuring one of MRA’s own, Laurie Greenlees, Director, HR Hotline.

The big question of the morning was “Should employers test new hires for pot before bringing them on board?” The simple answer is yes. And no.

It’s just not a one-size-fits-all kind of question or answer. In fact, it’s rather complicated. But, before you keep on testing, or your company’s prescreen goes up in smoke, consider both sides of the conundrum.

When safety is a concern, the screen needs to be there. Jobs that should keep it include:

Pot Picture

  • Workers who operate vehicles, heavy equipment or machinery
  • Caretakers of children, elderly and the disabled
  • People in the healthcare industry
  • Those who work off of the ground (think roofers, window washers, tree trimmers… you get the picture)

On the flip side, it may be in your best interest to say goodbye to the pot prescreen when there are no inherently dangerous conditions to the job, turnover is high and finding warm bodies is tough. In other words, consider dropping it for employees who work:

  • In retail positions
  • At the front of the house in restaurants
  • In office settings
  • At hotels

The gray areas of this prescreen debate aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it’s going to continue to be a tricky discussion for a while. Does your company have a marijuana drug screen plan in place?