drug tests
WASHINGTON APRIL 2: Protesters rally in support of the legalization of marijuana in front of The White House in Washington DC on April 2, 2016 (Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com)

According to reports, more US workers are testing positive for illegal drugs. The Wall Street Journal reports, the number of workers who tested positive for marijuana increased by 4%. In addition, other drugs also rose.

What is causing the rise in positive drug tests? The Wall Street Journal explains, “The increases come against a backdrop of more liberal marijuana state laws and an apparent resurgence in the use of drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.”

Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the largest workplace drug testing labs in the country, conducted a study and found 4.2% of their 8.9 million drug tests came back positive, which is up from 4% in 2015. It is the highest rate of drug use among U.S. workers since 2004, when 4.5% of tests showed evidence of illicit drug use.

Currently, marijuana remains the most commonly used drug among United States workers. The drug was identified in 2.5% of all urine tests in 2016, which is up .1% in comparison to 2015.

“This year’s findings are remarkable because they show increased rates of drug positivity for the most common illicit drugs across virtually all drug test specimen types and in all testing populations,” said Barry Sample, PhD, senior director, science and technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions. “Our analysis suggests that employers committed to creating a safe, drug-free work environment should be alert to the potential for drug use among their workforce.”

This news comes after, the Canadian government released plans to legalize marijuana on July 2018. In addition, a December 2016 study found legalized recreational marijuana has changed the way teens view pot.