Analysis of Drug Test Submission Data and Ethnicity

After normalizing our drug test submission data with a 2017 Ethnic Population Distribution Report put forth by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), which is derived from the US Census Bureau, it has been determined that if you are Black or African-American, then you are nearly 1.3 times more likely to be drug tested for any reason. This also includes increased rates of being “randomly” selected for a drug test. These discriminatory findings corroborate with the well established fact that on average, a Black person is nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a White person, even though both groups use marijuana at similar rates.

Furthermore, the drug test submission rates for all non-White people on Probation are markedly higher than their individual Overall submission rate counterparts, giving further credence to discriminatory arrest rates for people who are not White. Simply put, if you’re not White, then the odds of you getting “wrapped up in the system” is higher than normal, which results in the disproportionate amount of data we receive from these groups of people on Probation.

Likelihood of Being Drug Tested by Ethnicity


Change.org Petition - End Discrimination

Grouping Data by Standard Federal Regions

Continued analysis of our drug test submission data is represented by the Standard Federal Regions, as shown below. These regions are used by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We use it here to organize our drug test submission rates by region before breaking them down into their respective states.

Overview of Federal Regions and Ethnicity Breakdown

Representation of the data that follows adheres to these guidelines:

  • Ethnic groups are color coded
  • Data Bars with a straight edge border represents the ethnic population density reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation – annotated as KFF
  • Data Bars with a jagged edge border represents the ethnic drug test submission density sent to us through our Marijuana Drug Test Calculator – annotated as MJC
  • By ethnic color code, the KFF Data Bar is presented on the left when compared to our MJC Data Bar on the right.

If everyone were treated equally, what we should expect to see is that the ethnic representation of data sent to us should match the population densities that live in these areas. In other words, the color coded bar that represents our data on the right should match the corresponding population bar on the left. Clearly, this isn’t the case. In some regions, it appears that White people are drug tested more, and that may be true. However, in places where White people are drug tested more, it may also be the case that some employers refuse to hire non-White citizens.

In regions where racial discrimination lingers in the background, drug testing matters if you have dark skin. Below is a state-by-state breakdown of these regions.

Federal Region Breakdown & State-by-State Analysis

Region I: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Ethnic discrimination and drug testing appears to be neutral throughout this entire region.

Region I: State-by-State Breakdown

Region II: New Jersey and New York

Fairly neutral in this region except for in New Jersey where slightly more White people and less Black people get drug tested. This still may be the result of discrimination where White people are offered more job opportunities than Black people.

* Not Listed: Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Region II: State-by-State Breakdown

Region III: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia

Ethnic discrimination appears to be neutral throughout this region except for maybe Maryland where more White people are drug tested.

Region III: State-by-State Breakdown

Region IV: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee

As a whole, this region appears to be mostly neutral. However, do not be deceived. Ethnic discrimination is high in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee; and moderate in Georgia. There is clear evidence of “white privilege” in these states, where White people appear to be drug tested less while other ethnic groups are drug tested more. As a region, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina appear to even things out.

Region IV: State-by-State Breakdown

Region V: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Another northern region that is mostly neutral when it comes to drug testing. Some racial discrimination exists in Indiana; and there may be discrimination in Michigan where White people are offered more job opportunities than Black people.

Region V: State-by-State Breakdown

Region VI: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

Like Alabama, drug test discrimination is very high in Louisiana where there appears to be a “good-ol-boys club” and if you’re different, you’re not invited. Arkansas and Oklahoma have moderate drug test discrimination. New Mexico appears to drug test White people more often than other ethnic groups but again, this may be because White people have more job offers that exclude others (Native Americans). Texas doesn’t care who you are – you’re getting a drug test.

Region VI: State-by-State Breakdown

Region VII: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

With the exception of perhaps Iowa, this entire region is one of the most racist places a person can live. If you’re a Black person in Kansas, you will get a drug test along with your entire family and pet dog. Missouri and Nebraska are the same except they won’t drug test your dog.

Region VII: State-by-State Breakdown

Region VIII: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming

Drug test discrimination is nearly non-existent in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. But drug test discrimination is very high in Colorado and Utah across the board, where White people clearly do not get drug tested as often as other ethnic groups in these two states.

Region VIII: State-by-State Breakdown

Region IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada

This region is a mixed bag. Hawaii in one of the most non-discriminatory places when it comes to drug testing. Nevada is fairly neutral to perhaps low discrimination. Arizona has a moderate issue where White people are drug tested less while Black and Hispanic people are drug tested more. But California, having a population greater than the entire country of Canada, is highly discriminatory towards Black people. By shear volume of people, California ruins this entire region.

Region IX: State-by-State Breakdown

Region X: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

Oregon and Washington, making up the majority of this region are very neutral when it comes to drug testing. Idaho is moderately discriminatory towards Black people while Alaska is highly discriminatory towards the indigenous people living there.

Region X: State-by-State Breakdown

Korban Stone | Find Korban on LinkedIn

Founder & CEO of Marijuana Central and creator of the world's only data-driven cannabis drug test passing probability calculator, utilized by an international audience of millions. Subject matter expert and author of topics relating to the detection time of cannabis in the body, how drug testing impacts minorities, and more.