The Problem with Employers Relying on Urine Testing

Share this with your friends

Maybe you hate your job, but it pays pretty well. Maybe you actually love your job and want to keep it for the rest of your life. Whether you are interested in passing a drug test because you love your work or just because you need the money, it can be incredibly stressful to have your employer select you for a random urine drug test.

For those looking for better jobs or needing work after being unemployed, it is also very frustrating to have to subject themselves to chemical urine testing for cannabis. As most people already know, the active components in cannabis are not water-soluble. That means that they stay in your body longer than most banned substances like cocaine or methamphetamine.

People who never use cannabis at work can still test positive in the middle of a shift when randomly tested. Those who smoke frequently can also find themselves dropping dirty after several weeks of abstaining from cannabis. In heavy users, it may be possible to test positive for THC for 3 months or longer.

Now, there are some products out there that help people manipulate drug tests in their favor. There are synthetic urine products available, as well as detox drinks that claim to help you pass tests by diluting your urine. Some people report excellent success with these products, while others fail their tests after spending quite a bit of money on a product and lose their job or don’t get that new position despite their best efforts.

The real problem with drug testing for cannabis is that it doesn’t do anything to prove impairment. It only proves that the test taker has used cannabis sometime in the last 30 to 90 days. However, employers love to rely on these test results as though they were reliable indicators of on-the-job impairment.

The reliance on urine testing is particularly problematic for those who wind up hurt on the job. Although they were likely sober at work, the drug test can effectively preclude them from receiving workers’ compensation benefits even in states with adult legalization or if they take cannabis in compliance with a physician’s recommendation.

The sad truth is that companies do not do the same degree of testing and verification for the presence of alcohol or alcohol metabolites, which honestly pose a much bigger risk behind the wheel of a car or while on the job. Most people know better than to go to work while under the influence of cannabis.

Unfortunately, employer fear and prejudices combined with regulatory practices that allow companies to discriminate create a very dangerous environment for those who enjoy cannabis for recreational purposes or depend on it for medical reasons. Some states are starting to review the issue of drug testing and how it unfairly impacts cannabis users more than people who use dangerous, potentially deadly drugs or those addicted to alcohol.

For now, it’s important for cannabis activists to continue to remind people that drug testing is unfairly skewed toward detecting cannabis over other substances and that positive test results in no way indicate that worker was impaired while on the job.

For previous Ladybud articles about urine testing, click here