People Applying For Jobs Won’t Stop Getting Stoned

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

The American workforce won’t stop getting stoned and it’s leading to the highest rate of positive drug tests among workers and perspective employees in more than a decade.

Employers are finding that the applicant pool is becoming more likely to test positive for marijuana and other drugs, including amphetamines like cocaine and Adderall. The issue is causing problems for businesses in states with legalized recreational marijuana, where rates of positive drug tests are much higher, reports The Washington Post.

The number of employees testing positive for drugs increased 11 percent in Colorado in 2016 and 9 percent in Washington, the first two states to fully legalize marijuana. While some employers in these states are adjusting workplace policies to fit state laws, businesses that require operating heavy machinery like supply warehouses are struggling to fill their positions.

“Some weeks this year, 90 percent of applicants would test positive for something,” Laura Stephens, a human resources manager for the supply chain McLane, told WaPo. “Finding people to fill jobs is really challenging.”

The revelations come from a report released Tuesday by Quest Diagnostics, which conducts medical and workplace laboratory tests, showing that the number of Americans across the country testing positive for illicit substances is at a 12 year high.

Positive results for marijuana rose by 4 percent overall, and the number of employees testing positive for amphetamines rose from 0.97 percent to 1.1 percent in 2016.

A survey recently released by the National Safety Council reveals more than 70 percent of workplaces are also feeling the negative effects of opioid abuse.

More than 1 in 25 American workers are now failing their drug tests in some capacity.

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