Marijuana use has a direct effect on the workplace, especially when workplace safety is considered. According to the annual (DTI), the overall positive drug test rate in the combined US workforce (federally mandated and non-mandated drug tests), based on nearly 9 million urine drug tests collected in 2021, was up in 2021 to 4.6% compared to 4.4% in 2020 and up 31.4% from the all-time low of 3.5% just 10 years ago (2010-2012).
Regarding marijuana, the DTI found that: “Positivity rates for marijuana in the general US workforce, based on more than 6 million urine tests, continued an upward climb, increasing 8.3% (3.6% in 2020 versus 3.9% in 2021), the highest positivity rate ever reported in the DTI. Over 5 years, positivity for marijuana in the general US workforce increased 50% (2.6% in 2017 versus 3.9% in 2021).”
Based on the data, there is a possibility that more job seekers and current employees testing positive, means more drug-impaired workers on the job, a potential threat to workplace safety. This correlation is evident from the data, specifically with post-accident drug test positivity rates, “Over the last 5 years in general U.S. workforce urine drug testing… post-accident positivity increased 26% (7.7% in 2017 versus 9.7% in 2021). “Similarly, in federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce urine drug testing… post-accident positivity increased 41.9% (3.1% in 2017 versus 4.4% in 2021).”
To simply answer the question, drugs (including marijuana) continue to have an impact in the health and safety of workplaces in all industries, from construction to manufacturing and professional services.