Now that recreational marijuana can legally be sold in Colorado, the drug testing laws need to change as well. But that may not be happening in the near future, so expect a lot of potential first time users not be in line at their local pot store.
Alcohol is a legal drug, and most employers don’t test for it. But using marijuana, which arguably is less damaging than alcohol, is still on the 5 panel drug drug screen used by most employers in Colorado.
This is going to get interesting. Some anti-marijuana supporters have suggested that companies will leave the state, afraid that new potential hires and current employers will be stoners.
That’s probably a bit of a stretch (well more than a bit in our opinion!), but what needs to happen here is that there needs to be a new random drug testing technology for marijuana that tells you if the person is using at the time of the test.
Marijuana is fat soluble (stores in body fat, which means you can’t just pee it away in a day after use), and it stays in your body anywhere from 1 week to 6 months depending on usage and body fat percentages, while alcohol leaves the body 24 hours after use.
This means that some raging alcoholic could have gone on a weekend drinking binge, show up for a urine drug test the next day, and pass it. While someone who may have not even used marijuana for a week can show up that same day and fail.
What’s needed is a spot marijuana drug test, one that does not detect past use, just like they have for alcohol. Nobody wants employees drunk or stoned at work, but light recreational marijuana users will fail a drug test, even if they haven’t used in some time.
With all that said, we applaud the citizens of Colorado for voting for the legalization of marijuana, it’s something that is long overdue. But what’s needed now is a functional marijuana drug test that only detects if a person is currently under the influence.
Until then, there probably won’t be too many new users of marijuana in Colorado out of fear of losing their current jobs, or being hired for a new one.
We would love to hear you comments on the new law and how it relates to drug testing.