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Weed Use at the Workplace Jumps Up

There has been a thirty percent increase in the number of people in Hawaii in pre-employment testing who get a positive reading for marijuana. This statistic compared the fourth quarter of 2010 with the fourth quarter of 2009.

Now, what that means is that somehow “about 3.5 percent” of the workers being tested had used marijuana whereas it was only “2.7 percent” in the year before. Using a sample size of between 7,000 and 10,000 tests, let’s choose the upper possibility. That would mean that instead of 270 people, there were now 350: an increase of 80 people.

The odd thing about this is that Carl Linden, the scientific director for toxicology for DLS doesn’t know why the results increased. This was “probably the highest” in the last decade. The reason he wonders about it is that he doesn’t think the statistics truly show how many people use marijuana, because most people looking for jobs simply abstain from using weed for a few days when they know they have a drug test coming up soon.

So, do the results mean that more people are smoking marijuana or just that more people are messing up and not preparing correctly for their drug test? In either case, it seems safe to assume that more people may be using drugs, although one does hope that the percentage of users is really as low as 3.5 percent of the population. With medical marijuana being legal for a long time already, it kind of seems unlikely.

Cocaine use was up to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent and the rates of opiate and amphetamines used stayed the same.

Another test that has been done by Diagnosic Laboratory Services, Inc. is the detection of synthetic urine. Apparently this can be purchases online by those hoping to deceive the drug tests. But DLS tests for it now, and they found that 2.3 percent submitted the fake stuff.


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