Marijuana and Business

If Question 7 passes, doctors, teachers, school bus drivers, police, firefighters, and many others would be permitted to legally possess and use marijuana.

Question 7 protects a person “from arrest, civil or criminal penalty,” “discipline by any state or local licensing board and state prosecution” for possession, transfer, or use of up to one ounce of marijuana. – Language from the Proposed Initiative

Many employers in Nevada use various forms of drug testing. Making legal the recreational use of marijuana would significantly impact Nevada’s business community.

Pre-employment drug testing allows employers to eliminate applicants who test positive for drugs.

Random drug testing allows employers to deter employee drug use.

Post-incident drug testing allows employers to determine if drugs were a factor in causing an injury, fatality and/or property damage.

The most common specimens used in drug testing are urine and/or hair. Both specimens identify marijuana use by detecting marijuana metabolites and do NOT measure impairment or intoxication. Depending on the frequency of use, marijuana metabolites can be detected in drug screens for as long as 4-6 weeks after use.  (Wikipedia)

Employment actions based upon a marijuana-positive drug screen may expose drug testing programs to legal challenge.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug with 14.6 million past month users.
(Represents only 6.1 percent of the U.S. population) – Source: SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

75% of current illegal drug users are employed either full or part time. – Source: SAMHSA NSDUH

Small Businesses are most vulnerable to illegal drug users.

Among the population of full-time employed current illicit drug users:

44% work for small establishments (1-24 employees)

43% work for medium establishments (25-499 employees)

13% work for large establishments (500 or more employees) – Source: SAMHSA NSDUH

The highest rates of current illegal drug use are found among the following employee groups – groups employed by a majority of Nevada businesses:

Bartenders and Culinary workers (19%)

Construction workers (14%)

Service workers (13%)

Transportation and materials-mover workers (10%) – Source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Worker Drug use and Workplace Policies and Programs

Studies have found that:

Marijuana users had 55% more industrial accidents and a 78% increase in absenteeism over non-users. – Source: The Efficacy of Preemployment Drug Screening for Marijuana and Cocaine in Predicting Employment Outcome, Journal of the American Medical Association

Workers who tested positive for marijuana use had disciplinary problems at work 64% more often than workers who test negative. – Source Ibid

As many as 3 of 25 non-fatally injured drivers (12%) and 4 of 25 fatally injured drivers (16%) had marijuana (THC) in their bloodstream at the time of accident. (THC, the intoxicating substance found in marijuana, can only be detected in the blood for several hours after use.) – Source:Marijuana Impairs Driving-Related Skills and Workplace Performance, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Marijuana is the number one drug detected in workplace illicit-drug testing. Among the 7.1 million drug tests for the combined U.S. Workforce conducted by Quest Diagnostics, nearly 55% of positive drug tests were for marijuana, followed by 14.6% for cocaine and 9.3% for amphetamines.

In 2004, (the most recent figures available) 3.2 million marijuana users used the drug on an almost daily basis, using it 300 or more days over a 12-month period. – Source: SAMHSA NSDUH

Clearly, marijuana is bad for Nevada business. 

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