Top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest marijuana positivity

Marijuana positivity for the American workforce is up for the fifth consecutive year, a trend showing no signs of slowing. Drug positivity in states without marijuana use statutes has kept pace with the national average of 2.1% for the combined U.S. workforce. However, data from Quest Diagnostics shows that the states with the highest positivity rates do not necessarily contain the cities or metropolitan areas with the highest marijuana positivity.

The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index reveals the 10 states with the highest marijuana positivity rates in 2017, averaging 2.96%.

  1. Oregon (3.9%)
  2. Maine (3.5%)
  3. Massachusetts (3.1%)
  4. Rhode Island (3.1%)
  5. Vermont (2.9%)
  6. Michigan (2.8%)
  7. Nevada (2.7%)
  8. Washington (2.6%)
  9. Arizona (2.5%)
  10. Colorado (2.5%)

Interestingly, when you examine the highest positivity for marijuana in a metropolitan area, only three of the areas are located in one of the top 10 states.

  1. Dallas, TX (5.27%)
  2. Reno, NV (3.54%)
  3. Worcester, MA (3.48%)
  4. Jackson, TN (3.23%)
  5. Flint, MI (3.23%)
  6. Springfield, MA (3.19%)
  7. Ann Arbor, MI (3.12%)
  8. Detroit, MI (3.11%)
  9. Tallahassee, FL (3.11%)
  10. Waco, TX (3.09%)

Dallas and Jackson are both metropolitan areas where marijuana is not legalized for medical or recreational use, yet they rank in the top cities for marijuana positivity. Another anomaly is that Texas did not make the top 10 states, yet it has two cities on the top 10 list. California is not represented on either list despite the fact that marijuana is legal both medically and recreationally.

Given these results, the stereotype of marijuana use as solely a “big city” problem is inaccurate. With the rate of positive workforce tests continuing to rise, and with pockets of higher positivity throughout the U.S., it is even more important for employers to be aware. Employer drug testing programs continue to be an important part of maintaining a safe, productive and drug-free workplace.

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