States that Are Slowly Removing Marijuana from Pre-Employment Drug Tests

Looking for a career change, or seeking employment? Well many employers require job applicants to take a drug test, especially those who reach the final stages of the selection process.

Why Do They Need Drug Tests?

Most private employers won’t bother and it is really a case by case scenario. But when it comes to the public sector, government jobs or anything related, you will most probably be asked to take some for of drug or alcohol test.

There are many reasons behind this, for example, many states offer employers a discount on their worker’s compensation insurance premiums if they take specific steps to ensure that their employees are drug-free. Another reason is to avoid legal liability. If someone overdoses on the job and is somehow injured the employer could be liable for those injuries.


Does This Affect Medical Marijuana Users?

As of now, there are 28 medical marijuana states. These states require the user to have written approval from a doctor, permitting the use of marijuana. On a state basis, the user cannot be prosecuted for crimes relating to use. However, it is important to understand that Federal drug laws still apply.

Related Article: 3 Ways to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online (in Minutes)

Which States are Easing Up?

This is probably not going shock most of you but there are a few rare states that are extremely open regarding their attitude towards marijuana.

Drug Test Woman


This state legalized recreational cannabis in 2016 and has since then been adopting a more lenient policy. Over the last few months, the state has seen a decline in the number of businesses that engage in the practice. Furthermore, some employers would rather pass on the test, than miss out on good employees.

Related Article: 5 Best Marijuana Dispensaries in California | REVIEW

While marijuana testing it is still the norm, due to the fact that it isn’t a federally passed law, NORML is currently launching a campaign to add protection to marijuana users in the workplace, starting with lobbying days in early march.


Oregon is another state that could witness a decline in pre-employment testing. Back in 2014, the state legalized recreational marijuana and since then Oregon has become the hub for users and tourists. Many have even come to Oregon seeking employment in the industry.

Related Article: 5 Best Marijuana Dispensaries in Oregon | Review

A bill recently proposed in the state senate would refrain from any business from firing an employee who uses cannabis out of office.
While on a Federal level, the drug is classed as illegal, the state’s proposal will force businesses to adopt a more logical approach than a standard by-the-book approach. Sure, if cannabis consumption out of hours affects one’s workplace then a business might have to make a tough decision, but if not, then who cares, right?


Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and has since then become an industry pioneer, guiding the way for other states. Also here state laws are easing up on the so-called illegal substance, and many businesses are taking a more open approach in regards to pre-testing. Some businesses have even removed it from their screening processes altogether.


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