WASHINGTON — Marijuana and opioid use has been an acknowledged problem for many years in just about every industry, including tire retailing and auto service.
However, sometimes the problem can become apparent in startling ways. Ask Dick Nordness, executive director of the Northwest Tire Dealers Association (NWTDA).
Marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use in Oregon and Washington, which the NWTDA represents. However, what is legal in society and what is permissible in the workplace are two different things.
According to Mr. Nordness, an NWTDA member with multiple locations published advertisements for technicians at one of his stores. Five applicants were interviewed.
"Both the owner and the store manager agreed these applicants were well-qualified," he said. "But four of them failed the routine test for drug use, and the fifth one said voluntarily that he wouldn't pass."
The fifth candidate was apparently the only one who knew that marijuana lingers in the body for as long as 30 days, according to Mr. Nordness.
"Out of five applicants, they got nothing," he said.
Despite the pervasiveness of drug use in the U.S., the organizations contacted for this article said they do not have best practices in place to address marijuana and opioid use. Some, however, are considering them.
"Our board has talked about the issue, but we have not come to any conclusions," Mr. Nordness said. "We do consider this a problem, but we're at the beginning stages of taking a look at this."
Roy Littlefield IV, director of government affairs for the Tire Industry Association, said the same of TIA.
"We are currently working on a best practice that involves this workplace problem, and we plan to discuss it at our next board meeting," Mr. Littlefield said.
TIA is gathering information from all its dealers to gain insight into their current business practices, he said.
"Many TIA members have very strict guidelines and do significant drug testing, especially since many are in the transportation business," Mr. Littlefield said.