Illicit drugs

Common Questions about Marijuana

by Nicole Jupe on April 28, 2017

Many employers continue to ask questions about marijuana in the era of state legislation surrounding medical and recreational use statutes. In an effort to provide information about topics related to the science, drug testing, policy, and the law, Quest Diagnostics experts have provided responses to the some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about marijuana.

The most prevalent inquiry we receive from employers is whether or not they can continue to drug test applicants and employees under current state marijuana laws. The answer is yes. More than 99 percent of all non-federally mandated workplace drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics include marijuana as a part of their drug testing panel.

There are currently no restrictions limiting an employer’s ability to drug test for marijuana, although there may be limitations on permissible disciplinary action that an employer may take if an employee is using marijuana in accordance with that state’s marijuana laws. In general, state medical and recreational use statutes impact a very small number of employees.

Download our new Marijuana FAQ.

Download our Marijuana Legislation by State infographic as a resource.

Watch our on-demand webinar called “Weeding out the Facts: Marijuana Legislation & the Workplace.”

To learn more about marijuana, visit our website or contact us online.

Side-Effects of Quitting Marijuana

by Pablo Bolanos on April 20, 2017

April is a month when avid marijuana consumers, distributors, and marketers ramp up their efforts to reach audiences as they hype up the unofficial pot smoker’s holiday – 4/20. It’s possible that more first-time users will try the drug this year than in year’s past because of relaxing attitudes and increasing societal tolerance towards marijuana.

Marijuana is often romanticized by proponents who push for lesser criminal penalties, more access, and full legalization for medical and recreational use. These advocates often share what we know as common myths, and push for a re-scheduling of the Schedule I illicit drug under the federal government’s Controlled Substances Act. With all this in mind, users who decide to quit consuming marijuana might be surprised by what they experience as they attempt to stop using a drug that is often referred to as “harmless.”

These are some of the most common marijuana withdrawal side-effects users experience when they quit using the drug:

  1. Relapse – Research published in the Journal of Addiction and Medicine shows that young marijuana users can experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug. Withdrawal can be accompanied by irritability, anxiety, and feelings of depression, which in many instances results in the continued use of the drug. 
  1. Psychological – According to Dr. Stuart Gitlow, a professor at the University of Florida and past president of the American Society for Addiction Medicine, the feelings that come revolve around the consequences that caused them to quit, like dysfunctional relationships, performance at school or work. 
  1. Physiological – Some studies suggest that marijuana use may contribute to insomnia. Once sleep patterns are disrupted, the former user may continue to experience this disruption over a period of weeks, months, or even years.

People who quit using marijuana may experience one or all of these side effects. The outcomes can be uncomfortable enough to cause the individual to use marijuana again in an effort to self-medicate and numb their bodies and emotions to the discomfort.

At some point, most marijuana users will be confronted with the consequences of their decisions. The fact is that marijuana is not safe, it has documented long-term effects, and it can be detrimental in both social and professional scenarios.

Regardless of how uncomfortable it may be to stop using marijuana or any other drug, the upside of not consuming mind-altering substances far outweighs the benefits of habitual, chronic consumption. If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties with addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse offers a robust list of drug addiction treatment resources.

For more information about illicit drugs, visit our website or contact us online.

Cannabinol State Laws

March 28, 2017Drug Testing

Chemically complex, the cannabis sativa plant, known as marijuana, has hundreds of active compounds and cannabinoids. Ratios of chemicals and potency can differ based on the age of the plant, the origin, and the method of cultivation. Some of the more well-known chemicals in marijuana include: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Primary psychoactive ingredient that produces a “high” Cannabidiol […]

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The Case for Maintaining a Drug Testing Policy

March 16, 2017Drug Testing

Employers conduct drug testing for a number of reasons – pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty. Of these, reasonable suspicion can often be the most litigious and, as such, points out the importance of creating and maintaining a comprehensive workplace drug testing policy and program. The case of Layne v. Kanawha County Board of […]

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Employee Protections in the Era of Medical Marijuana Legislation

March 10, 2017Drug Testing

More than twenty states have enacted medical marijuana laws since Proposition 215 was passed by California voters in 1996. The earliest medical marijuana laws typically only provided criminal protections, however in the past two decades, laws are now extending protections to housing, schooling, domestic relations, and employment. State marijuana regulations uniquely address aspects such as […]

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Weeding Out the Facts Webinar Recap

February 21, 2017Illicit drugs

Employers face challenges as states continue to pass marijuana legislation, while the substance is still illegal under federal law.  In our recent webinar, two highly-regarded industry experts, Dr. Barry Sample, Senior Director of Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics, and D. Faye Caldwell, Attorney at Law, Caldwell Everson, presented facts and insight about marijuana and the workplace […]

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Sobering Facts about the Repeal of Obamacare

January 30, 2017Drug Testing

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has been one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in decades. While more than 20 million Americans are covered by the ACA, many have vocalized concerns over the cost and effectiveness of the legislation. With the outcome of November’s election, Congress and President Trump are working to […]

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Some Drug Users Can’t Distinguish Between Right and Wrong

August 17, 2016Illicit drugs

Aside from being dangerous and highly addictive, cocaine and methamphetamine may also affect the moral judgment of users. Results from a recent study conducted by Psychopharmacology – an international journal that covers the elucidating mechanisms by which drugs affect behavior – revealed that habitual cocaine and methamphetamine users can have difficulty distinguishing between right and […]

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DEA Report Details Heroin Threat

July 1, 2016News

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) published the 2016 National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary on June 27, 2016, detailing the threat of heroin and opioid drug abuse in the United States. Heroin is now available in larger quantities, it is being used by a greater number of people, and it is causing an increasing number […]

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Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Day

June 23, 2016Illicit drugs

Drug trafficking, once viewed largely as a social and criminal problem, has transformed in recent years into a major threat to the health and safety of citizens in every country. In an effort to create international awareness about the abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) established […]

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