It's time to rethink marijuana policy, testing.

In this competitive hiring environment, you may need to be a little less picky about the applicants you accept. For an increasing number of employers, that includes dropping their marijuana testing requirement and being open to hiring people who may have used marijuana (or currently use it off-duty).

Last year, 3.9% of workplace drug tests came back positive for marijuana. That's a 20-year high, according to Quest Diagnostics (see chart).

In part, that positivity spike is because medical marijuana is now legal in 37 states and recreational cannabis is legal in 18 states. In Congress, the House last month voted to make marijuana legal nationwide, but the Senate is unlikely to go along this year.

Yet, according to Quest, fewer companies these days are testing their employees for THC, the chemical component in marijuana that delivers a high. Many attorneys endorse the no-testing idea for their corporate clients.

Marijuana positivity rates in work drug tests 2016 2.5 2017 2.6 2018 2.8 2019 3.1 2020 3.6 2021 3.9 Source: Quest Diagnostics Note: Table made from bar graph. Amazon has stopped testing candidates for marijuana. Instead, they test workers for other drugs and do regular "impairment checks" on the job.

Advice: Unless you must drug-test to comply with safety laws or government contracting...

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