However legal weed may be in some states, employers can still use their discretion when it comes to allowing employees to use cannabis. We’re not talking on the job consumption, but personal consumption off the clock.
People who use cannabis in weed-friendly states (whether medicinally or recreationally) can still be fired if their employer “just says no.”
AutoNation, one of the largest car dealerships in the US, is a company that’s decided to “just say yes” instead.
AutoNation has had a strict no-drug policy since the company was founded in 1996. Fail a drug test, no job. For over 20 years, this policy has included cannabis. Recently, cannabis was removed from AutoNation’s drug test protocol.
According to AutoNation CEO, Mike Jackson, “If you tested positive for marijuana, you couldn’t join our company. At a certain point, we said, ‘You know what? That’s wrong.’”
Recent polls continually reveal that Americans are more accepting of pot than ever before. Marijuana’s gone mainstream, and companies like AutoNation are beginning to recognize this.
John Challenger is the co-founder of Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, an employment firm in Chicago. “Companies recognize that they don’t screen for alcohol, so why would they do it for pot? As the war for talent grows and gets fiercer, it makes no sense to rule out a whole segment of candidates on something that just is no longer relevant.”
AutoNation apparently feels the same. If a prospective employee now tests positive for pot, they will still be hired. The company however, is clear that other drugs will not be tolerated. Test positive for cocaine, meth, heroin, and other illicit drugs and your prospects for employment go out the window.
The shift in AutoNation’s policy is one that marks the changing attitudes towards cannabis throughout the US. While cannabis still remains illegal at the federal level, more and more are beginning to reject these outdated policies and come up with current ones of their own.