Over the last 20 years, several scientists have theorized that legalizing medical marijuana would dramatically reduce opioid deaths because patients in pain would have an alternative to the incredibly addictive pharmaceuticals. Now, with 33 states allowing medical marijuana, a new study says the evidence does not support the claims. In fact, they seem to prove the exact opposite. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (P.N.A.S.) looked at data through 2017 and found that the legalization laws actually correspond to a 23% increase in opioid related deaths. While opioid deaths did slow during the initial survey, P.N.A.S. scientists say other things, like expanded treatment for overdoses and tougher laws regulating the drug’s distribution, probably had more impact than the availability of marijuana. In fact, many researchers are casting doubt on the very idea that marijuana can act as a substitute for opioids, and in some cases say its use leads people to consume even higher doses of opioids.
Nevada has become the first state in the nation to prohibit employers from using a positive marijuana test as a reason not to hire someone. Governor Steve Sisolak signed this into law on June 5th. It goes into effect at the beginning of next year. Firefighters, EMTs and safety sensitive employees are exempt, but others who fail a marijuana test will be allowed to submit to an additional test and use the results to override the failed screen. The governor says one of the reasons he signed the legislation is because they want the state’s legal cannabis industry to flourish, but it can’t if those who partake can’t get and keep jobs.
Ride-share companies have spent a couple years in the harsh glare of the background screening spotlight. Now, it seems the next target of distrust in the growing “trust economy” is coming into focus. A Grub Hub driver was caught stealing a tip jar from a Michigan restaurant while waiting to pick up a delivery. When the police took a look at her criminal history, they found a long list of infractions including assault and battery, theft, drug deals, and leaving the scene of an accident. The restaurant owner felt this woman was a threat to his customers and his employees — not to mention the fact that she was going to customers’ homes. The company website says all employees must pass a background check as well as submit to periodic checks while they are on the job. There was no explanation as to how this woman was able to get hired. You can be sure a lot of the eyes that have been trained on Uber and Lyft will now start taking a harder look at these other on-demand industries.
Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.