Marijuana refers to dried seeds, stems, and flowers of the Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana is considered the third most widely used drug globally after tobacco and alcohol. Although the drug is common among young adults, it is popular with people from different age groups. In the US alone, approximately 11.8 million young adults use Marijuana annually. The drug has more than 500 other chemicals, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), considered a mind-altering compound (“Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts). THC mainly affects the brain cells, especially the cerebrum, resulting in memory loss and impaired thinking. Additionally, the drug interferes with an individual’s learning ability and concentration. This article explains the Marijuana laws in relation to the MORE Act and how they impact workplace productivity.
Should employers continue to test for Marijuana as a pre-employment condition?
The House of Representatives, on Friday, April 2022, passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The Act seeks to legalize Cannabis and remove it from the controlled substances list (“house does it again: More act ready for Senate action,” 2022). Although the Act seeks to decriminalize Cannabis on a federal level, Marijuana has many side effects that affect productivity and concentration and impairs judgment in the workplace. Additionally, Cannabis distorts thinking ability, affects mental health, alters minds, and distorts operations skills (“Marijuana (Weed, cannabis) drug facts, effects,” 2021). Therefore, employers should maintain testing marijuana as a pre-employment condition because its continued use interferes with employees’ productivity and performance (Verhulst, 2021). Those affected by mental health due to Marijuana are characterized by depression and hallucinations. It becomes risky for such employees to perform effectively, especially when operating machines.
Testing current employees when there is reasonable suspicion of Marijuana drug use
However, I can not entirely agree with the opinion of testing the current employees when there is reasonable suspicion of Marijuana drug use in the organization. Pre-employment tests prevent drug users from seeking employment in organizations that perform such tests. However, like any other hazard with workplace and worker implications, the use of Marijuana among employees needs critical analysis, deeper understanding, and more research. This issue should be examined through the lens of occupational health and safety to prepare for future changes.
Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts. (2022). National Institute on Drug Abuse. Web.
Marijuana (Weed, Cannabis) drug facts and effects. (2021). NIDA for Teens. Web.
The House does it again: More Act ready for Senate action. (2022). The National Law Review. Web.
Verhulst, S. L., & DeCenzo, D. A. (2021). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. John Wiley & Sons.