Drug Testing | St. Louis Public Radio

Drug Testing

Cannabis flower grows at a recreational grow facility in Illinois. Sales of recreational marijuana started Illinois Jan 1.
Eric Schmid | St. Louis Public Radio

Employers in Missouri may face many of the same challenges surrounding legal recreational marijuana as their Illinois counterparts.

Possession and consumption of the drug without a medical card will still be illegal in Missouri in the new year. But there’s nothing limiting residents from crossing the Mississippi River and consuming marijuana legally in Illinois as of Jan. 1. 

Lawyer Benjamin Wesselschmidt explains the new recreational cannabis law at the St. Clair County Country Club on Nov. 21. Many employers are re-thinking their drug testing policies since recreational marijuana will be legal on Jan. 1, 2020.
Eric Schmid | St Louis Public Radio

BELLEVILLE — Ahead of the new year, local businesses and employers across Illinois are trying to determine how legal recreational marijuana will impact them. 

The law change, which came only six months ago, is forcing many employers to rethink how their workplaces handle drug policy and testing.

An airforce member recieves instructions on a drug test. After January 1st, Illinois employers cannot simply rely on a drug test to ensure drug free work environments.
Ashley Gardner | Shaw Air Force Base

BELLEVILLE — Recreational cannabis will be legal in Illinois in less than two months, and some employers are scrambling to understand what legalization will mean for their drug-free policies. 

Specifically, the new law pits an employee’s right to use marijuana recreationally on their own time against an employer’s ability to enforce drug-free policies under Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 13, 2013 - A federal judge has ruled that mandatory drug testing for students at Linn State Technical College is unconstitutional unless they are enrolled in certain programs where drug use could pose a safety hazard.

The 62-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey is the latest in a two-year legal battle between the college, which instituted the mandatory drug testing for all students, and students who say their constitutional rights have been violated.

Healthworkers test a village chief for lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, in the Ivory Coast.
Gary Weil | Washington University

Elephantiasis and river blindness are parasitic diseases straight out of a horror movie.

In both cases, insects bite humans and transmit tiny parasitic worms — which cause debilitating illnesses.

Washington University School of Medicine researchers are leading an international team in a long-term effort to eradicate the two diseases. The group recently received up to $24.7 million in grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to test the safety and effectiveness of several drug regimens in sub-Saharan Africa.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 28, 2013 - Questioning whether a student who is taking a course like drafting is really a danger to others, a federal judge has blocked most mandatory drug testing at Linn State Technical College. The school instituted the testing in the fall of 2011, saying that its students are training for fields in which they will operate heavy machinery and will be in positions where impairment by drugs could pose significant threats to public safety.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Questioning whether a student who is taking a course like drafting is really a danger to others, a federal judge has blocked most mandatory drug testing at Linn State Technical College.

The school instituted the testing in the fall of 2011, saying that its students are training for fields in which they will operate heavy machinery and will be in positions where impairment by drugs could pose significant threats to public safety.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 28, 2011 - For the lawyer pressing a lawsuit against mandatory drug testing of students at Linn State Technical College, a ruling this week by a federal judge in Missouri is part of a one-two punch.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey extended until Nov. 8 her earlier temporary restraining order blocking the drug tests that the college in central Missouri had instituted, scheduled to begin this fall for incoming students.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 17, 2011 - Before this school year began, Linn State Technical College didn't have a drug-testing program or a chapter of the organization Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Now it has both, though a lawsuit prompted a federal judge to suspend the testing, at least temporarily. The student chapter began after the school in central Missouri announced it would become the first college in the nation to test all incoming students for drugs, in what it called an effort to prepare them for a world of work where such tests are common.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 10, 2011 - The Missouri General Assembly has sent on to Gov. Jay Nixon a bill that requires drug testing for all work-eligible welfare recipients -- and bars benefits for three years for anyone who tests positive.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 9, 2011 - With the Missouri General Assembly finished with this session's two mandatory tasks -- the state budget and congressional redistricting -- legislators are heading into the final week with the future of a lot of legislation hanging in the balance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 11, 2010 - JEFFERSON CITY | A push to drug test recipients of a public aid program has gained momentum in the state Capitol -- but while 114 representatives were voting for the bill on Thursday, two senators filibustered a similar measure.

The House of Representatives passed the bill, which would impose drug testing on state elected officials and some recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.