The American workforce failed drug tests at the highest rate in nearly two decades last year, according to new data released this week.
That finding comes via Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest providers of drug tests, which said that 2019 was a 16 year high in workforce drug positivity. “Positivity rates in the combined U.S. workforce increased in urine drug tests, climbing to the highest level since 2003 (4.5%) and more than 28% percent higher than the thirty-year low of 3.5 percent recorded between 2010 and 2012,” Quest said in a press release on Tuesday.
Notably, Quest said that last year saw “dramatic increases in positivity for cocaine and methamphetamine as well as marijuana.” Cannabis laws, of course, have changed considerably over the last decade on the local level, with a number of states and cities moving toward decriminalization or outright legalization. Medical marijuana, meanwhile, is legal in more than 30 states.
But pot remains banned on the federal level, and some employers continue to test for it. Barry Sample, PhD, senior director of science and technology, for Quest Diagnostics, said that marijuana “continues to be an enduring presence in the U.S. workforce.”
“Changing attitudes toward its use could