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Positive Drug Tests on the Rise

Sep 23 2014 Gail Cecchettini Whaley

The percentage of American workers testing positive for drugs has increased for the first time in more than a decade, driven by increases in marijuana and amphetamine use, according to an analysis by Quest Diagnostics.

Nationwide, marijuana is the most commonly detected illicit drug. Marijuana positivity in the U.S. workforce increased 6.2 percent nationwide. States that legalized recreational marijuana use experienced huge increases in positive test results, with positivity rates in Colorado and Washington – dramatically increasing by 20 and 23 percent, respectively.

Amphetamine positivity rates – specifically methamphetamine – showed a 10 percent increase nationwide.

In California, the California Supreme Court has ruled that you can enforce a drug-free work policy in your workplace, even though medical marijuana use is permitted under California law (Ross v. RagingWire Telecomm, Inc.).

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

Find more information on drug testing using our How-To: Oversee Pre-employment Drug Testing.
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