The national Drug Testing Index of 2017 found that Oregon had the country’s highest percentage of workplace drug tests that showed positive for cannabis for the third year in a row.
According to the index, culled from more than 10 million drug tests administered at workplaces throughout the country, fully 4.64 percent of Oregon's workplace drug tests in 2017 were positive for weed - up from 2016, which showed 4.5 percent and 2015 at 3.43 percent.
Clearly, Oregon’s rise in positive cannabis testing results are linked to the state’s July 2015 legalization of recreational cannabis for individuals over 21.
Cannabis positivity rates in general rose considerably in other states with legal recreational weed, according to the national analysis undertaken by Quest Diagnostics.
Still, Oregon held its own at number one. Massachusetts came in at number three with 3.56 percent of tests coming back as positive, Washington was sixth with 3.18 percent and Nevada and Colorado were 8th and 10th, both with just under 3 percent.
Some state employers, however, say Oregon's enthusiastic cannabis consumption might be turning into an issue, judging from comments made earlier this year by several state economists.
"One labor issue that continues to crop up is drug testing," said one, according to Willamette Week. “At least anecdotally, more firms are reporting trouble finding workers who can pass a drug test."
As such, some companies are opting to drop the THC part of drug testing altogether, according to The Denver Post.
“People cannot afford to take a hard line against off-duty marijuana usage if they want to hire” in Colorado, says one lawyer.
Marijuana testing - an extremely annoying part of job-hunting at most large American employers and companies for the past 30 years - excludes too many potential workers, experts say, at a time when filling jobs is more challenging than it’s been in nearly two decades.
In Oregon, as in other states where weed is legal, employers can still test employees for it and fire them, or decline to hire them, if they test positive.