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AutoNation, the largest auto-dealer chain in the U.S. announced yesterday that they no longer count a positive marijuana test on a pre-employment test as a reason to not hire a potential employee.  While the company has been practicing this policy for the past two years, the only now have announced it to the public.  Positive tests for other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, would still count as a viable reason to refuse employment.

CEO Mike Jackson stated that refusing to hire someone for marijuana use was “wrong” and that was what spurred the decision.  With the rising popularity of marijuana in today’s society, positive results on drug tests are becoming more commonplace.  Companies are asking themselves, “is it worth it to continue testing for marijuana?”

Marijuana use can often lead to use of other substances of abuse.  Additionally, employees under the influence of marijuana, similarly to employees under the influence of alcohol or other federally illegal substances, cause major safety concerns in the workplace due to the effects of these substances on the brain and body.  Marijuana users are more likely to cause an accident while driving due to their impairment, they are less-focused, have impaired decision-making abilities, and have increased safety concerns in safety-sensitive positions, amongst other impacts on the workplace.   With all of these potential safety and monetary risks, maybe continuing to test for marijuana isn’t such a bad idea after all.

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