PALM BEACH POST — At the Ed Morse empire of auto dealerships, testing for THC no longer is part of the hiring process.
Ed Morse Automotive Group this month stopped screening for marijuana metabolites before offering positions to job candidates, says Teddy Morse, chairman and chief executive of the 1,200-employee company. Ed Morse Automotive Group still tests for signs of cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs in the urine of prospective employees.
“I’m not condoning drug use,” Morse said in an interview. “But I don’t consider pot to be this evil substance. I don’t think it’s something we should test for anymore.”
Amid a nationwide wave of cannabis legalization, some employers have rethought their positions on pot. AutoNation, the Fort Lauderdale-based chain, revealed last year that it had quietly stopped testing for weed a few years ago.
“If you tested positive for marijuana, you couldn’t join our company,” AutoNation Chief Executive Mike Jackson told Bloomberg News. “At a certain point, we said, ‘You know what? That’s wrong.'”
Florida is one of many states that have legalized cannabis for medical use, and more than 190,000 patients are on the state registry of medical marijuana users. Some states, including California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington, have legalized weed entirely, and employers have begun to rethink whether marijuana use should disqualify new hires.
“Quite a number of our clients are no longer testing for THC,” said Joyce Chastain, a human resources consultant and former president of the HR Florida State Council. “They don’t want to lose good people.”
In the context of changing attitudes toward pot — and with unemployment at 50-year lows — even employers in staid industries like the auto business are loosening their rules about marijuana use.
“You’re seeing a lot of employers moving away from firing individuals just for having THC metabolites