HOUSTON, Mo. A 65-year-old Houston man is out of a job for failing a drug test after he started using CBD oil.
Jim Root started using CBD oil for his arthritis about a year ago.
But his part-time job at the MFA feed store required a random drug test.
Root barely tested positive for marijuana and was let go.
Jim tells KOLR10 his manager fought to keep him, but the company has a zero-tolerance policy.
He said he took a different test to prove he has no THC in his system and there’s more to his test results.
“The D.O.T. test is not a complete, accurate test,” said Root, “it’s a urine analysis, it can’t differentiate between CBD and marijuana. A blood test does.”
Root said the Department of Transportation doesn’t use blood tests because they’re more expensive, “D.O.T. needs to change their standards because it depends on people’s jobs.”
He said he has support from his family, but his failed drug test has now caused permanent damage.
“Now if I get another job or apply for another job, I will be red flagged,” Root said, “it’s humiliating, it’s frustrating, I can’t tell you that I haven’t been very aggravated about what I’m having to go through. Some of the people that I’ve called, almost make you feel like you’re a villain, drug addict. When I called the counselor to get an appointment, I had to tell them that I needed to talk to somebody about substance abuse. That was difficult.”
Root will be meeting with a counselor next week to discuss the possibility of going to a drug abuse program, “how am I going to go to a drug rehab when I don’t have a drug problem?”
He’s also considering giving up his commercial drivers license which he’s had for over 35 years.
“If it continues to be a problem, I’d have to drop my CDL, and then I can work anywhere I want to because it’s a CDL drug test,” Root said, “but having this license for so long, and still willing to work and able to work, I would like to keep it.”
“Missouri is an at-will employment state, employers can terminate, discipline, discharge employees at their will,” said Jay Kirksey, a Bolivar attorney, “except if it’s because of your race, religion, age, national original, protected class, in other words, or, if you engage in a protected activity, and so public policy and protected activity, those are the only two exceptions to what’s called at-will employment.”
“I guess what I’m thinking of is a young person that would be in this situation would lose their job, lose their entire livelihood, I’m a retired individual, I do have some income. But it would be bad for a young person to lose their job, because of a drug test that’s inaccurate,” Root said.
Jim has even contacted Missouri state rep Robert Ross who said he wants to hear more about his case.
Although he has enough money to last for a while, Root said he’s telling his story because he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else.