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New Washington Pot Law: Will Workers Still Have to Pass A Drug Test?

The number one winner last Tuesday night—outside of the Obama campaign—were those advocating for marijuana. But the question remains: Will Washington residents still have to pass a drug test for work?


Last week’s election was historic on many fronts, not the least of which were victories for same-sex marriage and women’s rights. But some might argue that the number one winner last Tuesday night—outside of the Obama campaign—were those advocating for marijuana.
For the first time in US history, recreational pot was on ballots in two states, Colorado and Washington, and became legal in both states by rather wide margins. But with federal law still looming large, what do these state laws now mean for workers who currently have to pass a drug test to get or keep a job?
“I’ve had to take a drug test every year as long as I can remember for work, not including the random tests,” says Mark Sears of Beaverton, adding, “I don’t want to out myself but I’ll definitely be looking up some new facts this week now.”
There does not seem to be a clear answer regarding drug testing policies for local companies in Washington, but for those looking for answers, it is likely that national and international companies with offices in the state that do require drug testing will continue to, at least in the interim while what the new law means is still being defined.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports, “The referendum doesn’t enable state residents to grow marijuana legally without an additional license from the state, nor does it impede employers from drug testing workers.” So for now, if you live in Washington and have had to pass a drug test in the past, it’s best to be able to do so moving forward—at least until more is known, or something changes on the federal level.
Just as with alcohol consumption, new laws also create and enforce legal limits on marijuana exposure for those driving and operating heavy machinery in Washington—Seattle PI reports this legal limit as being five nanograms per milliliter. And, for those still scratching their heads, it is still illegal to consume marijuana in public in Washington—just as with public consumption of alcohol. 


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