Workers' marijuana use drops
A testing firm calls it the most significant drop in two years
Marijuana use by job applicants and employees dropped for the first time this year, according to the latest statistics released by Diagnostic Laboratory Services, the state's largest drug testing company.
Of the 7,739 job applicants and employees tested in the first three months of 2006, 1.4 percent tested positive for marijuana use compared to 2.6 percent in the last three months of 2005. It is the most significant drop DLS has seen since it started keeping quarterly reports two years ago, said Carl Linden, DLS scientific director.
"It would be nice if it continues down. But we'll have to wait until next quarter to see if it ticks back up," he said.
The drop could be seasonal because although the number of people testing positive for marijuana use went up in the first three months of 2005, the increase was not as high as other quarters, Linden said.
Crystal methamphetamine use also dropped to 1.5 percent so far this year compared to 2 percent at the end of last year.
Cocaine use increased to 0.5 percent from 0.4 percent and the use of opiates or prescription drugs stayed about the same at 0.8 percent, according to DLS statistics.
DLS handles drug testing for about 700 local employers, including government agencies, the courts and private businesses.