Drug Testing

UPDATE 11/16 – Although adult use of marijuana is now legal in California with the passage of Prop. 64, because the measure specifically allows employers to continue to discriminate against marijuana users, you are not protected against drug testing on the job. In California, even medical marijuana patients can be fired for failing an employment drug test. Cal NORML is working for legislation to change this! Please join us and help change the law. Write info@canorml.org.

Research has shown that drug testing doesn’t improve workplace safety or productivity, but it’s a great way to discriminate against marijuana smokers, even medical marijuana users. Impairment testing is a better option.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that employers can discriminate against Californians even if their doctor has recommended medical marijuana for them.


Employment Rights for Marijuana Users a Priority for Cal NORML

Cal NORML Guide to Interpreting Drug Test Results

Drug Testing Tips (Sorry, Cal NORML does not handle drug testing queries except from NORML members.)


The 2017 National Academy of Sciences report on The Health Effects of Cannabis and the Cannabinoids concludes, “There is insufficient evidence to support or refute a statistical association between general, nonmedical cannabis use and occupational accidents or injuries.”

OSHA Injunction Denied – What This Does and Doesn’t Mean for Employers

All the States Where You Won’t Get Fired for Being a Medical Pot Patient 11/23/2016

Legal Marijuana Poses New Problems For Employee Drug Testing WSJ 11/22/16

OSHA Clarifies Discipline, Retaliation and Drug Testing Commentary November 20, 2016

OSHA delays enforcement of limitations on post-accident drug testing November 11, 2016

Wanted: New Mexicans Who Can Pass a Drug Test October 2016

Arbitrator reinstates Lane County, OR employee fired for medical marijuana use June 2016

Employers Grapple with OSHA’s Bar on Blanket Post-Injury Drug Testing June 2016

Post-injury drug testing under fire: OSHA rule may stifle employer efforts June 2016

The Pointlessness of the Workplace Drug Test The Atlantic, July 2015

Pot is Increasingly Legal; Employers Need to Stop Screening for It Washington Post, 2/26/2015

Many pot tests, but no certainty how much is too much Scripps News, March 23, 2014

Extreme Zero Tolerance Anti-Pot Driving Laws are Unfair and Destructive Paul Armentano for Alernet, March 21, 2014

Random Drug Testing for All? The Chilling Proposal that Could Eradicate Your Privacy by Paul Armentano for Alternet, March 11, 2014



California NORML
Guide to Drug Testing

The authoritative guide to:

• reliability of drug testing
• drug test detection times
• medical marijuana and drug tests
• drug tests and DUI
• dealing with drug testing on short notice
• what’s wrong with drug testing


More News:
Employers Have Little Tolerance of Marijuana Use by Workers, Survey Finds Society for Human Resource Management, 12/14/2015

Time to do away with employee drug testing The Hill, 7/8/2015

Legitimate medical-marijuana use should not get you fired Seattle Times, June 24, 2015

The Pointlessness of the Workplace Drug Test The Atlantic, June 4, 2015

It’s Time to Enact Appropriate Job Protections for Those Who Legally Use Pot NORML June 15, 2015

Stoners beware: exercising might lead to a positive drug test
University of Sydney Sept. 11, 2013

Cal NORML Protests Unfair Drug Testing Practices with New Booklet, Campaign
Cal NORML News, March 26, 2013

Former DEA Chiefs May Profit From Illegal Pot, Critics Say
US News & World Report (March 8, 2013)

Ex-DEA Chief Lobbying Holder to Nullify Marijuana Legalization Owns Drug Testing Company
beforeitsnews.com (March 6, 2013)

Silicon Valley Is High on Innovation. And Pot.
Business Week (Feb. 20, 2013)

Drug Testing Robs Workforce of Talent and Creativity
Cannabis Culture (Feb. 11, 2013)

We need a modern workforce, not a drug-tested one
Caspar Star-Trubune (Feb. 10, 2013)

A federal grand jury in Boston is investigating Millennium Laboratories of San Diego, a fast-growing private company selling urine drug testing services to pain clinics across the United States.
Reuters (Nov. 16, 2012)

Yet Another Way Drug Testing Fails: Baby Products Linked To False Positive Drug Test Results In Newborns by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director (April 10, 2012)

CSAC passes amendment that would allow exemptions for TRT, marijuana (April 09, 2012)
The California State Athletic Commission voted on Monday to approve an amendment that allows therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for combat sports athletes who use drugs currently banned by the state agency for medical purposes, including testosterone and marijuana. (Apr. 9, 2012)

Patient punishment: Medicinal pot user weeded out of work
By: Joshua Sabatini, SF Examiner Staff Writer (March 18, 2012)
A union labor boss is asking The City to change a project agreement to allow medical marijuana users, such as a plumber who was denied work after a positive drug test, to get jobs.

Medical Marijuana Employment Rights Bill Derailed by Business Interests (January 31, 2012)

Protecting Patients in the Workplace
Daily Cal (Jan. 17, 2012)

Why the Medical Marijuana Industry Should Work for Employment Rights
Medical Marijuana Business Daily (Jan. 16, 2012)

Student drug testing doesn’t deter youths from using drugs, another study finds (Los Angeles Times, 8/17/11)

Employees Should Be Judged By The Quality Of Their Work, Not On The Quality Of Their Urine
April 28th, 2010 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Workplace urine testing programs are a poor method for identifying employees who are under the influence, and do not significantly reduce job accident rates, according to a study published in the scientific journal Addiction.