Home Culture Under Legalization, Colorado Businesses Must Rethink Drug Testing Policies

Under Legalization, Colorado Businesses Must Rethink Drug Testing Policies


Voters in Colorado approved adult use marijuana legalization in November of 2012 and retail sales began New Year’s Day 2014. Since then, a lot has changed in the state as many people adjust to a new era. One major adjustment is the way in which business owners who are not in the legal cannabis industry treat prospective and current employees.

With Colorado’s unemployment level at a low 2.3%, those looking for workers are finding that they must be a little more lenient than in years past. “We’re finding that for employers, it’s such a tight labor market, that they can’t always afford to have a zero-tolerance approach to somebody’s off-duty marijuana use,” said Curtis Graves, information resource manager for the Mountain States Employers Council.

In other words, some business owners are no longer making off-hours marijuana use a disqualifying factor in someone’s employment. With so few workers available, many owners can’t afford to bar a large portion of the working population just because they might smoke some weed when they get home, as opposed to getting drunk.

“If you disqualified every person because of the use of marijuana, we would end up not having very many candidates to choose from,” said J Bretz, who runs a roofing company near Denver. He said that positive tests for drugs like cocaine and heroin are still an automatic disqualification.

Colorado’s legalization measure – Amendment 64 – specifically allowed employers to test for marijuana, and cannabis remains illegal on a federal level, which can open a business up to some legal issues. But that matters little to an employer who is desperately searching for people to keep their company up and running.

In an era when alcohol use rarely affects one’s job unless you’re just too drunk to get there on time or perform your duties, it’s not hard to envision a time when that would be true with marijuana. As long as you are reliable and do your job well, your employer has no reason to worry about whether you use cannabis or not. In the coming years, more and more companies will cease to make marijuana use an issue and will stop testing for it in drug screenings.

And when you think about it, the fact is that cannabis use should never have been an issue in the first place. No matter what your job, what does it matter if you smoked a joint the night before? How would something like that affect your performance the following day? How would marijuana being in your blood or urine affect your job at all?


  1. Keep on telling people what they want to hear instead of the truth. You must have based this on CPR’s lame article. There may be a little more give, but not much, and only for certain jobs. CPR’s main consultant for its article was pandering Ricardo Baca, former editor of the prohibitionist Denver Post’s profitable subsidiary, the Potabist; he would send a link to a advice on how to beat the test to prospective employees. This hardly portends the mass-acceptance of cannabis by employers in Colorado!

    Colorado did not legalize cannabis; the General Assembly of Idiots and Gov. Hack reacted against passage of Amendment 64 by making cannabis up to a level 1 drug felony in the legislative session immediately following passage (several defendants are facing eight-year minimum mandatory terms in State prison as a result); see SB13-250 and C.R.S. 18-18-406. All sales of cannabis across most of Colorado are felonies. Growing just seven (7) plants for personal use inside one’s own home is a felony. Under legislation passed this session (HB17-1220 and HB17-1221), medical marijuana patients growing what they need for medicine are declared felons and $6 million of tax revenue from the retail sale of cannabis in Denver will be used to pay rural cops to go door to door demanding to count plants inside people’s homes on the strength of neighbors’ denunciations of them as pot-growers. “Under Legalization [sic] …” — arrests for cannabis are climbing again; the report detailing arrests for 2015 is delayed (if not suppressed), but Prohibition is coming roaring back in Colorado!

  2. We are nowhere near legalization! Even the new “legal states” are still persecuting citizens for growing and using cannabis! They now are working out the details where they get taxes, fines, confiscations, and generally rake in cash from cannabis while still denying freedom to the individual in his own garden or even inside their own body! They are creating a system where the wealthy, the connected or the biggest bribers (and corporations) can make big payoffs and control the “legal” supply. All the while the working poor can’t use it without being persecuted on the roadways with DUI’s for using it days before (with no signs of inebriation necessary!) or can lose jobs , have children taken by the state from their custody and have probations pulled for testing positive to past use! One can not grow enough in their home to meet all their family needs or even their own requirements! Limits of six or seven plants or so, is the norm and some restrict that to less plants in bloom. The corporate types, the governmental authorities and the crooks are still divvying up the percentages and cash flowing from their control of cannabis, while the little guy still has to pay too much for his medicine, that he otherwise could grow at home or get from friends! Drug testing individuals for cannabis use should be banned entirely, at least until a fair and accurate test can be devised that measures the effects of intoxication at specific levels and correlating lengths of time since ingesting, that actually indicate debilitating intoxication effects at various lengths of time. I hope that in the future, if we as a people are successful in ending this prohibition of free gardens, we can punish the big and the small corporations and businesses that aided in persecuting us. We can begin this movement now! Let the big guys know we will consider their evil persecutions(drug testing for cannabis) when we spend our money! Lie when called to jury duty by the enemy of freedom (our current legal system) tell them you can and will follow their insipid instructions, then follow your rights as a free citizen to disregard unjust laws /instructions and refuse to convict anyone fighting for justice and freedom as per your sense of justice! When called to jury duty for a big corporation involved lawsuit , consider, do they test employees for pot? Do they contribute to anti cannabis groups or politicians? If they are guilty of supporting corporate prisons or their supporters , like wise, they are to be punished for this. Worker hurt and wants ten million dollars for hurting his back at work? Give him twenty million$ if you can! Likewise, reward companies or individuals that support freedom and hear their cases without prejudice. Remember, one not guilty vote at least, hangs the jury! Use what power we have in our hands by being activist jurors in secret! Remember to vote against that jerk that didn’t come out in support of freedom on cannabis issues or against private corporate prisons in the legislature or county commission! Go to school or church with a DEA agent or judge? Let them know how you feel in Sunday school or class! Tell them they are just like the KGB was for Stalin or the Brown Shirts were for Hitler! They are instruments for evil doing by supporting prohibition laws and all the injustice that follows that! The filth and blood on their hands stains their very souls and they need to repent and help free the people of this persecution! Drug testing at your business for cannabis? Hope your children are not persecuted and prosecuted for something that is unjust. Maybe they will be raped in prison or have their children taken away for a crime they are innocent of- that would be justice for you, as much as a tragedy for them. Drug testing fading away? Not really and certainly not quick enough!