Written by J. Sundberg

Often, we hear employers say they don’t want to thin out their applicant pool by requiring pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. With such a low employment rate, it can be difficult to pass up qualified applicants.

But by not utilizing drug testing at all, you may be creating an unnecessary financial and legal liability if you end up hiring a drug abuser.

The Case for Drug Testing

Nationwide, an estimated 11.8 million people misused opioids in 2016, including 11.5 million pain reliever misusers and 948,000 heroin users, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Without drug testing at all, you might be scraping the bottom of the applicant barrel, hiring drug abusers who can’t get hired by a competitor that does require drug testing.

While still federally considered illegal, Marijuana was legalized in Colorado on a state level in 2012. Because of that, we’ve seen some employers decide the drug is just not worth screening for.

Excluding the drug from pre-employment tests can make sense for some—specifically those not mandated by regulating bodies like the Department of Transportation, FAA, U.S. Coast Guard and several others.

Is 4-Panel Testing Right for You?

If your employees are not required to participate in high risk activities like driving, heavy lifting or machinery operation, the new 4-Panel drug test that excludes marijuana may be a better alternative to no testing at all. Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine’s new 4-Panel Drug Screen includes results for:

  • Amphetamines (including Methamphetamine, “Crystal Meth”)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (Codeine, Morphine, Heroin, Oxycodone, Vicodin, etc.)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Like the 5-Panel Drug Screen, results are presented instantly through CRL/FormFox—an online platform for drug screen scheduling, results review, and notifying employees of required testing.

As of Nov. 1, 2021, Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine in Colorado discontinued their drug and alcohol testing at all their clinic locations. Staffing challenges and the demand for COVID testing, vaccines, and medical treatment of the virus has prompted us to shift our focus at this time. Thank you for your understanding.