American Society of Employers (ASE) releases preliminary results to its drug testing and marijuana legalization survey
November 27, 2018
Employers are confident in responding to new marijuana law
The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released a new survey around the legalization of Marijuana in Michigan – its Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey. The survey results were released by ASE President & CEO, Mary E. Corrado.
“ASE has reacted swiftly to this new law with this survey as well as several briefings for our members,” stated Corrado. “We don’t expect employers to make any sweeping changes to their drug policies and our preliminary results confirm that.”
Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by a vote of 56% to 44%. What does that mean for Michigan employers? The preliminary data from ASE’s Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey provides insight into employers’ first thoughts on where their policies and practices currently stand and what changes, if any, they are considering.
183 organizations from across Michigan have participated in ASE’s Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey. 66% of these organizations are located in the metro Detroit region. 90% of the organizations that responded have 1-500 employees, and nearly 66% of the respondents are classified as manufacturers.
68% of employers have confidence that their organizations’ policies will be able to successfully address their employees’ marijuana usage. Additional insights include:
15% of employers will likely change their policies, while 51% of employers will not.
Of those contemplating change, 42% will remove marijuana testing from their policies altogether, and 31% will ignore any positive marijuana results.
Similar to the stance taken with drug testing policies, half of surveyed employers will not consider making changes to their workplace drug or substance abuse polices/practices. 36% remain unsure, and only 14% will consider making a change.
Although the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act has triggered much interest amongst businesses in Michigan, employers feel confident that their current policies and practices are equipped to handle this new law. “ASE recommends that employers treat marijuana similar to how they treat the use of alcohol amongst employees. Any substance abuse policies should refer to working while under the influence of marijuana, since it will now be a legal substance similar to alcohol,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President & CEO. “We don’t advise employers to alter their current polices at this time.”
Some additional points to consider:
Workers’ Compensation – Employers will have to consider the impact that their drug testing policies may have on Workers’ Compensation premiums. The removal of marijuana testing could lead to hesitation from the carrier to provide the best rates. This will most certainly lead to higher premiums.
Medical Review Officer – When conducting a drug test, results should be certified by a Medical Review Officer who will analyze and validate the results.
Safety Sensitive Positions – If an employee is hired into a safety sensitive position, it would be beneficial to continue drug testing, including marijuana.