How One State’s Employers Are Preparing For Recreational Marijuana

With more states legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana, employers across the country are considering whether or not to continue drug testing of current and potential employees.

Reporter Ryan Raiche for ABC affiliate station WDIO in Minneapolis interviewed employers across the state to ask them how they are preparing for the state’s possible legalization of recreational marijuana. One of those Raiche interviewed was director-elect of the Minnesota chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, Christina Hogan. The pressing issue has employers asking themselves, ‘What do we do?”

The station surveyed some 150 small, medium, and large companies across Minnesota about what they proposed to do if the recreational use of marijuana were to be legalized. According to the survey, 65% of those surveyed said that they intended to continue drug testing for the drug; even its use was to be legal. Most said that if drug use were found, a potential candidate would not be hired.

The state of Nevada struggled with the same issue recently when the recreational use of marijuana was first approved. What employers in places like Las Vegas found that after legalization, testing potential job candidates left them with too few people who could pass the drug tests.

Thoran Towler, chief executive officer at the Nevada Association of Employers told Raiche that more than half of the membership of the association ceased testing for marijuana because it became as the spokesperson for member Caesar’s Entertainment called it, “Counterproductive.”