Despite the fact that The New York Times has taken a strong editorial position in favor of ending the failed federal prohibition on marijuana, the New York Times Company continues to unnecessarily drug test new employees for marijuana.
As recent editorials demonstrate, The Times editorial board and its publisher feel strongly about ending the practice of giving people life-damaging criminal records for marijuana, which can make it difficult to get a job, go to school or in some cases even vote.
The Times should bring its internal company policies into line with its views on the need to end legal discrimination against people who use marijuana. No one is saying that employers should be forced to deal with workers who are intoxicated at the office, but off-duty marijuana use doesn't negatively impact a journalist's ability to do his or her job. Traditional drug testing programs cannot determine whether someone is currently high; they merely test for metabolites that indicate whether someone used marijuana as far back as a month ago.
The Times should replace its outdated drug testing policy with a modern approach that focuses on impairment in the workplace, prioritizing job performance over the content of employees’ urine. What journalists and other employees do on their own time is their own business. The Times doesn’t concern itself with whether their writers have a drink after work. They should institute the same policy for marijuana.