I've been unemployed and job searching the past few weeks. I have a medical marijuana card which I stupidly utilized during this break. Now that I have hit my final interview, I'm a little concerned. I've quit for a while but know it's still in my system.

I know excuses don't matter in the workplace, and a failed UA means you're not getting hired. My question: So I'm flying out of state for this last interview and they mentioned they'll take care of the hr stuff there. Is it possible to have an onsite drug test or will they most likely order one for me in my home state when I return?

  • Has the process given you any indication that you're the only candidate? Are they in a hurry to fill this position? – Brian Apr 30 '15 at 15:28
  • @Brian Yes sir I'm the only candidate, though they are not in a big rush to fill the position. It's also a rather well known company so I have a feeling they must have implemented mandatory drug-screening. – Anthony Apr 30 '15 at 15:31
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    Is your reason for taking medical marijuana genuine? If it is, why would a company not accept that? (I'm from a country where no employer would dream of doing a drug test as part of the hiring procedure, so please bear with me) – DJClayworth Apr 30 '15 at 15:44
  • Seems like this depends entirely on the company, and such is not really possible for us to answer. – Alec Apr 30 '15 at 15:47
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    Finally, this is likely heavily dependent on the industry you are in--let alone the particular company. I simply don't think we can possibly answer this question without more details. – DA. Dec 8 '15 at 23:10

In contrast to another answer, I wouldn't count on it, at least not while you're there. They're going to fly you out to an interview and then say "oh hey go over here for this drug test before your flight back"?

I've actually had this exact situation come up... 3 out of the 4 jobs I took were in a different area than I was living at the time (2 out of state, 1 in a city 2 hours away). The drug test will probably come after you get an offer, and you can take it in your city. In my most recent case, the company they contracted with didn't have an office in my city, so they had me go to another company that they picked. This company sent the samples to their original company for the actual work.

  • Agreed. Drug tests cost the company money. They're not going to spend more money than they have to on you until you accept an offer. – DA. Dec 8 '15 at 23:12

I would count on it.

The answer though is it depends on the company you are applying to and the state where you are interviewing.

My company screens all candidates for certain positions. And none for others. I know for a fact that one of my colleagues has all "real" candidates take drug tests. These people are dealing with multimillion dollar FX contracts and one mess up can be devastating.

Also there are state laws that add some variance. Some states are more lax on drug testing while others make employers give you a conditional offer before they are allowed to test you. A quick google will give you the state drug info on the state you are going to.

If this company was giving you a drug test I can't see it happening how you propose - when you get back. No way I have an out of town employee coming in and give him a job offer while he completes drug test back home at some lab I don't know.

My advice - since you are out of town and since this company isn't in a huge rush. Stop. Think of a good excuse to delay the interview. Get tested at a local lab and don't go until you pass.

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    Glad I saw the "new answer to this question" pop up. That's precisely what I would have said. – Brian Apr 30 '15 at 15:36
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    +1. State laws in the USA can make this complicated if you apply outside your current state, and the state you live in has different laws about drug testing... this might result in having to travel to a state which does that test if needed (don't ask me how I know this). In this situation you would have been very thankful to have done the test during your onsite interview... – enderland Apr 30 '15 at 16:25
  • "marijuana is just as bad as cigarettes [citation doesn't exist]." -1 – easymoden00b Apr 30 '15 at 17:18
  • @easymoden00b - recent studies show chronic users are 6 times more likely to develop lung cancer. But it has nothing to do with question so I should just remove it. – blankip Apr 30 '15 at 17:35
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    @blankip Women smokers are 25.7 times more likely than women who never smoked to develop lung cancer. For men smokers, it’s 25 times the risk of men who never smoked. (Source: US Surgeon General Report 2014). #shrek'd – easymoden00b Apr 30 '15 at 17:57

It's really up to the employer how they choose to do this. But you can bet that the chances are they will test you in a contracted lab in their area. Are you sure you won't pass? Heavy marijuana use will linger for a while up to 30 days if used very very regularly. If you used it a few times a week, and don't use it currently you might be fine. I suggest testing yourself to see if you pass. You can order a home test at Drug Tests in Bulk


I'm going to take the opposite opinion of some others and tell you not to worry about it until it comes up. Go to the interview as planned, and don't bring it up at all. I would not expect them to surprise you with a urine test at the interview, but I wouldn't entirely rule it out either. I would more likely expect that they require it within the first week of work, or that you schedule one with a testing facility.

If at some point they tell you that they will be giving you a drug test, then be honest about it. Try something like this:

Actually, since medicinal marijuana is legal in my state, I have a medical marijuana card to help me treat some personal health issues. I know that it can be detectable up to XX days after consumption, so there is a slight chance that I would fail that portion of the test. I understand that marijuana is not legal in this state though, and I most certainly would commit to not using in the future. If there would be problems with my test coming back positive for marijuana right now, could we delay the test until a later date?

You want to be as factual and informed as possible. Know how may days it is possible to be detected. Know the laws in both states. Explain your illness if you feel comfortable. Show that you are a responsible legal user, not just some "pothead".

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    This is 15 years old, but I was asked to do a drug screen immediately after an out-of-state interview. The company had rented a car for me to use, and after passing the interview, I was given a form to take to a lab about 5 miles from the job site. – Wesley Long Dec 8 '15 at 21:18

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