Michigan Considers Dropping Pre-Employment Cannabis Tests

Policymakers in Michigan are considering major changes to the state’s drug testing policy, particularly as it pertains to cannabis use. 

The potential changes come more than four years after voters there approved a ballot measure that legalized recreational pot use for adults aged 21 and older. 

In a letter sent earlier this month to human resources officers, the state Civil Service Commission asked for public comment as it mulls various tweaks to the Michigan policy.

“Recent years have seen changes across the country in state laws regulating controlled substances. Michigan voters legalized marijuana’s medicinal use in 2008 and recreational use by adults in 2018,” read the letter, which was sent on May 12. “In light of these changes, commissioners have requested circulation for public comment of potential regulation amendments to end the pre-employment testing requirement for marijuana for classified employees hired into non-test-designated positions. Ending this pre-employment testing for marijuana would not affect the availability of reasonable-suspicion or follow-up testing for marijuana of classified employees, including candidates who become employees.”

The letter explains how in the late 1990s, “collective bargaining agreements added provisions allowing similar reasonable-suspicion, follow-up, random selection, and post-accident drug-testing of exclusively represented employees. Federal law also requires pre-employment and employee testing of some test-designated positions operating certain vehicles.”

“The 1998 rules directed the state personnel director to establish prohibited levels of drugs in regulations. Those regulations—and collective bargaining agreements—called for testing under procedures established under federal law. While the regulations technically allow agencies to request approval to test for any drug in schedule 1 or 2 of the state’s public health code, the default testing protocol used by the state since 1998 has tested for five classes of drugs: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine,” the letter read.

The letter also noted that, since the new cannabis law took effect in December of 2018, “approximately 350 applicants for classified positions have tested positive for marijuana in pre-employment testing.”

Under the current Michigan rules, those applicants are precluded from applying for another job with the state for three years. 

“While many of these sanctions have since lapsed, a few hundred remain in effect. The commission could adopt rule language allowing amnesty through rescission of continuing sanctions based on a pre-employment drug test for a non-test-designated position with a positive result for marijuana. Such action would not result in employment for these candidates but would allow them to apply for classified positions rather than waiting three years after being sanctioned,” the letter said.

As states have lifted their long standing prohibition on recreational pot use, lawmakers and regulators have recalibrated drug testing policies to bring them in line with the new cannabis laws.

Earlier this month, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that will enshrine protections for employees from getting tested for cannabis.

The legislation says that it is “unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in the initial hiring for employment if the discrimination is based upon: (a) The person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace; or (b) An employer-required drug screening test that has found the person to have non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their hair, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids.” 

Professional sports leagues have similarly followed suit. A new collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players that was ironed out last month will remove cannabis from the list of banned substances. The new deal will also permit players to promote and invest in cannabis companies.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver telegraphed the reform as far back as 2020.

“We decided that, given all the things that were happening in society, given all the pressures and stress that players were under, that we didn’t need to act as Big Brother right now,” Silver said then. “I think society’s views around marijuana [have] changed to a certain extent.”

The post Michigan Considers Dropping Pre-Employment Cannabis Tests appeared first on High Times.

Nate Diaz Denied Pot Exemption for Drug Test Ahead of Jake Paul Fight

Nate Diaz and Jake Paul will face off in the boxing ring on August 5 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The eight-round pay-per-view (PPV) event on Showtime is Diaz’s professional boxing debut following his decorated career in mixed martial arts (MMA) as a UFC fighter.

Diaz was denied a request for an exemption from the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR). The TDLR has a zero-tolerance policy for cannabis use, but Diaz’s manager Zach Rosenfield requested an exemption. 

Questions arose whether the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA)—an organization that provides anti-doping practices and programs in boxing and mixed martial arts—may supersede the TLDR, MMA Fighting first reported. A TDLR spokesperson told Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting that Diaz will be subject to the same rules as everyone else in combative sports.

For the time being, it looks like Diaz will still be screened for THC.

“We will be working with VADA on testing prior to the fight and will be in compliance with all VADA rules, as well as the rules and regulations set forth by TDLR,” Real Fight, Inc. President and Diaz manager Zach Rosenfield told High Times.

Many professional athletes know what they can and cannot get away with regarding drug testing for pot, and the timing involved. “We gonna be testing,” Diaz told reporters at a press conference, referring to the drug test sample. “There’s a lot of weed in [my system]. There is.”

Diaz taunted Paul on Twitter, to which the former YouTuber fired back. “You speaking to me Nathan?” Paul said, responding to Diaz’s tweet. “We haven’t forgotten that you tested positive for steroids. You and your boyfriend Connor are juice heads. Let’s do 15 rounds and see how good those cannabis corroded lungs are. VADA going to be coming to Stockton to slap you up.”

If it were a UFC fight, the request might have resulted in a different outcome. The U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) adopted guidelines to no longer punish UFC fighters when THC is detected in a drug test in 2021.

In addition to mandatory drug tests from TDLR, Diaz and Paul will likely provide samples to the VADA both before and after their boxing match in Dallas.

Everything is on the line, at least for Paul’s boxing career. A surprise knockout by Tommy “The Truth” Fury on February 26 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, cost a lot of bettors money. That makes Paul 6-1 in the boxing ring, beating AnEsonGib, Nate Robinson, Ben Askren, and Tyron Woodley twice.

Paul has been subject to drug tests multiple times since his transformation from a YouTube star (along with his brother Logan) to boxing. Paul did not like a question during an interview ahead of the Diaz fight by a reporter who suggested he is not destined for the Hall of Fame.

“See, I’ve done more for the sport than any boxer in current history,” Paul said. “What has Floyd Mayweather done for women’s boxing? The list goes on. I’ve changed the whole entire game, brought a new 70 million followers to the sport and put on bigger pay-per-views than some of these Hall of Fame guys. Ryan Garcia-Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, 800,000 pay-per-views. Me vs. Tommy, 830,000. So, you wanna talk about Hall of Famers? You wanna talk about resume? Yeah, I’m building it up, buddy. I just got started in this game. This is my eighth fight and I’m fighting Nate Diaz, one of the biggest MMA fighters in history. So, yeah, that’s my resume.”

Diaz and his brother Nick have spoken out regarding pot reform for years. The two eventually launched Game Up® Nutrition, a plant-based wellness company providing products loaded with cannabinoids, adaptogens, and superfoods.

Over a decade ago Nick told the Los Angeles Times his cleansing method before a drug test. This followed a technical knockout (TKO) win over Frank Shamrock back in 2009, who is also an outspoken cannabis advocate.

The post Nate Diaz Denied Pot Exemption for Drug Test Ahead of Jake Paul Fight appeared first on High Times.

THC Detox: What You Need to Know

A THC detox is extremely complex from an objective standpoint. Absorption and metabolism of THC molecules into water-soluble metabolites so they can be urinated out is a naturally time-consuming process. Green Gone Detox, a THC detox brand designed by pharmacists, is on a mission to help you safely, naturally cleanse marijuana from your system. The goal of this article is to objectively explain THC drug testing and provide honest answers to the following questions:

  1. Why would I need to detox from THC?
  2. How long will THC stay in my system?
  3. What options do I have to expedite the process?

There are a variety of situations in which one may need a cannabis detox. A common situation is a urine drug test for pre-employment. Health insurance or life insurance may also require a drug test prior to policy approval. Drug screening is a routine part of parole proceedings. Some physicians and pain clinics require drug tests. Some athletic organizations may require the participant to pass a urine drug test as well.

Apart from the seemingly mandatory situations, one may personally wish to start a THC detox to reset their tolerance, AKA a “tolerance break” or “T-break”. Additionally, people may wish to refrain from cannabis simply to see how long it takes their body naturally, over time, to test clean for future reference. Regardless of your reason for detoxing, all situations should be treated with the same objective: focusing on how THC is metabolized and excreted by the human body. This leads to the importance of timing.

How Long is a THC Detox?

The amount of time THC stays in your system can vary depending on the attributes of the user in question. Some key factors include age, body composition and genetics. As we age, our metabolisms tend to slow down naturally and process chemicals that we ingest at a slower pace. Because of the complexity of how THC is broken down, many users will continue failing a drug test for cannabis even after many weeks of abstinence. The blend of liver enzymes your body tends to make also matters. The initial THC → THCOOH carboxylation reaction is mediated by a key liver enzyme system known as CYP 2C9. This is important because once the THC is carboxylated to THCOOH, the metabolite can participate in several other metabolism pathways that increase the water solubility.

Let’s not overcomplicate it though. The goal of all this is simply to break the molecule down into something easier to get rid of. If your body can’t break it into smaller molecules, the liver will add functional groups to improve water solubility to try and pass it with urine that way. That’s what’s happening here. Problems show up if you’re one of the unlucky people that doesn’t make enough—or at times not at all—the enzyme 2C9 to mediate the above-described reaction. Thankfully, only a couple percent of the population have this genetic anomaly though.

Then, there’s the whole matter of how much THC exposure the user has had. How much and for how long did the exposure take place? What was the method of ingestion? What was the potency of the material in question? All these factors matter when determining the time required for a clean test.

Having said all that, on average, it takes most consistent cannabis users around a month to test comfortably under the cutoff screening without any intervention other than time and abstinence. This, however, can fluctuate greatly depending on a combination of the above factors.

Urine sample for laboratory analysis. Photo Giovanni Cancemi

How a Drug Test Works

Now, let’s review how the drug test itself works. When a urine THC drug test is administered, they’re not actually testing for THC molecules themselves, but rather water-soluble THC metabolites that stay in your system much longer (such as the THCOOH described above).

The standard cut off that most testing centers are looking for is less than 50 ng/mL. This cutoff is extremely sensitive, as the test can detect a very small amount of additive THC metabolites per volume. However, it’s important to note here that if this is passed on a THC urine dipstick, then the test is over, assuming the upfront tests determine there’s nothing “wrong” with the sample.

What could be wrong? Several things if a substitution is made, which is an illegal form of fraud—something Green Gone Detox is strongly against. For example, the temperature could be too high or too low; an additive could be found in the sample; or the density of the urine could show the sample is diluted.

Green Gone Detox advises consumers to provide a real sample that is really from you and nobody else in an untampered state. Usually, this sample needs to have less than 50 ng/mL THC metabolites. If this test is failed for substance, many labs will do a confirmatory test via GCMS (gas chromatography mass spectrometry) that examines the specific molecules flagged even more closely to rule out a false positive. 

Items included in a Green Gone 5-Day Detox Kit. Image courtesy of Green Gone Detox

Green Gone Can Help

Now that you have background info on some of the factors that influence THC metabolism and excretion, and how the drug test itself is conducted, let’s discuss timing.

Naturally, you’ll want to speed the detox process up if you’re going to take a drug test. Green Gone Detox works in five distinct ways to decrease the overall time to a negative THC test: 

  1. Increase in metabolite output in the liver. The goal here is to encourage the liver to put these metabolites out as fast as possible, so they can be urinated and defecated out. Green Gone Detox uses a potent liver enzyme inducer known as St. John’s Wort.
  2. Binding of metabolites in the gut. To accomplish this, Green Gone Detox uses soluble fiber in the form of Psyllium Huskto tie up metabolites in the lower gut to be passed with stool.
  3. Decrease albumin binding. This one was the big breakthrough for Green Gone Detox. Recall that a major issue with attempting to dissolve metabolites into the urine itself is that THC metabolites are highly bound to blood proteins. Green Gone introduced salicylate derivatives naturally found in White Willow. This binds to the same sites on albumin as THC metabolites, and in doing, so frees up the drug to be cleared with the urine much easier. Additionally, this is why NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause false positives on a THC test strip, because both molecules are chemically similar and bind to the strip.
  4. Increase urine pH. Most urine produced is acidic in nature. Given the metabolites are also acidic, they tend to dissolve poorly. The Green Gone Detox formula increases pH using Sodium Bicarbonate to fix this.
  5. Increase urine output. This is fairly straightforward. Now that the hard part has been accomplished (making the metabolites quicker, collecting them in the gut, preventing them from being bound in the bloodstream, and increasing the pH to encourage them to dissolve in the urine), all you’ll want to do is produce more urine. Green Gone Detox also satisfied this need via a natural diuretic known as Horsetail Extract.

Green Gone Detox kits are proudly designed by pharmacists and made in the US at an FDA-inspected, GMP-certified facility. Additionally, health-minded consumers can rest easy knowing the Green Gone Detox kits are vegan and Kosher-friendly. Each kit is stocked with five THC urine test strips, and all kits are covered by Green Gone LLC’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

Ready to Detox?

Hopefully this article helps you better understand how a THC cleanse works, as well as some of the methodology behind it. If you would like to learn more or would like to see which product would best fit your personal needs, try Green Gone Detox’s THC detox calculator. The brand has a seven-year established record of helping people successfully reach their THC detox goals.

The post THC Detox: What You Need to Know appeared first on Cannabis Now.

How to Get THC Out of Your System – Realistically

As weed becomes legal in more places, there is less reason for many people to worry about this. However, some schools test for it under certain circumstances, many workplace perform drug tests, and sometimes people want to clean their systems for things like family planning, starting a new medication, other medical reason, or just to do it. So this is an important question. Here are the best ways for how to get THC out of your system, realistically.

Many of us have encountered a situation where the question of how to get THC out of your system is very, very relevant. However, there’s unfortunately no quick fix on this one. Sorry, guys! We are a 100% independent news publication specializing in ongoing stories and current events in the worlds of cannabis and psychedelics. We put out the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter to update readers, and to give out offers for deals on tons of products like vapes, smoking equipment, edibles, and cannabinoids including the super-popular Delta 8 & HHC. Check out our ‘best of’ lists for more info, and make sure to buy the products you’re most happy to use.

How long does THC stick around?

The first question before getting into how to get THC out of your system, is how long does it actually stay there. Much like so many other things in life, this answer is dependent on a specific person. There are also different ways to look at the question, like how long does it stay in your system, and how long can it be detected in something like a hair test? Both answers are variable depending on the particular body in question. When it comes to how long other compounds like HHC can stay in the system and affect tests, this is still unknown.

Usually, the time it takes to detox THC its written about as related to the amount smoked, and the duration of time. If a non-smoker gets high, THC is found in the urine for up to about three days. For moderate use (someone who uses several times a week, but not everyday) its expected to stay in the urine for up to a week. Daily users might find themselves detectable for 10-15 days, while the heaviest of users can expect a urine test to pick it up for as long as 30 days or more. For each of these groupings, it can also be half the time mentioned, or even a quarter, depending on the person.

Urine tests are a basic way to know that THC was used somewhat recently, and are the most frequent test method. Then there are hair tests. Hair stays on the head for awhile, and the THC that gets in it, stays around for awhile too. While a heavy user might be clear in their body after a month, their hair might continue telling a different story for several more. Blood tests are extremely hard to get around, but are almost never used. They’re employed in cases that involve crimes, including being stopped on the road. Blood tests look for very recent use, as THC leaves the bloodstream within a couple days.

In terms of the body, the reason THC can stick around awhile, is not due to its half-life, but rather because its fat soluble, not water soluble. When something gets taken up by fat cells, it can’t be flushed out of the system with anything water-based, making the method of drinking a lot of water to get rid of it, unworkable. THC is stored in the form of metabolite THC-COOH.

How to get THC out for urine test

Since THC is fat-soluble, individual variation in body fat plays a big role in how long THC stays in the system. A person with more body fat can hold onto THC for longer, whereas a person with less, has less to hold onto it, and will process it out faster. Because of this, a fat-laden light user, might have THC in their system longer than a skinnier heavy-user. Things like diet and overall metabolism, also play into this.

How to get THC out of your system – good methods

The exercise method

This might not be desired by most people. After all, as evidenced by growing levels of obesity, working out is not the most preferable activity for many Americans. Even so, the best way to burn fat – and anything its holding onto, is to get off your butt and do something physical. Physical exercise is the best way to get rid of the fat that’s holding onto the THC.

Obviously, if a person is very overweight, this method probably takes too long to be useful, though for that person, the idea of working out is even more beneficial. Regardless, this is a method that works best for a person with normal body fat, or possibly just a little extra. The idea is to both raise the metabolism, and exert physical energy, in order to burn off as much as possible. This is also – as you’ll see – the only plausible method to speed up a THC detox.

The water method

As stated before, this doesn’t answer the question of how to get THC out of the system, but it does do one thing that is useful depending on the situation. It waters things down. As in, it brings down the concentration of something. Drinking a lot of water before taking a test won’t get THC out of your system, but it can greatly dilute what’s in your system. In a pinch, this is sometimes the best way to go, even though it technically doesn’t work. If you’re looking to clear your system for family planning or medical issues, this is not ideal at all.

As a side note to this, some tests detect strange occurrences, like too much water. We have other compounds that get eliminated in urine, and when the concentration of everything is extremely low, it can trip the test, and make it come back inconclusive. Sometimes, depending on how testing is paid for, this is enough to get out of a problem. Or it could mean taking a new test. I put it under the good methods, because at least for test-taking, diluting the THC is probably more useful than trying to mask it with chemicals, even if it doesn’t technically answer the question of how to get THC out of the system. It also doesn’t hurt the body, whereas other methods can.

The break method

This is probably about as desired as the exercise method, but the reality is that there really isn’t a quick fix for how to get THC out of your system. And one of the best ways to get it out, is to simply stop using cannabis. In fact, nothing else works as well as abstaining. If you want something to no longer be in your body, just stop putting it in.

This can be done as a planning method for an upcoming test, for medical issues, or just for a change in life. When planning an upcoming test, try to give yourself a couple weeks. It’s said THC can stay for a month or more, but that’s a worst case scenario, and most people won’t have to wait the max time. If you think you might be on the longer end due to weight issues or a slow metabolism, give it a full month. If you’re currently looking for a job, and know you’ll have a test, maybe quit the weed until that part of life is covered.

Sure, not everything is planned, but tests don’t always come out of nowhere, and some people want their bodies clean for other reasons besides getting through a drug test. If you absolutely need the stuff out of your system, just put the vape, joint, pipe, edible, or bong down, and let it wear out of your system in its own time.

Take a break to get THC out of system
Take a break to get THC out of system

How to get THC out of your system – bad methods

Detox products like pills and drinks

Truth is, while a myriad of these products are advertised, none of them explain how they’ll get THC out of your system. I think these exist because we’re so big on the idea of body detoxing in general, that ‘detox’ is now a buzz word that people don’t question, even if the claim is bogus. Some products say they’ll take as long as 5-7 days, meaning, the time frame given is enough for some people to detox the THC out naturally. Some say up to 14 days, making the use of the product that much sillier. The reality, is that these products are mainly meant to mask the THC with other compounds.

One thing to understand about drug tests, is that they’re often given to multiple people, with only a few tests actually tested. Drug testing takes time and costs money, and not every employer, (for example), wants to pay out to test all employees, especially if there’s a lot of turnover. I took one of those detox drinks years ago, and did pass the test. I found out later that only a small percentage of the tests were tested. Sometimes just the idea of a test is enough to keep people in line. And a lot of the success stories for unlikely-sounding methods, are most likely due to this, and not the products used.

It should also be remembered, tests can often pick up chemicals meant to mask other chemicals (which is really what these products often do). This makes a test invalid. These days, there are further tests that can clear the adulterant to see what they’re masking, an even more expensive process, but one used in some scenarios. Many of these detox products come with compounds that are recognized for this, and that itself can set off alarms. Plus, masking something doesn’t get it out of your system faster, meaning aside from test-taking, such products have no value anyway.

Most of all, the complete lack of information given on how they work is something not to ignore. This isn’t about patented products, but selling a hyped-up product based on a need, with the hope that the person in need will try anything possible. People in desperate situations tend to spend money on things they might not otherwise, and this business capitalizes on that desperation. Personally, I have no trust in these products, as no detox works that well for anything. And a product that doesn’t specify how it increases metabolism, or releases THC from fat cells, is unlikely to do anything beneficial.

Adulterate or use other urine

If a person really wants to mess with a sample, they can add something to their actual urine to invalidate the test, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a retest, or concern over finding strange chemicals in a person’s urine. A person can also attempt to use someone else’s urine in the case of a test, but this can come with other problems if the urine is not the right temperature. Neither of these methods helps get the THC out of your system.

Cranberry juice, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar (separately)

These come up a lot on the internet, but much like store bought detox products, there isn’t much saying they’ll work. For one thing, cranberries simply don’t posses anything that detoxes THC out of fat cells, so how it’s expected the juice works, is automatically questionable. Same with apple cider vinegar, which is great for the body, but still without a mechanism that’s useful here. Lemon juice as well. In fact, it’s far more likely that anyone who had luck with these methods, was really just diluting their urine, or was lucky enough to not have their test tested.

Just because something has ‘detoxifying’ properties (all of the above do), it doesn’t mean it works on everything. Cranberry juice, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar can’t release THC from fat cells, so whatever detoxification they might help with, is unrelated to THC. ‘Detoxing’ is so popular these days, that people buy products without considering what that product can do, or how long it takes. Most detox regimens take weeks or months, and many products are geared toward a specific organ, or cleansing a specific compound. This is never generalized to detoxing the entire body. So just because something is known for its ‘detoxifying’ benefits, this doesn’t mean it has anything to do with THC.

Baking soda, and niacin (vitamin B3)

Baking soda is great for dealing with urinary tract infections, because it has a mechanism that changes pH, killing bacteria in the system. It doesn’t, however, do anything about THC. It might change the pH in the urine to deem a test invalid, but it won’t clear out any THC. Neither does niacin, which specifically binds to water-soluble compounds, NOT fat soluble compounds. Whereas, once again, these might have a place in maintaining health, they don’t have qualities that help here, no matter what article is telling you otherwise on the internet.

Methods to get THC out of your system
Methods to get THC out of your system

They also come with possible detractions. When a person is trying to accomplish something, like detox their body, they might be more likely to overdo it in an effort to make sure it gets done. Well, baking soda is a salt, and if too much is taken, it can cause all kinds of damage to the body. Niacin also comes with a host of side effects when taken in large quantities, which can end in liver failure. I guarantee this is way worse than failing a drug test, or simply not clearing out your body fast enough.


Pectin, or fruit pectin, is a powder derived from citrus fruits. It’s sold as a way to make the body temporarily hold onto compounds like THC, rather than release them. Pectin is high in fiber and carbs which makes the insulin level spike, preventing the body from burning fat for a short period of time. It makes the body store calories, rather than using them, and also absorbs toxins which are then naturally released through stool, and bodily fluids.

Since pectin absorbs fluids in the intestines and stomach, its said toxins are therefore released in solids, not fluids. Out of all these methods, this one at least sounds like it could have value. But there are things to remember. Like that pectin might have to be boiled first to work, and that the idea it would uniformly hold back all THC, is a little short-sighted. Much like most stuff on this list, there isn’t a lot of positive verification for its use. It also doesn’t clear the body faster, but rather, is advertised to make the body withhold releasing for a period of time. And it’s known to flush out other necessary body compounds when taken in high amounts, which is bad for the body, as it means losing necessary nutrients.


If you haven’t guessed it yet, there is no quick fix for how to get THC out of your system. If there was, you’d know the mechanism of the products sold to you, it wouldn’t just be about promises of test-passing. The sad reality, is that you can work it out of your system, let it drain out on its own, dilute yourself for temporary purposes, or just hope for the best. But like it or not, there is no quicker measure. If you have a reason to clear yourself out, take a little break, and make sure the job gets done right.

Welcome everyone! Thanks for making it over to Cannadelics.com, a premiere outlet for thorough news coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics worlds. Stop by when you get the chance to keep updated on current events, and head over to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always up on whatever is going down.

The post How to Get THC Out of Your System – Realistically appeared first on Cannadelics.

Ontario Court Ruling: Can’t Randomly Test Firefighters For Cannabis 

A recent Ontario court ruling sided with firefighters regarding random drug tests for cannabis. In December 2018, Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority updated its policies to demand random drug testing. They were concerned that Canada’s legalization of cannabis (which had only occurred) would make it more likely firefighters would show up to work high. The […]

The post Ontario Court Ruling: Can’t Randomly Test Firefighters For Cannabis  appeared first on Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana | News.

D.C. Council Says Workers Can’t Get Fired for Pot

Workers in the nation’s capital won’t have to worry about getting canned over cannabis, under a bill passed by the Washington, D.C. city council on Tuesday.

The measure, known as the “Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022,” was approved unanimously by the governing body.

It now awaits the signature of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. According to National Public Radio, if Bowser were to sign it, “the bill will become law after a 60-day congressional review and the bill’s publication in the District of Columbia Register.”

The bill does not apply to every employee working in D.C. As the Washington Post noted, the law would “[make] exceptions, however, for workers in ‘safety-sensitive jobs,’ including operators of heavy machinery, construction workers, police and security guards who carry weapons and medical professionals.” And, of course, the law would not protect the scores of federal employees from facing discipline if they tested positive for cannabis.

The federal government, however, continues to exert its authority over Washington, D.C.’s cannabis laws.

Voters in D.C. approved a measure legalizing pot use for adults back in 2014, but recreational cannabis sales are still illegal.

That’s because Congress, which has authority over D.C.’s laws, has barred the commercialization of weed in the city in every appropriations bill since the legalization measure passed eight years ago.

There was hope last year that Congress may finally end the restriction, after a draft bill introduced in the Senate last October did not include the provision.

Bowser’s camp applauded that at the time.

“The Senate appropriations bill is a critical step in recognizing that in a democracy, D.C. residents should be governed by D.C. values,” Bowser’s office said in a statement. “As we continue on the path to D.C. statehood, I want to thank Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, Senator Patrick Leahy, our good friend and Subcommittee Chair, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and, of course, our champion on the Hill, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, for recognizing and advancing the will of D.C. voters. We urge Congress to pass a final spending bill that similarly removes all anti-Home Rule riders, allowing D.C. to spend our local funds as we see fit.”

Republicans, however, were not pleased.

“This one-sided process has resulted in bills that spend in excess of the Democrats’ own budget resolution and fail to give equal consideration to our nation’s defense. Their bills are filled with poison pills and problematic authorizing provisions, and they remove important legacy riders on topics like terrorism, abortion, and immigration that for years have enjoyed broad support on both sides of the aisle,” Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby said at the time.

By March, Shelby and the Republicans won out, as the final version of the appropriations bill maintained the ban.

Groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union lamented the development, saying that Washington, D.C. “remains the only jurisdiction in the country that cannot regulate marijuana sales or fruitfully tap into the public health and safety benefits of legalization.”

“In one hand, Congress continues to make strides in advancing federal marijuana reform grounded in racial justice, while simultaneously being responsible for prohibiting the very jurisdiction that led the country in legalizing marijuana through this lens from being able to regulate it. This conflict and contradiction must end now,” Queen Adesuyi, Senior National Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in March.

Despite the ban, some retailers in Washington, D.C. have still managed to sell pot, often through the practice of “gifting,” through which a business sells a product (often a t-shirt or hat) and then provides the customer with a “gift” of weed.

In April, the D.C. City Council rejected a proposal to crack down on those retailers.

The post D.C. Council Says Workers Can’t Get Fired for Pot appeared first on High Times.

Cannabis Drug Testing Partial Cause for U.S. Truck Driver Shortage

The American Trucking Association released a statement in October 2021, citing retiring driving veterans and lower wages as the partial cause for the shortage of more than 80,000 drivers. However, another cause for this shortage is being attributed to adult-use legalization and drivers testing positive for cannabis.

A March 2022 U.S. Department of Transportation summary report states that as of April 1, 2022, 10,276 commercial truck drivers tested positive for THC. (Although this is a significant decrease in numbers, compared to 31,085 violations in 2021 and 29,511 violations in 2020.) Cannabis leads the data as the highest positive drug tests for drivers, but this also includes data about drivers who test positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, oxymorphone and more.

The situation is especially difficult for drivers who consume because many of them travel through multiple states with varying approaches to legalization.

According to an article on Stacker, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Handbook: A Compliance for Guide Truck Drivers confirms that cannabis is still federally illegal. “While states may allow medical use of marijuana, federal laws and policy do not recognize any legitimate medical use of marijuana. Even if a state allows the use of marijuana, DOT regulations treat its use as the same as the use of any other illicit drug.”

The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) increased drug testing rates from 25% to 50% two years ago. “The new minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing will be effective January 1, 2020. This change reflects the increased positive test rate and will result in an estimated $50 to $70 million increase in costs to the industry by requiring that more drivers be tested.” However, it also notes that random alcohol testing remained at 10%.

The FMCSA also states that medical cannabis is also not allowed with any noted exceptions. “Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), a person is not physically qualified to drive a CMV if he or she uses any Schedule I controlled substance such as marijuana,” it states. “Accordingly, a driver may not use marijuana even if is recommended by a licensed medical practitioner.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines five risk factors of being a truck long-haul truck driver, including obesity, smoking, low physical activity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Some of these common workplace conditions have been known to be treated with medical cannabis. In one study from December 2015, medical cannabis helped prevent obesity in mice. Some studies identified how cannabis can actually help treat nicotine addiction. Even a study from this past February showed evidence of how cannabis can help lower blood pressure in those who suffer from hypertension.

An April White House Fact Sheet states that trucking accounts for 72% of products delivered in the U.S., with a plan to assist and help expand trucking job opportunities. “Trucking costs grew more than 20 percent last year as a surge in demand for goods caused by the pandemic confronted a decline in trucking employment that preceded the pandemic,” the Fact Sheet states. “The low supply of drivers is driven by high turnover and low job quality. Turnover in trucking routinely averages 90 percent for some carriers and drivers spend about 40 percent of their workday waiting to load and unload goods—hours that are typically unpaid.”

While the White House’s focus on bettering the work lives of truckers across the country is a step in the right direction, there is a need to alter regulations to allow truckers to use cannabis. One of the efforts includes connecting veterans with trucking jobs, however, with the current state of military veterans seeking access to medical cannabis to treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, it would create another hurdle for them to overcome.

The post Cannabis Drug Testing Partial Cause for U.S. Truck Driver Shortage appeared first on High Times.

Positive Drug Tests for Pot Hit All-Time High

More Americans are failing drug tests because of pot than ever before, and the solutions to the problem range from blaming legalization to dropping drug testing for pot altogether.

Quest Diagnostics drug-tested over 11 million people during 2021, via urine, hair, and oral fluid drug tests, analyzed about 9 million of the tests, and found some startling trends. According to a Quest Diagnostics newsroom press release quietly released last month, more people are failing drug tests due to pot use than ever before.

The rate of positive drug test results among America’s workforce overall hit a 20-year peak as well. It’s the highest rate since 2001, up over 30% in the combined U.S. workforce from an all-time low in 2010-2012, according to the analysis.

For an interactive map of the Drug Testing Index (DTI) with positivity rates and trends, click here.

“Positivity rates for marijuana in the general U.S. 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,” the survey summarizes. “Over five years, positivity for marijuana in the general U.S. workforce increased 50% (2.6% in 2017 versus 3.9% in 2021).”

The Wall Street Journal pointed out the number of states that have legalized cannabis since 2017, when the rates of positive drug tests were lower. Fresh Toast, on the other hand, questioned whether or not it’s time for policymakers to reflect what is going on in the general workforce amid the report of record-high numbers.

Quest Diagnostics leaders acknowledged a disconnect between changes in society and the drug testing results they found. Drug tests not only impact job applicants and employees—but the retention rates employers grapple with.

“Employers are wrestling with significant recruitment and retention challenges as well as with maintaining safe and engaging work environments that foster positive mental and physical wellbeing,” said Keith Ward, General Manager and Vice President, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions. “Our Drug Testing Index data raises important questions about what it means to be an employer committed to employee health and safety. Eager to attract talent, employers may be tempted to lower their standards. In the process, they raise the specter of more drug-related impairment and worksite accidents that put other employees and the general public in harms’ way.”

Drug Testing for Cannabis Is Not Reliable Indicator of Impairment

A study associated with the National Institute of Justice found that THC levels are “unreliable indicators” of impairment. National Institute of Justice-supported researchers from RTI International studied how specific cannabis doses correlate with THC levels, and their findings were surprising.

“Laws regarding driving under the influence of marijuana vary from state to state, with a growing trend toward ‘per se’ laws that use a level of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, one of the psychoactive substances in marijuana) in the blood, urine, or oral fluid as a determinant of intoxication,” researchers wrote. “However, there is little evidence correlating a specific THC level with impaired driving, making marijuana per se laws controversial and difficult to prosecute.”

This aligns with what researchers from the Lambert Initiative, based at the University of Sydney in Australia, told High Times last year. Researchers at the Lambert Initiative focus some studies on cannabis impairment itself and the drug tests that are supposed to determine impairment.

“Unlike alcohol, you simply cannot infer whether some is affected by THC, or how affected they are, based simply on the amount of THC they have in their system,” Dr. Thomas R. Arkell told High Times last October.

He continued, saying it’s “ridiculous” to base laws and workplace rules on drug tests when it comes to cannabinoids.

Jobs That Don’t Drug Test

Do employers really need to drug test potential employees? Former President Ronald Reagan’s Drug Free Workplace Act was implemented in 1988. It started with 21% employers requiring drug tests in 1987, and that number shot to 81% by 1996.

The profound influence of state after state legalizing cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, combined with labor, is driving employers to reconsider pre-employment drug tests for cannabis among job applicants.

The most notable company to do so would probably be Amazon. On June 1, 2021, the company released a blog post based on its goal to become both “Earth’s Best Employer” and “Earth’s Safest Place to Work.” In that announcement, it confirmed that it would be adjusting its drug testing policy to avoid testing for cannabis.

Forbes profiled a search engine Phynally, founded by Damian Jorden in April last year. Phynally can save time for job seekers if they choose to consume cannabis in their own time.

The post Positive Drug Tests for Pot Hit All-Time High appeared first on High Times.

Sha’Carri Richardson Suggests Double Standard After Valieva Tests Positive for TMZ

American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson had designs on winning gold at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics until a positive drug test dashed those hopes. Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva will continue the pursuit of her own gold medal aspirations at the winter games in Beijing this week, despite also testing positive for a banned substance.

The difference, as Richardson sees it, comes down to race.

“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines? My mother died and I can’t run and was also favored to place top 3. The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady,” Richardson, 21, tweeted on Monday.

That isn’t the only notable difference between the two cases. Richardson tested positive for cannabis –– not exactly known to enhance athletic performance –– while the 15-year-old Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a heart medication that has been said to promote greater endurance in athletes. 

Richardson was suspended for 30 days by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for pot in late June, invalidating her victory in the women’s 100m race at the U.S. Olympic trials and ultimately keeping her out of the summer games in Tokyo. 

After being dealt the suspension, Richardson said she turned to cannabis to cope with the unexpected death of her mother during the Olympic trials in June.

“It sent me into a state of emotional panic,” she said at the time. “I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”

In September, the World Anti-Doping Agency said it would reconsider cannabis’ inclusion on its list of banned substances.

Valieva, meanwhile, has already struck gold once in Beijing this month, helping guide the Russian Olympic Committee to the top of the podium in the figure skating team event –– even though her positive test came on Christmas Day.

The International Olympic Committee postponed the medal ceremony for the team event, citing “legal issues” as reports mounted that a Russian skater had registered a positive drug test.

Last week, the International Testing Agency confirmed that Valieva had tested positive for trimetazidine, putting her status for the individual competition in jeopardy. Valieva was initially suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, but that ruling was reversed a day later. The International Olympic Committee, along with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union, appealed that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which ruled in Valieva’s favor on Monday.

In its decision, the court cited “exceptional circumstances” and said that a ban would “cause her irreparable harm.”

On Tuesday, Valieva finished the short program with a lead in the individual competition, putting her in prime position to claim another gold. 

In the case of both Richardson and Valieva, the decisions handed down by the governing bodies drew fierce criticism.

But while fellow athletes expressed sympathy to Richardson, Valieva’s peers strongly denounced the ruling by CAS.

According to NBC, trimetazidine, or TMZ, has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances since 2014, and is “categorized as a ‘hormone and metabolic modulator,’ which is illegal for athletes to use both in and out of competition.”

“It is believed that TMZ can improve physical efficiency, especially in the case of endurance sports, although opinions vary on how long-lasting the effect could be,” according to the primer from NBC. “TMZ is usually taken once or twice a day, and easy to detect in tests as a synthetic drug.”

Lawyers for Valieva have claimed that the positive drug test may have been the result of a glass of water that was contaminated with traces of her grandfather’s heart medication.

The post Sha’Carri Richardson Suggests Double Standard After Valieva Tests Positive for TMZ appeared first on High Times.

Proposed Bill Could Protect Employees in Colorado who Use Cannabis

It has been nearly 10 years since voters in Colorado legalized recreational cannabis, but for some employers in the state, prohibition remains the law of the land.

A proposed bill would change that, with lawmakers there reviving an effort to prohibit employers from firing employers solely for using pot. 

Called the “Prohibit Employer Adverse Action Marijuana Use,” (or HB1152) the new legislation would seek to bar employers from “taking adverse action against an employee, including an applicant for employment, who engages in the use of… medical marijuana on the premises of the employer during working hours; or retail or medical marijuana off the premises of the employer during non-working hours.” 

The bill does allow for exceptions to the rule, saying that an employer “is permitted to impose restrictions on employee use of medical or retail marijuana under specified circumstances.”

According to the Colorado Sun, those exceptions include “workers whose jobs are in dangerous fields or require fine motor skills, such as positions involving the use of heavy machinery.”

HB1152 would resolve a peculiar dilemma in Colorado, where cannabis has become inextricably linked with the state’s culture and economy since voters approved a legalization proposal at the ballot in 2012. Medicinal cannabis has been legal in the state since 2000.

It follows a previous legislative effort, proposed in 2020, that also would have prohibited companies from firing workers for using cannabis outside of work.

Democratic state Representative. Brianna Titone, the chief sponsor of HB 1152, said it doesn’t make sense for a worker to be sacked over a legal activity.

“Marijuana is legal in Colorado,” Titone told the Colorado Sun. “And what people do in their spare time that doesn’t impact their work shouldn’t really be a problem for them. They should be able to enjoy the legal things that we have here in Colorado and not be penalized for it.”

Democratic state Representative Edie Hooton, a co-sponsor of the bill, echoed those sentiments.

“The whole idea is to signal to the business community and to employers that because we have legalized cannabis, we should be following the same laws and rules that apply to alcohol and prescription drugs,” Hooton said, as quoted by the Colorado Sun.

The discrepancy between law and company policy highlights what has been a defining tension of the past decade of legalization in the U.S., even as state after state has followed Colorado’s lead and ended prohibition within its own borders, weed remains illegal on the federal level, and still verboten in other parts of society.

In Colorado, the contradiction bubbled to the surface in 2015, when the state’s Supreme Court “ruled that DISH Network acted legally when it fired a quadriplegic employee, Brandon Coats, who used medical marijuana to treat seizures while he was not at work, after a random drug test turned up positive for marijuana,” according to local television station Denver7.

“It’s frustrating. I can’t get a job, especially with my case out there like that,” Coats said, as quoted by the station. “You can’t get a job for doing something that’s lawful, and it doesn’t make any sense to me.”

The bill has drawn objections, including from the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Mining Association.

“Mining and marijuana don’t mix. Mining, like many other professions out there, is an inherently dangerous job no matter what jobs you have in mind. But you can reduce the risk of injury and death. The most important way to do that is to have a zero-tolerance drug policy,” said Stan Dempsey, the president of the Colorado Mining Association, as quoted by Denver7.

The post Proposed Bill Could Protect Employees in Colorado who Use Cannabis appeared first on High Times.