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Clearing Up the Marijuana Confusion

September 18, 2019

Employers today face numerous issues with Marijuana that include safety sensitive positions, impairment, off-duty use, varying employment protections by State, recreational use, and the market increase of medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) products.


In a recent Webinar, R.H. Barry Sample, PhD, Senior Director of Science and Technology at Quest Diagnostics, and Faye Caldwell, Attorney at Law, Caldwell Everson, examined many of the concerns. The following are some key points from the presentation:


1. According to the latest Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index, the Workplace drug positivity rate hit a fourteen-year high in 2018. Marijuana was the most commonly detected illicit substance across all workforce categories.


2. Marijuana positivity in the majority of States with legalized, recreational marijuana increased at a higher rate than non-recreational States, over the past five years.


3. All States with recreational laws also have comprehensive medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana state also have  low THC/high CBD laws.


4. Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana are anxiety, arthritis, autism/autism spectrum disorder, chronic pain, lupus, migraines, obstructive sleep apnea, and post-traumatic stress disorder.


5. Most States prohibit driving under the influence of marijuana, but do not provide any guidance. Some States have per se limits of THC in blood tests, but there is no consensus on limits.


6. The Hemp Plant was removed from Scheduled 1 of the Controlled Substances Act on December 20, 2018. Hemp is legal if produced in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill.


7. The DEA denied petition to reschedule Marijuana in 2016. ALL Marijuana is illegal under Federal Law and it remains a Schedule 1 drug.


"Our in-depth analysis shows that marijuana is not only present in our workforce, but use continues to increase," said Dr. Sample.



SOURCE: Nicole Jupe - Quest Diagnostics

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