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10 Common Misconceptions About Marijuana & The Workplace

As members of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association, (DATIA), we wanted to take a little time today to talk about one of the most controversial topics in the world of employment screening. Marijuana. With several states making moves to legalize recreational use, it is a hot button issue with employers who need great employees. 

When making hiring decisions, regardless of industry there is compliance and regulations regarding the federal and state drug testing policies for marijuana. You should always consult with a background screening company like ESS when making drug testing decisions. Call to talk to an expert today.


Here are Ten Common Myths About Marijuana & Why They Are False.

1.Marijuana Is Medicine

Despite popular belief, many prominent national health organizations do NOT consider crude marijuana as an accepted medicinal treatment. How many organizations? Here’s a few… The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Cancer Society.. Just to name a few.

2. The “High” Only Lasts a Few Hours

 If an employee smokes a little pot, it won’t affect their work right? WRONG. Sub acute impairment can last a week or LONGER. High increases in THC use can increase ill-effects for days, and a minimum of 24-hour acute impairment is standard after marijuana use.

3. Testing Is Unreliable Because It Does Not Measure Impairment 

 Studies show that as little as 2-5ng/mL of marijuana in a human’s system may cause substantial impairment issues. Despite different levels of THC, and different amounts of consumption, it is always recommended to educate employees and have a stable drug test policy, regardless of industry.

4. Marijuana Can Be Regulated Like Alcohol 

The social costs of alcohol also exist with marijuana. The needs of regulation are different, and comparable standardized measurements do not exist for marijuana.

5. Marijuana Is Not Addictive

Today’s strands of marijuana are much stronger and high in THC. Despite popular belief, the chemical dependency on marijuana may be less than alcohol or opiates, but the psychological dependence can be just as bad. Statistically, 1/10 users will become dependent to the point of requiring treatment.

6. Marijuana is Safe

It’s safer than cigarettes and alcohol right? Addiction, psychosis, and cognitive function are not exactly “safe.” It may take another generation to find out just exactly HOW dangerous marijuana is, with new productions of edibles, waxes, oils and vapor products, we will find out. Permanent damage to brain function and long-term mental health detriments are indisputable. 

7. Marijuana Is Not a Gateway Drug

What do you think most individuals who seek drug treatment list as their gateway drug? You guessed it! When someone chooses to smoke marijuana, they are at a 2-5x more likely risk of using other drugs.

8. Marijuana Has No Long Term Side Effects

Over a dozen studies provide enough research to say this is just not true. For those who use marijuana, versus those who don’t, users are at a 40% increased risk of psychotic symptoms/disorders. Depression is a factor that can affect production as well, where users are at a 17% increased risk. Heavy users? 67% increased risk for depression.

9. It’s Safe to Drive While High

Drinking and driving is obviously not good, but neither is driving under the influence of marijuana. Whether driving to work or driving for the job, it’s not safe to smoke and drive. Lower attention, impaired cognitive function, and slower response times doubles the likelihood of a crash. 

10. Marijuana Is Harmless

Once again, unfortunately we will need to wait and see how harmless newer products like edibles, vape products and oils are, but studies have shown the side effects from marijuana have led to far more emergency room visits than all other substances combined. Marijuana increases risks of: mental illness, heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and stroke.

It’s unfortunate to see the public change its tune on something that so many people have fought hard to research and demonstrate the truth about. You can find more information regarding the misconceptions of marijuana over at the DATIA website, but in the meantime please check out our blog and videos to learn more about what you can do to help prevent issues.

We are a full service employment drug testing provider who works with clients here in New York, and all over the country to help hire better employees. If you have a question regarding your marijuana drug testing policy in your state, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We have a team of dedicated background screening professionals ready to answer your questions and get to work!


Questions? Contact us!

Contact Info

Employment Screening Services, LLC
PO Box 1108
Williamsville, NY 14231

Email: orders@esswny.com

Phone: 1-800-345-7715
Fax: 716.332.2276

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