How to Build a Better Marijuana Policy

A little more than 6 years ago, my American husband received a job offer in Switzerland. Being that I was working as a labor and employment law consultant in the United States, I asked him, “How are they doing the drug test? Do they contract with someone local? Does the US office of their company take care of it?”

He looked through the paperwork and contract (Swiss jobs come with contracts), and said, “There’s no drug test information.”

I knew this had to be a mistake. His job was for a pharmaceutical company. I worked in HR for a pharmaceutical company and knew full well that every one of our competitors did drug testing. I urged him to call the hiring company and get it straightened out right away–after all, we didn’t want to move the whole family across the ocean only to be told, “Oops, we forgot to do the drug test. You can’t start until we get the results back.” He held firm. “This is Switzerland,” he said, “the Swiss don’t make mistakes.”

It turns out that they don’t test for drugs regularly either. And while marijuana usage or possession is illegal, the consequence is a 100 frank ($104 USD) fine and nobody cares all that much.

To keep reading, click here: How to Build a Better Marijuana Policy

And as a side note, my editor at Inc asked me to do an article on this topic for today. I had to google to see why the date was important. Apparently I’m not hip enough to know about this 4/20 or 420 or whatever in the heck you whippersnappers use to keep it quiet from us old fuddie duddies. But, we’re on to you. Oh, yes, we are.

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12 thoughts on “How to Build a Better Marijuana Policy

  1. You definitely need to get out more, EHRL. 420 is hardly a secret. After all, I’m an old lady, and I knew about it! One even — occasionally — sees ads saying someone/thing is “420-friendly.”

    1. I kind of like my naive life. 🙂

      Seriously, I’m a middle aged Mormon woman. This doesn’t come up much in my life.

  2. Everyone needs a better drug test policy. I worked in pharmaceuticals too. In my time, there were two chemists and at least three other employees caught stealing drugs. They had passed the employment drug test. It’s a waste of money and frustrating for those of us with kidney disease and other chronic conditions.

    1. Yeah, the employment drug test means you haven’t done drugs within the time period covered by test. It doesn’t mean anything else.

      1. Not to mention good dealers do not use. Only low level punks are stupid enough to use the product. Because you make mistakes when you’re using. If you’re making a fortune reselling pain meds, or other things, taking drugs is crazy. You’ll get caught.

  3. Good post. I like your blog.
    You have a typo at the end. “Keep it quiet from us,” not “quite”
    Just FYI

  4. True story – my husband works in addiction counselling and as an experiment tried a urine test for heroin after eating a poppy seed muffin. Sure enough the test came back positive. Just goes to show tests don’t prove impairment and can result in false positive.

    1. Your husband’s experiment is very instructive. There are literally dozens of substances that can cause rapid urine drug screens to come back with a false positive. I’ve seen it in the ER. I don’t believe everything people tell me, but I’ve had patients with positive drug screens tell me that they never use street drugs of any kind, and I recognized it to be true.
      If I were to have a positive urine drug screen, I would definitely insist on more extensive testing. Or, we could just legalize marijuana already.

  5. I have never heard of an employer doing a drug test here in the uk and I work in a doctor surgery. My housemates (a nurse and a mental health care assistant) both smoke weed in the evenings or weekends.

    A couple months ago I told my boss and coworkers that we had been concerned about a carbon monoxide leak in our house but it was hard to tell cause i was exhausted anyway and my housemates were stoned. My boss laughed. The end.

    1. At my UK workplace, all operators of heavy plant (really big forklifts, cranes handling liquid metal etc.) have to take a safety critical medical every 3 years. There definitely is a drugs test included.

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