Marijuana comes from the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis sativa or indica plants. It contains the mind and mood-altering chemical THC. Marijuana is usually smoked in cigarettes, pipes, and vaporizers, or can be ingested orally through food, candy, and tea.
While marijuana can have long-term effects (mostly affecting the brain development of teenage users), the most noticeable changes are the short-term effects. THC is passed from the lungs to the brain where users experience heightened senses, changes in their mood, impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem-solving and impaired memory. Hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis can occur when marijuana is used in higher doses.
Marijuana can cause breathing problems, increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting, and effects developing fetuses. It can also cause temporary hallucinations and paranoia, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
Detection times for marijuana vary depending on how often the drug is used, but is detectable in blood and saliva for only a few hours regardless of frequency. It can be detected in a urine sample for up to 13 days for a one-time use, up to 45 days for regular use, and up to 90 days for heavy use. Hair tests can detect the drug for up to 90 days as well.
Marijuana and it’s legalization for recreational or medical use is a hot political and social topic. It is currently legal for medical use in 23 states and for medical/recreational use in 10 states. Many other states are pushing for legalization. How do you know your rights as an employer, or when you’ve crossed the line?
While discrimination against marijuana users is not allowed (and certain states have laws protecting against discrimination), you as the employer have the legal right to test all your employees before hire and at any time during employment if you have reasonable suspicion that your employee is using marijuana. This includes states where its use is legal.
Even though marijuana use may be legal in your state, the employer has the right to ban its use in their workplace by giving a clearly-defined drug policy to all employees. Abuse or overuse of marijuana—even marijuana given for medical use—can compromise the safety of other staff members and create an unstable work environment.
If you, other supervisors, or employees notice changes in a fellow employee, take action immediately through Nationwide Drug Testing Services. We offer affordable and reliable tests with quick results and convenient testing locations.
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