How Smoking Perfectly Legal Marijuana Can Still Get You In Trouble At Work
Marijuana has been made legal for medicinal and recreational purposes in well over half of the nation, giving way to around 33 million people who are no longer afraid to openly admit that they smoke weed. This comes from a recent Gallup poll, which found that 13 percent of the United States population has come out of the cannabis closet — claiming to be regular users — while another 43 percent of them reported at least some experimentation at some point in their life.
What this means is at its most basic level is that there are a hell of a lot more stoners, potheads, and new school cannabis connoisseurs out there smoking up the great American landscape than ever before. Unfortunately, in spite of the changing laws, some of these people, which probably includes most of you reading this column, are still at risk of getting shit-canned and tossed into the unemployment line for doing exactly what some states have said it is now legal to do – smoke weed and be high.
Because marijuana remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government, those companies that maintain a zero-tolerance drug policy still consider the herb off-limits. And there really are no legitimate protections available to the common working man (or woman) that can stop these employers from handing out walking papers for a failed drug screen in a legal state? Unfortunately, no. To make matters worse, it doesn’t even matter if a worker holds a valid medical marijuana card or whether they were even stoned on the job. A positive test for THC in a no-tolerance work environment = you’re fucking fired!
Interestingly, a Colorado man by the name of Brandon Coats attempted to challenge this ridiculousness a couple of years ago after he was terminated from his position at Dish Network for testing positive for THC during a random drug screen. Coats, who had been using medical marijuana since 2009 for vicious spasms as a result of a car crash that left him paralyzed, attempted to explain to his boss that he wasn’t getting high at work, only in the evenings before bed, but that didn’t prevent him from receiving a pink slip for violating the company’s drug policy. His case was eventually heard in the Colorado Supreme Court, but it didn’t end well. In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that companies were well within their legal right to fire employees for using legal marijuana.
“Employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute,” Justice Allison H. Eid wrote in the 2015 decision.
So, it stands to reason that if medical marijuana patients cannot use the herb without running the risk of being rendered destitute through lack of gainful employment, then the average toker enjoying the benefits of living in one of the four states or the District of Columbia that have legalized weed for recreational use is fucked. Even for those responsible users — the ones not chiefing it up during their lunch break — the situation in the workplace can be tense, especially since catching a buzz after business hours or during a weekend romp remains a crap shoot in terms of trying to maintain a steady paycheck.
But until the federal government finally gets serious about eliminating the cannabis plant from the confines of the Controlled Substances Act, we are all doomed to do the dance – to play the game. It is for that reason that it is important to learn how to handle yourself when presented with the possibility of getting popped with a drug screen. Unfortunately, because of the way weed metabolizes in the body, winning this battle can be difficult if your boss chooses to only give you a couple of hours notice prior to the test. In this case, it might be your best interest to fake an illness or a family emergency and then vacate the premises before your scheduled pee time. This will give you some time to round up a cup of clean piss. Because for you 33 million regular pot consumers out there — assuming daily use — somebody else’s clean urine is your only fighting chance at passing that godforsaken drug test when you return to work the next day.
For more tips on passing drug tests, visit here.