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Workplace Impairment and Marijuana in California

As marijuana becomes legalized for both medicinal and recreational use, driving and workplace laws related to cannabis continue to change following this legalization. Just a few months ago, California signed a statute which protects employees and applicants who use marijuana outside of the workplace, following the lead of many other states and cities.

This statue, AB 2188 affects California law relating to cannabis and the workplace. For one, AB 2188 determines that drug tests which test for marijuana use anytime in the past few weeks are ineffective, as they do not determine current impairment at work.

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against any individual who chooses to use marijuana outside of the workplace. However, they may “use scientifically valid drug tests conducted through methods that screen for current impairment,” such as Otorize, “rather than for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites since those metabolites are stored in the body and do not indicate current impairment,” such as urine, blood, or saliva tests.

AB 2188 still does not allow employees to be impaired at the workplace, which is where scientifically proven current impairment tests like Otorize have significant utility. Because employees are allowed to use cannabis outside of the workplace, the sole focus for impairment tests is testing for impairment at that moment in time, rather than previous usage.

For alcohol, this can be done through the use of a breathalyzer, although breathalyzers can be inaccurate and are expensive to maintain. For marijuana, blood, urine, and saliva tests do not suffice, as they detect cannabis use anytime over a couple of weeks, rather than the present time.

Otorize is a scientifically proven solution which offers live impairment results for any substance, not just alcohol and marijuana. It is low-cost, easily implementable, and completely electronic. It delivers results in 5 seconds and is entirely non-invasive.

As companies are required to implement these new workplace measures, which they must complete by January 1, 2024, they should look for solutions like Otorize, in order to protect employee rights while keeping the workplace free from impairment each day.



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