Don’t Smoke Pot If You’re Looking For A Job

By: Elias Cobb, Quantix Recruiting Manager

C’mon, do I really need to even write an entire blog posting on this? I would think the title would say it all. However, as marijuana laws change throughout the U.S., it’s a subject that I don’t think everyone understands fully.

Full disclosure: I’m not a certified HR expert, nor do I have some sort of inside legal information. Nor do I smoke or ingest marijuana. However, I am a recruiter in Colorado, ground zero for pot laws, and we’ve run into this issue several times with several clients. No, not one of the candidates who tested positive for marijuana got the job.

Image Credit: Weedist

Image Credit: Weedist

To be blunt: If you’re looking for a job, QUIT SMOKING POT! I’m not sure I can make that point any more clear. There are a few reasons why you need to do this, even if you reside in a state where marijuana is legal.

  1. Marijuana is NOT legal on the federal level. Many companies will use this as their reasoning to continue to drug test new employees. And without fail, marijuana in your system is a fail.
  2. Medical marijuana, at least from an employer’s perspective, is not considered a prescription. (Exception would be if you have an actual prescription from a doctor, not just the medical marijuana card.) Your test will still be considered a fail even if you have a medical marijuana card. There may be some employers who run counter to this, but I have yet to run into one.
  3. Marijuana stays in your system a LOT longer than alcohol. Yes, in Colorado and two other states (at this time) recreational marijuana is every bit as legal as alcohol. But consider this: If you showed up for your drug test drunk, do you think you would get the job? The problem with marijuana is that it stays in your system, and no one knows when you ingested it last.
  4. Many companies only drug test before you take the job. Obviously you would want to know your employer’s testing policy before you start back up, but most of the clients for whom I work only test once; right before you start. (Note: I’m not advocating smoking pot once you get a new job!!)

You won’t always know which companies require a drug test to take the job. Sometimes you’ll be notified about it when you receive an offer letter. At that point it’s too late in the game to stop. I can’t speak to the effectiveness of available detox kits, but if it were me, I’d just stop smoking/ingesting marijuana until I was on the job and working.

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