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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2019

CONTACT: 
Colton Grace
Colton@learnaboutsam.org
(864)-492-6719

BREAKING: New Study Highlights Massive Increase in Workplace Marijuana Positivity Rates in "Legal" States

(Alexandria, VA) - Today, an analysis of 10 million drug samples by Quest Diagnostics found that states that have "legalized" the use of marijuana have seen massive increases in workforce positivity since legalization. Oregon has seen a 63% increase, Nevada has seen a 55% increase, and Colorado has seen a 47% increase. All states that have implemented legal sales far outstrip the national average of 2.3%. Overall workplace positivity rates rose 10% last year while positivity rates in safety-sensitive workers, such as airline pilots and nuclear power plant employees, increased 5%.
 
"While rates of drug positivity have mostly fallen over the last few decades, marijuana use has risen as legalization efforts have perpetuated the idea that pot use is safe, and state sanctioned," said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. "These numbers are even more disturbing when one takes into consideration the fact that many employers are beginning to forego drug testing of their employees as drug use becomes more widespread."
 
Furthermore, Quest Diagnostics noted that 4.4% of the samples contained traces of both legal and illegal substances such as marijuana, prescription opioids and other drugs. This is the highest rate of drug positivity since 2004 and continues a six-year upward trajectory in marijuana positivity in the U.S. workforce.
 
"Our in-depth analysis shows that marijuana is not only present in our workforce, but use continues to increase," said Barry Sample, PhD, senior director, science and technology for Quest Diagnostics in a  press release . "As marijuana policy changes, and employers consider strategies to protect their employees, customers and general public, employers should weigh the risks that drug use, including marijuana, poses to their business."
 
"Lawmakers in states considering legalization must look at these numbers, consider the risk of future tragic circumstances in the workforce, and ask themselves if the juice is worth the squeeze," continued Dr. Sabet. "Do we really think our country will benefit from our workforce becoming increasingly more impaired? It is time to end this failed experiment of pot legalization."


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About SAM:

Smart Approaches to Marijuana  (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states. 

Evidence shows that marijuana - which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades - is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen  a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.

Marijuana is not a harmless drug. View the stories of its victims here.

For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit  www.learnaboutsam.org