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Marijuana Use and Its Impact on Workplace Safety and Productivity

February 10th, 2016

Despite the safety and productivity risks associated with marijuana use, the drug is increasingly seen as socially acceptable and its dangers may be marginalized.

The number of people using marijuana in the United States is rising rapidly, and the impact of this increase is showing up at work. Drug testing services report more positive tests for marijuana, both in pre-employment drug screens and drug tests conducted for other reasons.
The penalty for a positive test is often a refusal to hire or, for those who are already employees, discipline up to and including termination. An employee familiar with state laws legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use may be surprised by such a harsh workplace penalty, but employers continue to have good reasons for enforcing a strong substance abuse policy that includes a ban on marijuana.
Safety Issues
Safety concerns are often a company’s primary reason for prohibiting marijuana in the workplace, and they are a valid basis for banning the drug. Marijuana use has been linked to an increase in job accidents and injuries, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that the short-term effects of marijuana include impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem-solving, memory problems, and an altered sense of time….click here to read the entire story by Terri L. Dougherty, OH&S