Positive Marijuana Drug Tests in the American Workforce Hit a 25-Year High A new report found that 4.3% of American workers tested positive for marijuana in 2022, the highest level since 1997.
With the widespread legalization of marijuana nationwide, more American workers are producing positive drug tests in screenings.
A new report by Cision found that, in 2022, 4.3% of American workers tested positive for marijuana — up from 3.9% in 2021 and the highest level in 25 years. Those numbers rise even more in states where recreational marijuana is legal (5.7%).
Additionally, the number of workers who tested positive for the drug following an on-the-job accident rose to 7.3%, tripling since 2012.
"Intoxicating cannabis products, including marijuana, can have a major impact on safety at work and have been proven to slow reaction time, impact memory, and impair skills essential to driving," Katie Mueller, a senior program manager at the National Safety Council focusing on cannabis safety, said in the report. "State legalization of the drug creates new challenges for employers."
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Across all industries, marijuana positivity was highest in the retail, accommodation, and food service sectors at 8.1%.
The report also found that positive drug tests across all substances was 4.6% in 2022, the highest since 2001. The data notes marijuana as the main driver in the increase, with amphetamines as a close second. From 2012 to 2021, the number of Americans who tested positive for amphetamines rose by 7.4%, according to Quest Diagnostics. The report also found that 49% of individuals tested showed signs of prescription drug misuse of controlled medications.
"The increase in amphetamines positivity is also notable, given the addictive potential and health risks associated with this class of drugs," Keith Ward, general manager and vice president for employer solutions at Quest Diagnostics said in the Cision report.