More White Collar Workers Are Getting High These Days … But Is That A Bad Thing?

New laws and looser corporate restrictions are ushering in a new age for pot. More White Collar Workers Are Getting High These Days … But Is That A Bad Thing? Giphy

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It wasn’t that long ago that smoking weed was seen almost exclusively as the pastime of slackers and bohemians. Over the past decade or so, however, that perception has radically changed.

Many states not only permit cannabis sales for medicinal purposes, but also just for recreational use. And a growing number of major companies are cool with employees who choose to toke (off the clock, of course).

A substantial spike

A combination of drug test analytics and self-reported statistics shows that the rate has increased more than you might have suspected.

Here are some highlights:

  • In just the year between 2022 and 2023, positive marijuana tests in the finance and insurance industries jumped by almost 36%.
  • Between 2008 and 2022, per capita marijuana use in general more than doubled.
  • During the same years, the self-reported number of days people smoked weed increased by a whopping 218%.
  • More Americans currently say they regularly smoke weed than admit frequently drinking alcohol.

There are clearly some concerns about people in high-stakes industries showing up to work stoned. But is it really a big deal if white-collar workers unwind with a joint during their free time?

After all, we don’t want our insurance agents getting drunk on the job, but we’re probably OK with them having a happy hour cocktail.

Corporations weigh in

It can be tricky for national and international companies to regulate marijuana use since laws vary by jurisdiction. But many major corporations are significantly rolling back their prohibitions.

For its part, Amazon has eliminated pre-employment tests for the drug, explaining that it “allows us to expand our applicant pool.”

Human resources consultant Niki Ramirez said the trend is likely to continue, concluding: “Policies have become more relaxed, and if they haven't then employers are hearing about it from the candidates.”

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 28th, 2024
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