Nate Cupps must be the unluckiest man in Colorado, get this, one year after landing his dream job Nate got fired for something he didn’t even know he did. You must be thinking “how is that possible?”
A weekend before the drug test that cost Nate his job, he and his friend went to a casino. After a night of no drinking, Cupps claims that he ate one of his friend’s candy that had been left out in the open and immediately went to sleep.
Forward a few days later, Cupps gets a call that notifies him that THC the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana had been found in his urine. He asked them to do another test that also came back positive.
The worst part is, the Federal Aviation Administration notified Cupps and Great Lakes, the airline he worked for that he could no longer fly.
Will Failed Drug Test Show On A Background Test?
What usually happens after an applicant or employee fails a drug test is the results are reported to the company that requested the test. Company policy determines what happens next.
The good news is, the results do not become a part of your public record meaning other employers won’t have access to it.
However, if your failed drug test results in a criminal conviction, or if parole or probation is revoked because of it, the failed drug test will show up in your public record meaning it can become a problem to get a job.
If you are let’s say a lawyer, pilot, doctor or if you hold any professional license, depending on state law and company policy, a failed drug test can cost you your license to practice and or job. Why?
On the federal level, it is still unlawful to smoke or ingest marijuana. As a consequence of that, using marijuana in a manner inconsistent with the Medical Marijuana Act violates the Drug Act. if you are a licensed professional, violating the drug act may result in license suspension.
What you should know about the Medical Marijuana Act (MMA)
MMA section 510 (4)’s
This provision states “MMA patient may be prohibited by an employer from performing any duty which could result in a public health or safety risk while under the influence of medical marijuana. The prohibition shall not be deemed an adverse employment decision even if the prohibiting results in financial harm for the patient”
Subsection 2103 (b)(2)
This section permits disciplinary actions against professionals whose medical marijuana use impairs public safety. It also prevents employers from allowing any worker to perform a job in violation of federal law.
“Under the influence” of marijuana
The MMA uses this term a lot if you are a professional and you undertake a task while “under the influence of”, your actions constitute professional misconduct, malpractice or negligence. For example, if you fly an aeroplane while under the influence of marijuana, you may face criminal or civil penalties. In simple terms, if you hold any professional license, you are not allowed to work while under the influence of weed.
Why Some Marijuana Users Get Caught
After you smoke or ingest marijuana, your body reacts to the drug. Common side effects associated with marijuana use are:
- Distorted senses
- Red eyes
- Delayed reaction times
- Poor muscle and limb coordination
If your employer notices any of the above symptoms, he or she may ask you to take a drug test. Refusing a drug test may sound like a good idea but if you are terminated because of your refusal there is not much you can do. On top of that, you may be denied unemployment benefits.
Are drug test administrators allowed to watch you pee?
It depends on state law and company policy. Although it is a violation of your privacy, drug test administrators are allowed to watch you pee. The reason for that is to prevent employees from cheating the system, for example, someone might try to sneak someone else’s sample.
How To Pass A Marijuana Test
The problem with weed is, THC can stay in your system for a very long time. For example, in urine, it is detectable for 30 or more days. The length of time THC stays in your system depends on your chosen method of consumption and habit. If you smoke or ingest cannabis daily, it will stay longer in your system.
The easiest and safest option you have is to give it time.
But what if you don’t have time, what if you have a drug test days or even hours away, what should you do?
Option 1: Use Someone Else’s Sample
If you are a marijuana user and you hold a professional license it is very important to have a home test kit, why? Testing yourself before a drug test will tell you exactly what will happen during the real drug test. That means that you can prepare for it.
One way to beat a drug test is to carry someone else’s urine to the test; alternatively, you can bring the whole person. The thing is, some testers check urine temperature to determine if you are trying to cheat. If your urine is not the right temperature, you may be asked to repeat the test or you may fail.
Because of that everything has to be perfect, for example, have your friend wait for you in the bathroom. When it’s your turn, go in and get your sample.
Another option you have is to purchase synthetic urine and store it right.
There are products such as the whizzinator that you can use to sneak in someone else’s sample..
Option 2: Dilute And Color
What happens after you consume lots of water?
Your urine turns clear, to a tester that may be a sign that you tampered with your urine. To avoid that situation what you have to do is drink lots of water and urine colorings such as niacin. If you do that, when you pee, your urine will look normal.
In simple terms, if you have a urine test coming up, drink lots of water and make sure that the color of your urine is normal.
Option 3: Detoxify
THC hides in fat cells, detoxifiers combined with exercise and lots of water flush it out. For this to work, you should start detoxifying at least one week before your drug test. You should also exercise and abstain from marijuana during that time.
Possible Defenses For Failed Drug Test
Drug tests are sometimes unreliable, that’s why some people get “false positive” results despite the fact that they have never used illegal drugs before. See the thing is, many legal substances and products can cause false positives. Some good examples are:
- NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, naproxen
- Nasal sprays
- Shampoos and other products containing hemp
- Poppy seeds
There is also the possibility of human error, what if the administrator made a mistake or what if you ingested marijuana without knowing it.
If you are confident that the result of your drug test is false, what you should do is ask for another test, but what if you fail that too?
In that case, The best option you have is to talk to an attorney near you. That’s because state laws are different and so are the defenses. The idea is to find an experienced attorney, present the facts, and he or she will tell you if there is a way out that is beneficial to you.
There no guarantee that you will win but it beats going down without a fight plus you may be able to keep the result from your record.
If you know that the results are accurate, it’s best not to fight it. You may end up spending lots of money on a fruitless endeavor. Remember, the law allows employers to fire you if you violate company policy.
Have You Ever Tested Positive For A Controlled Substance?
You will find this question on almost all job applications in the transportation industry, that’s because safety-sensitive positions such as truck driver are regulated by DOT. DOT stands for The Department of Transportation, the important question here is can a former employer disclose drug test results in a background check?
The bad news is, as long as the information is job related, accurate and truthful, your former employer is allowed to disclose drug test results to your new employer.
The good news is, because of the fear of getting sued. Some employers prefer not to give detailed responses about their former employees. They just give employment dates and job title.
How you choose to answer that question is up to you, but don’t forget, if someone finds out that you lied on your application, you may find yourself jobless again.
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