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Pre-screening for marijuana still weeding out job candidates; could that change?

Marijuana use may be hurting some workers from getting a job. Could it change?

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Once recreational cannabis became legal in New York State, many employers started to review their job pre-screening criteria.

Attorney Aleece Burgio sits on the New York State Bar Association's Cannabis Committee. She said, "A lot of employers are kind of playing catch up right now on what they need to do to change their policies for pre-employment testing for their employees for marijuana. Things have changed, and it's not the same as it was five months ago."

Burgio said attorneys are making sure to inform clients, who are employers, that pretesting for marijuana "just isn't really flying anymore."

She said "employers aren't really pre-testing anymore, unless they have a federal contract, or it would violate any type of federal law for them to perform their duties and their business."

According to The Drive.Com  and The Detroit Free Press, automakers such as General Motors are finding that potential employees are failing drug tests that screen for cannabis. GM, like many companies, don't allow employees to use marijuana. 

Union leaders in Buffalo believe that could soon change.

The new cannabis law in New York amended the labor law and added marijuana as a product you can consume off-work hours.

"We're going to start seeing marijuana be treated like alcohol. I think that's how people are making this a parallel issue," Burgio said.

"If you're drinking on a Thursday you can still go to work on a Friday, if you're smoking weed on a Thursday, you can go to work Friday the difference is when you're testing for marijuana it stays in your system for so long, it doesn't mean you're impaired."

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