Workplace Testing For Marijuana

employee with medical marijuana

With marijuana regulations in flux across the country, sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of the numerous laws regarding its legality for medical use and, increasingly, its recreational use. Although marijuana legalization is making headway in the country and is likely to continue to do so, it is still forbidden on the job. This is the reason why marijuana workplace testing has risen in popularity.

Marijuana is a psychoactive substance prepared from the dried leaves and flowering tops of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It is composed of several compounds including over 60 cannabinoids. The main psychoactive component is delta-9-tetrahdrocanabinol (THC). When taken, marijuana can induce altered perceptions and mood upswings, colloquially called a “high”.

The drug is used for both recreational and medicinal purposes but because the substance is highly addictive, it is either totally outlawed or restricted in most countries. Its therapeutic effects are vastly debated and controversy surrounds the legalization of its use.

History of Workplace Drug Testing for Marijuana

The history of testing employees for marijuana in the workplace started in the military. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Department of Defense started drug testing on a large scale in the late 1960s to catch military personnel in Vietnam who were abusing marijuana and heroin. These efforts directly lead to the development of urine drug testing technology, including establishing the cutoff levels for detecting traces of drugs in the body.

Any traces of drugs within a person’s urine that were above these established levels would be considered a positive test while anything below these levels would be considered a negative test result.

Once the military had set the precedent, other government entities gradually started picking up the practice along with privately held companies. The increase in workplace drug testing culminated in President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 directive on drug abuse and drug-free workplaces. This executive order led to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, which defined a "drug-free workplace" as a site where work is done and an entity in which employees are prohibited from engaging in the manufacture, distribution or possession of drugs.

The law also allowed for random drug testing for workers in the Department of Transportation for marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Part of the aim of the Drug-Free Workplace Act was to make the entirety of the Federal Government a drug-free workplace.

Why Do Companies Implement Marijuana Drug Testing in the Workplace?

The reasons behind implementing drug testing procedures in line with marijuana legalization include the following:

  • To assure the safety of all employees
  • To save the company a lot of money from absenteeism and health insurance claims
  • To decrease crime within the workplace
  • To increase productivity
  • To improve health of employees
  • To enhance the morale within the workplace

However, some companies who need employees to work on heavy machinery now see marijuana drug testing as a hindrance to finding the right people to be employed. This is because applicants refuse to show up for drug tests. Pre-employment drug testing, although significant and beneficial, just seems to be an unwelcome thought for some applicants.

How Should Employers Handle Employee Marijuana Use?

Employers are now experiencing a higher level of difficulty in looking for applicants to fill up their vacant job positions. This is due to the fact that some applicants would walk out in the middle of an interview once they are informed that drug testing will be a requirement in the hiring process. As a result, some employees would either disregard pre-employment drug testing or remove random drug testing policies among its current employees for fear of losing their best employees.

Fortunately, there are ways on how employers can best handle prospective employees with regards to marijuana use. These tips would be helpful to know how the company’s drug policies can still be implemented without having to step on anyone’s rights.

Employers should be able to ask employees if they are taking any medication. With the employee’s right to privacy in mind, the employer must ensure that any medicine taken by the employee would not in any way interfere with the quality of work of the employee and that it should be used in a responsible manner.

There may be certain employees who are using medical marijuana. Because of this, employers should think about reconsidering. The employee should, however, make sure that if there is a need to take medical cannabis during working hours, it should be done discreetly.

Drug policies should be regularly reviewed, revised, and updated with regards to employee’s recreational use of marijuana. For instance, the policy should state that although the recreational use of marijuana in the state may be allowed, it should define whether the company will allow recreational marijuana use within the workplace.

Completely banning employees who use marijuana in states where its use is legal may face some serious issues. Instead of focusing on cannabis use of an employee, the employer should instead monitor and put attention to the worker’s overall job performance. In industries where employees are operating heavy machinery, marijuana use should be strictly prohibited.

Lunch and break times should not be a reason for employees to use marijuana for recreational purposes. While employers would want to respect the privacy of each employee during those times, employers need to be assured by the employees that they can work efficiently without having to take any psychoactive substance when working hours resume.

Rights and Responsibilities of Employers

When it comes to marijuana legalization and its impact in the workplace, employers need to accept the following rights and responsibilities:

  • Employers have the right to appoint and dismiss employees in accordance with company procedures. They should expect a reasonable level of performance from their employees and provide a healthy and safe workplace.
  • Employers do not have the right to discriminate against existing or potential employees with regards to race, ethnicity and religion. They should also not allow sexual harassment or vilification to occur in the workplace.
  • Employers should assure that employees are not discriminated, harassed or violated in any way.
  • They should be responsible for educating all employees with regards to their responsibilities and behavioral standards that are acceptable in the workplace.

Rights and Responsibilities of Employees

Employees have their own rights that should be well recognized in terms of marijuana legalization, such as:

  • The right to a healthy and safe workplace.
  • The right to any information about the hazards of the job.
  • The right to file complaint should they find any workplace hazards
  • The right to not be discriminated, threatened, harassed or be treated differently.

Meanwhile, every employee’s responsibility is to:

  • Read company policies and guidelines.
  • Comply with applicable safety standards.
  • Report any hazardous conditions to the employer.
  • Work efficiently and give 100% compliance to assigned tasks.
  • Report any job-related illnesses or injury and seek immediate treatment.

Marijuana Drug Testing in the Workplace

Drug testing for weed may not be easy to implement for any employer. However, if a well-written company policy is presented to employees and job applicants to emphasize the safety and protection of every individual in the workplace, then this can create a more positive impact on every employee.

Pre-employment drug testing may not be reliable as one of the requirements for hiring an applicant because the presence of marijuana in the body may last for days. This means that an individual who may have stopped using marijuana for a week may still get a positive drug result. However, testing positive does not mean that an employee may produce poor work performance.

Understanding Drug Policies in the Workplace

It should be clearly written on the company’s drug policies when and what grounds would the company initiate drug testing to employees. It should also indicate the measures to be taken, should an employee be found to be positive with marijuana.

An employer may be free from any liabilities should he find out that an employee’s performance has been compromised due to working under the influence of marijuana or other substances. To create an effective system within your workplace, there are three important things that employers should do:

  • Be fully aware of the state’s law regarding marijuana
  • Review company’s policies regularly
  • Enforce your company’s drug policy and request employees for strict compliance

Ultimately, employers should be able to effectively communicate with the employees. Not all employees may be aware of the state’s legalization of marijuana, which could allow the employer to set workers aside due to marijuana use. In other words, a thorough discussion on the effect of marijuana use and how it can affect performance in the workplace should be done so that employees will be able to understand.

A drug policy should be part of any organization to ensure that all employees are aware of the dangers of using marijuana. The company policy should have the provision to give assistance to those who are found to be positive and to educate supervisors to help them determine whether an employee is fit to work.

All in all, the company drug policy should be able to determine which of the workers may be working under the influence of cannabis. This can protect the entirety of the workforce and maintain a healthy and safe workplace for everyone in the company, even in the face of the growing trend of marijuana legalization.

Medical Marijuana’s Effect on Workplace Drug Testing

Thus far, nine states and Washington DC have voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, those being: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

While many people believe marijuana will eventually be legalized in all states, the trend is currently decriminalization rather than full legalization, which is not the same thing.

Even in states where it has been legalized for recreational use, employers are free to restrict marijuana in the workplace and effectively have zero tolerance policies. To educate themselves on the various laws regarding marijuana and the workplace for the states in which they do business, employers can visit the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association resource for businesses.

Because it is still considered a schedule one drug by the federal government and is thus considered illegal federally, employers are free to have zero tolerance policies in the workplace.

Since that time, drug testing for marijuana and other drugs has increased at a rapid pace throughout the United States. The drug testing waters have grown a bit murky, though, in the intervening years. Marijuana is now recognized in 23 states, plus Washington, DC as a legal medicinal compound and it has legal status in those states to varying degrees.

Even though marijuana has legal status medically in these states, federally, it is classified as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it is not deemed to have any medical use. However, the U.S. Justice Department has formally stated that it will not pursue charges against anyone who is lawfully using marijuana for medicinal purposes according to the law of the state they reside in.

How workplace drug testing is affected by medical marijuana laws depends on the state you’re in and the states you do business in and whether those states have medical marijuana laws with employment discrimination protections.

Medical marijuana laws, regardless of the state, prohibit the prosecution of patients who are authorized by their respective states to use medical marijuana. Although these laws make it legal to use marijuana in its medicinal capacity, none of these laws permit employees to use or possess cannabis at work or to be under the influence of cannabis at work.

Some state medical marijuana laws expressly prohibit employers against discriminating against state-authorized users who are following the laws, meaning they prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire or punishing state-authorized medical marijuana users if they fail drug tests due to their use of medical marijuana when not at work.

Any employer who wants to have a drug testing program should thoroughly review all laws pertaining to medical marijuana in the states where they have employees to ensure they comply with all of those states’ laws.


What Employers Need to Know About Marijuana Use

Here is some essential information about marijuana that employers need to know:

Step 1. Understand the laws on medical marijuana in your state

Eighteen states and Washington DC all have laws pertaining to the medical use of marijuana, plus 14 individual cities.

The states that allow medical marijuana use are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, recreational and medical marijuana is legal in the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

To make matters more confusing, all the state laws are different in regards to who the law applies to, how much marijuana is acceptable to possess and how it can be legally obtained.

On top of that, legal precedents are constantly being set in regards to medicinal marijuana use and how it pertains to the workplace.

In the most recent court cases, courts have ruled that employers are under no obligation to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana.

Step 2. Adopt a pre-duty prescription medication and impairing effects substances safety policy

This policy should include the following key points:

  • It should require employees working in a safety-sensitive classification to disclose that they have taken an impairing effect prescription or other substance prior to starting their duties. To ensure that all impairing substances are covered, the policy wording has to be considered so that it is not just limited to prescriptions or to marijuana. For example, would synthetic marijuana fall under medical marijuana usage? The policy should clearly cover all potentially impairing substances.
  • It should define safety-sensitive and list job classifications if possible. Some states have their own definition of safety-sensitive jobs, while others have none. As a fallback, employers should come up with their own definitions to include in their policies.
  • It should be part of the employer’s safety policy. Because safety trumps just about everything when dealing with the workplace, making any policy that deals with impairing substances should be adopted into the organization’s overall safety policy for legal reasons.
  • It should specify that an employee does not have to disclose the drug or medical condition to comply with the policy.
  • Also for legal reasons, this will save potential headaches from former employees claiming to have been discriminated against due to a disability.
  • It should state that once disclosed, the employer reserves the right to send the employee for fitness-for-duty evaluation with a copy of the job description.
  • It should encourage employees to first provide their own physician with a copy of their job description and make a fitness-for-duty determination.
  • It is also important for an organization to have its own standardized forms for employees to take to their own physicians, along with their job descriptions, so that the physician knows exactly what information the employer requires, which is basically whether the employee is cleared to perform their duties, not cleared or cleared but with restrictions.
  • It should state that the employer reserves the right to make the final fitness-for-duty determination, maybe using a Medical Review Officer (MRO). Note that some MROs are not willing to do this.

Step 3. Update employee job descriptions

Every job description to be in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) should include Essential Job Functions.

Pertaining to safety-sensitive jobs, the most important essential job function to include in a job description is the ability to work in a constant state of alertness and in a safe manner.

Some other ones that are suggested to be included are the ability to attend work on a regular and predictable basis; the ability to work well with co-workers and others without supervision and the ability to follow policies and practices of the employer.

It is also recommended that employers familiarize themselves with the impairing effects of marijuana in the workplace, which are:

  • Decreased cognitive reasoning
  • Decreased motor coordination
  • Inability to concentrate or remain focused on a single thought or idea
  • Increased drowsiness, fatigue and lethargy
  • Inability to accurately gauge lengths of time and distance as well as impairment of hearing and vision and short-term memory
  • Inability to cope with sudden changes in surrounding and/or emergency situations
  • Loss of balance
  • Visual and/or auditory hallucinations
  • Non-caring, uncommitted, unconcerned attitude

When you’re educating your employees on why you do not permit or why you do not accommodate the use of medical marijuana, talk to them about these impairing effects. It is important that they understand that you’re not just an un-compassionate employer, you’re trying to make sure they’re going home safely to their families at night.

Step 4. Adopt an ADA compliant handbook policy on reasonable accommodation

For what some refer to as doing the ADA, it is recommended that employers:

  • State in your pre-duty prescription medication and impairing effects disclosure policy that you do not accommodate the use of medical or recreational marijuana by safety-sensitive employees.
  • Have ADA reasonable accommodation handbook language that discusses the typical interactive steps.
  • Consult an MRO or occupational physician to guide you through the ADA reasonable accommodation steps, as well as an attorney who understands them.

The linchpin of the ADA act is individualized assessments based on essential job duties, so that should be a focus of the reasonable accommodation policy.

Step 5. Let employees know your stance on medical and recreational marijuana use

For that, it is recommended that employers:

  • Include clear information about the employer’s position on medical marijuana in its drug and alcohol testing policy.
  • Go through the workplace related impairing effects of marijuana.
  • Make it all about safety.
  • Pay careful attention to applicable state laws.
  • Treat medical and recreational marijuana like any other impairing effect prescription medication or substance.

It’s important to treat all people taking medications the same way, regardless of whether they are a card-carrying medical marijuana user or someone who is taking prescription pain medication or any other substance that could impair their workplace performance.

By treating all people equally, an employer will avoid accusations of discriminating against medical marijuana users.

By following these five steps and ensuring that their policies conform to state laws, employers can continue to maintain a drug-free workplace, even as medical marijuana continues to become more accepted throughout the country.

Employer Responsibilities

In order to keep a zero-tolerance policy with regards to marijuana, employers should have a comprehensive drug policy that is communicated thoroughly to all employees and is consistently enforced to avoid any confusion.

To ensure a drug-free workplace environment, supervisors and managers should be trained in detecting the signs and symptoms of marijuana and general drug impairment. Their training should be updated regularly.

Employers have a responsibility to their employees, customers, clients, stakeholders, and the general public to maintain a safe working environment that is free of marijuana and other drugs. By making a commitment to a safe and drug-free workplace, an employer is guaranteeing every employee the right to work in a safe environment where they are not endangered by fellow employees who abuse drugs.

Employee Assistance Programs

Large companies often provide assistance programs for employees who are caught abusing drugs. Even if a business is too small to afford to do this, it should have some resources on hand to provide to an employee who fails a drug test. Often, employees who have drug problems will voluntarily enter into a program if they can find a good one.

How To Deal With Employees Using Medical Marijuana

It can be inferred from the above rulings that courts tend to interpret the laws in favor of the employer and to uphold the employer’s efforts to adhere to federal laws. So how does an employer balance the scales between protecting his business and respecting his employee’s disabilities? Here are a few guidelines:

Stay abreast of current laws and jurisprudence

It is incumbent upon the employer and the HR professionals to keep up to date with current state laws and case rulings in their respective jurisdictions. Cases doctrines such as those mentioned should be resorted to as basic guidelines in reviewing their company regulations and formulating strategies for the implementation of their policies.

Employers must strive to ensure that their work rules are compliant with both federal and state laws. The best way to protect themselves against lawsuits is to confirm that their policies are pursuant to the applicable statutes and case laws.

Discuss accommodation requests

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employee can request an employer to reasonably accommodate a disability so that he can perform his work duties. When this request is raised, the employer should be sent to the HR Department where dialogue should be conducted as to the extent of accommodation requested. At this point, the workplace policies must be explained to the employee.

The employer is not mandated to accommodate conditions that may impair work performance or pose potential hardships on the business. Although the Act protects employees against discrimination on the basis of their disabilities, the protection does not extend to use of marijuana. Thus, an employer may qualify that while the medical condition may be accommodated, it is subject to the requirement that elected treatment options including medical marijuana will not impair work functions.

Handle exceptions with extreme caution

Employers may choose to make reasonable exceptions to their drug policies. But this approach should be taken only after thorough deliberation and careful considerations of possible repercussions. The same note of caution applies in defining reasonable accommodations.

For instance, companies that are federal contractors are required to implement the Drug- Free Workplace Act and those operating under the Department of Transportation are mandated to observe certain drug testing standards. Hence, employers must take these matters into strict consideration when attempting to modify their policies to ensure that the implemented regulations do not compromise the company’s adherence to federal laws.

Measure work performance

In the event that accommodation is granted, employers should carefully monitor the employer’s work performance without being discriminatory. Like all other employees, a medical marijuana user is subject to the same performance evaluation procedures but in this case, the employer must check to see if the use of the substance in any way impairs or negatively affects his work output.

For instance, does it cause him to incur tardiness or absenteeism? Does it result in failure to meet work quotas? If performance issues are linked to cannabis use, the employer is certainly entitled to address the matter and review the accommodation considerations.

Train and communicate

Lawsuits and termination disputes often arise due to a lack of effective communication of company policies and procedures. These could be avoided if the employees are made aware of the employer’s stand on the issue of drug use, to avoid misinterpretation of regulations.

Line managers, supervisors, and HR personnel should especially be trained in communicating and implementing anti-drug policies as well as in handling drug-related concerns. Given the sensitive nature of the issue, it is best addressed professionally. Supervisors and HR personnel should be consistent as to their answers to queries and positions taken on the matter.

Implementing a drug-free workplace policy remains a sound practice that protects the industry from the dangers of drug use. Fortunately, more case laws are now emerging to address the gray areas that affect the implementation of these regulations. Employers can be assured that their zero-tolerance policies can be validly applied and upheld despite state legalization and decriminalization statutes. Employers must monitor legal developments and consult appropriate legal counsel in cases of doubt to ensure their policies keep up with current laws.

How Marijuana is Tested For in the Workplace

For the purposes of workplace testing, organizations will generally use one or more of the following: urine test, saliva test, and/or hair test.

Urine Test

Urine tests can be done with either an instant urine drug testing kit or they can be done at a laboratory. Instant urine testing kits have a variety of configurations. They can be a testing strip that is dipped into the urine sample or a cassette where a certain amount of urine is added to the device for testing.

A common type of testing device is the all-in-one cup. With these devices, a person provides a sample directly into the cup and the lid is placed on it and the test is enacted.

The cutoff levels for detecting marijuana usage in the United States in an instant urine drug test is 50 ng/mL. If there is a greater amount of marijuana metabolites in the urine than this, the test will be positive. If the test is positive, it will be forwarded to a laboratory for confirmation.

Instant tests are performed by mixing a chemical reagent with the urine and waiting to see if it creates a reaction that will show up on the testing strip, usually in the form of a line.

For laboratory testing, the urine sample can either be collected at the job site or a designated collection site and shipped to the lab, or it can be done at the laboratory if it has collection facilities.

If the specimen has not yet been tested, the laboratory will perform an instant test on it to ascertain whether they need to perform confirmation testing. If the lab is being shipped a test that is already known to be positive, the lab will perform gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for confirmation, for which the cutoff level is 15 ng/mL.

Marijuana metabolites can be detected in the urine a few hours after a person ingests it. They can be detected for a few days for an infrequent smoker with little body fat up to about one month for a chronic smoker with a large amount of body fat.

The military and some government offices require a sightline be kept between the collector and the specimen provider at all times throughout the process, but that is not necessary and private businesses often don’t require that for their tests. For collections, the collector must be the same gender as the sample provider.

Saliva Test

Gaining in popularity are instant saliva drug tests. These involve taking a sample of saliva or oral fluid, typically by having a person hold some kind of sponge in their mouth for a certain amount of time. The fluid is then tested with a reagent to see if it causes a reaction. Positive test results are sent to a laboratory for confirmation testing via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Saliva can also be collected on a job site and sent to a laboratory for testing or it can be collected at a laboratory or designated collection center. Unlike urine, though, no special accommodations are required for the collection of saliva.

Marijuana traces can be detected in a person’s saliva immediately after they ingest it and can be detected for up to about three days.

Hair Test

Less common and more expensive is hair testing. A certain amount of hair is taken from an inconspicuous place on the head (although body hair can be used, too) and is sent to a laboratory for testing where it is liquefied and separated into its various components. The collection is usually done at a designated collection site or at the laboratory, although it can be done on the job site. Hair testing can only be done in a laboratory, there are no instant hair drug tests.

Hair testing can detect marijuana traces about a week after ingestion and can detect it up to 90 days after ingestion.

Types of Drug Testing in the Workplace

Types of testing that are being carried out in the workplace include the following: pre-employment, post-accident, random, and reasonable cause.

Pre-employment testing, as the name implies, is carried out prior to hiring a person. Post-accident is done after there is any sort of accident in the workplace or involving company equipment.

Random testing is testing where employees are chosen at random to partake in the testing and are not told about it ahead of time.

Reasonable cause testing is performed when there is suspicion about an employee’s possible drug use, such as the odor of marijuana or behavior indicating possible drug use.

Beating Marijuana Drug Tests

The adulteration of a drug test refers to the manipulation of the collected specimens intended for drug testing in order to provide false-negative, or less commonly, false-positive results. This is very common among teenagers, employees or individuals who want to conceal their illegal drug use for various reasons.

At the American Association for Clinical Chemistry's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., toxicologist Amitava Dasgupta of University of Texas-Houston medical school discussed the different ways that employees try to beat workplace drug tests-and how experts uncovered these schemes in the laboratory. The same tricks are likely to be adopted by teenagers who want to cheat on their drug test.

  • Tampering urine specimen. Dasgupta says that household substances like vinegar, bleach, detergent, or drain cleaner are all too often easily sneaked into the bathroom and used to alter the composition of urine samples, making the presence of some illegal substances undetectable. These and other household additives will cloud or discolor urine, easily casting suspicion on the specimen, but others leave the sample looking normal. To catch adulterated specimens, laboratory toxicologists employ simple tests like using a few drops of hydrogen peroxide which could turn the urine sample to brown if it's been mixed with pyridinium chlorochromate, an otherwise-imperceptible chemical designed to foil drug tests.
  • Gulping fluids before specimen collection. By drinking a large volume of water, the urine is diluted. As a result, many diluted urine drug tests fall below the cut off levels, producing a negative urine drug test result even for individuals who have recently used illegal drugs like marijuana. Sharon Levy, a pediatrician and director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Children's Hospital Boston, shares that gulping fluids before providing urine, a long-standing tactic, is still the most common way that teens try to beat tests.
  • Substituting urine samples. This is another very common tactic used by people to cheat on their urine drug test. However, the biggest warning sign here is the temperature. If the temperature is not close to the normal body temperature-98.6 degrees Fahrenheit-most likely the sample was not coming from the person giving the specimen, or that water had been added to dilute the sample.

As substance abuse continues to evolve, so do the emerging tactics used by people to cheat on their drug screening. However, what these individuals are missing is that they are facing a more serious problem if they are caught adulterating their drug test samples. In Will County, Illinois, if the test is a condition of probation and you are caught cheating, you are looking at a petition to revoke. Depending on other factors, community service or jail are certainly options. In the State of Illinois, a person found to be defrauding a drug and alcohol screening can be charged with a Class 4 felony.

The penalty for cheating on a drug testing differs from one state to another. Hence, to save yourself from further legal complications, it is better to dismiss any attempt of adulterating your specimen samples for your drug test.

Moreover, because of the various devices, adulterants, and masking agents that abound, state officials and law enforcers have already become aware of the tactics. Early this year, U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel (D-New York) introduced a bill that would prohibit the manufacture, marketing, sale, or shipment in interstate commerce of products designed to assist in defrauding a drug test. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, and Lee Terry, R-Neb. The legislation was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In Salem County, New Jersey, a 38-year old man was arrested for "defrauding a drug test" with a bail of $10,000. In South Carolina, drug screening organizations that are found guilty of altering or defrauding drug tests can receive a fine up to $5,000. They can also receive a court order to serve up to three years in prison. And in North Carolina, there is the General Statutes § 14-401.20 Defrauding drug and alcohol screening tests that makes it unlawful for a person to attempt to foil or defeat a drug or alcohol screening test by the substitution or spiking of a sample or the advertisement of a sample substitution or other spiking device or measure.

So, save yourself the further trouble and comply with the drug testing procedures, whether it's done for the purpose of pre-employment, random workplace testing, or applying for insurance.


The two main goals of marijuana workplace testing are safety and productivity. By following the tips above, employers and employees can create the perfect workplace setting in the midst of marijuana use and legalization.