Washington Drug Testing Laws and Regulations



Statute of Order

Wash. Rev. Code §49.127.1 et seq., Wash. Admin. Code §356-46-125, §356-05-128

Covered Employers

Private employers seeking to qualify for a 5% workers' comp. premium discount, with approval by state authorities.

Applicant Testing

Applicant testing authorized with advance written notice to applicant and after conditional offer of employment has been made.

Employee Testing

Testing authorized for private employers on 60 days' notice to employees, in cases of workplace accidents, as part of an employee assistance program, on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, or at random. Employers' written substance abuse policy must be posted and distributed to employees. State agencies can test on reasonable suspicion—stated in writing—for safety-sensitive positions pursuant to a written testing policy.

Conditions & Methods

Testing only by certified laboratory, documentation showing chain of custody, confirming test for positive result, opportunity for employee to explain results, and methods to ensure confidentiality of test findings. First-time positive test result may not be grounds for termination. State agency policy must be approved by collective bargaining representative.

Important Bulletpoints

The medical use of marijuana is regulated in Washington State and may not be accommodated in any place of employment.

Holders of commercial driver’s license driving commercial motor vehicles are deemed to have given consent and are therefore subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Law enforcement officers may administer the tests for reasonable cause. Refusal to undergo testing is a basis for disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Motor carriers or employers with drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles and are required to have a compliant drug or alcohol testing program must report employees who refused to submit to required testing for the presence of alcohol or controlled substances to law enforcement or the employer’s medical review officer.

All medical review officers, who are contracted by motor carriers or employers operating commercial motor vehicles, are required by law to report to the department of licensing a commercial driver’s verified test results found positive for alcohol or controlled substances.

Unemployment benefits may be denied of employees who are terminated for misconduct. The law stipulates that alcoholism does not constitute a defense in this case.

Medical Marijuana Law

Ballot Initiative 1-692 was approved and became effective on November 3, 1998 in the state of Washington. As stipulated in Chapter 69.51A RCW, all state-level criminal punishments on the cultivation, use and possession of medical marijuana by patients with valid documentation from their physician that their grave medical condition could be alleviated with the usemedical marijuana, are lifted.

Updates on Policy

Amended SB 6032 (2007) The rules were amended as defined by the Legislature. The intention was to clarify the law about medical marijuana so that legal usage of is not impaired. It seeks to empower medical practitioner to use best judgment in the delivery of medical treatments; qualified patients and providers may participate in the program without fear of criminal charges.

Amended Final Rule (2008) The law as amended to include Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain, Crohn's disease, anorexia with appetite loss, wasting, vomiting, spasticity, muscle spasms.

January 21, 2010 - Twelve years after the legalization of medical marijuana, Washington's Supreme Court ruled that Ballot Initiative 1-692 does not legalize cannabis but provides a qualified and registered patient/caregiver with an affirmative defense.

Amended SB 5073 (2011) - Governor Christine Gregoire partially vetoed parts of the bill. The honorable governor did not sign the sections relating to the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries licensed by the state of Washington, and the part specifying voluntary patient registry.

Initiative 502 was approved by voters on November 6, 2012. Washington residents aged 21 and above can now legally produce, distribute and possess, and sale recreational marijuana as licensed, regulated and taxed by the state. This Initiative does not in any way amend the medical marijuana laws of Ballot Initiative 1-692. Patients qualified for the medical marijuana program still needs authorization and recommendation from healthcare providers.

SB 5052 was approved by the Senate and House in April 2015. Governor Jay Inslee signed it into law on April 24, 2015. This law addresses medical-cannabis-user- registered patients and their primary caregivers regarding additional rights under this bill. First, all patients and caregivers listed in the database are now protected from arrest. Second, all purchase of cannabis products are tax-free. Third, they are allowed to purchase three times the permitted limit for

recreational cannabis.

Patients and caregivers not listed in the database are only entitled to affirmative defense to prosecution if they possess up to 6 ounces of usable marijuana and up to 4 plants. They may purchase cannabis as non-patients. Registered patients and caregivers are allowed to possess 8 ounces of usable marijuana and up to 6 plants. They may be authorized by their physician or healthcare provider up to 16 ounces of usable marijuana and up to 15 plants.

Qualifying Medical Conditions as of July 24, 2015


• Cachexia

• Epilepsy

• Cancer

• intractable pain

• glaucoma

• Crohn's disease

• Hepatitis C with debilitating conditions that cannot be relieved by standard medications or treatments

• Chronic renal failure

• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

• Traumatic brain injury

July 1, 2016 - The Cannabis Protection Act or SB 5052 took effect.





Law applies to physicians, patients and caregivers.

Quantity Allowed

No more than a 60-day supply.

How Obtained

Not specified in statute.

Liability Protections

Physicians and Patients have an affirmative defense if diagnosed, physician advised use of Medical Marijuana and patient and licensed physician (M.D.) are Washington residents.

Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use

None, but documentation of use is required.

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Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm BioSciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.

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