Washington is poised to be the next state to ban most pre-employment drug tests for cannabis. Because detecting THC is a poor way to measure disability, more states are discontinuing cannabis drug testing given how long cannabis stays in the system.
A new bill could change how cannabis is screened for drug tests in the state. Senate Bill 5123Sponsored by Sen. Karen Kaiser (D-Des Moines) to ban pre-employment cannabis testing.
“This is a victory over discrimination against people who use cannabis,” said Kaiser, who chairs the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. “For people who use legal substances, many of them are for health reasons. Locking out jobs based on pre-employment testing is clearly unfair and we are stopping it.” increase.”
State legislators are beginning to realize how harmful cannabis drug tests are. Otherwise qualified job seekers will be denied the job.
“Limiting the state workforce by discouraging qualified job seekers makes no sense, especially when the number of unfilled jobs is reaching historic highs,” Kaiser continued. . “This law opens the door for people who otherwise could not even submit an application. This is a win for workers and employers.”
Because the bill applies only to pre-employment drug testing, employers can maintain drug-free workplace policies for their employees, such as random drug testing.
It does not prohibit the use of drug tests to screen for other drugs, nor does it prohibit the use of cannabis tests after an accident or for suspected disability.
Senator John Brown (R-Centralia) opposed the proposal, saying the problem should be addressed by fine-tuning drug testing rather than introducing legislation banning cannabis drug testing. rice field.
“I admit the problem,” Brown said. “I don’t know if this bill is the solution.”
Previous versions of the bill provided aviation industry applicants with exemptions such as safety concerns and going beyond federal regulatory status, which normally requires drug testing.
An amendment by Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima) added more exemptions to the bill.
The bill does not apply to safety-sensitive jobs where injury at work puts the worker at risk of death, as amended in lieu of listing specific industries. Employers must tell applicants whether they tested positive for cannabis on a pre-employment drug test.
Are drug tests an accurate way to determine disability at work?
of Spokesperson – Review report Cannabis metabolites can be detected long after the injury, lasting up to 30 days or more. These researchers found that cannabis drug testing was likely an inaccurate method of determining the disorder.
the researcher wrote “Finding an objective measure of recent cannabis use that correlates with disability has proven to be an elusive goal.” Similar to restrictions on medium alcohol levels, laws have been enacted to place legal limits on the amount of THC in a driver’s blood.
“These findings demonstrate that a single measurement of specific delta-9-THC blood levels does not correlate with functional impairment, and that the use of delta-9-THC legal restrictions per se is currently scientifically justifiable. It provides further evidence that the read Research published by the journal scientific report.
The bill has gone through the legislative process and will be sent to a House committee for a not-yet-scheduled public hearing. It then returns to the Senate for a consent vote before going to the governor’s desk for signatures.