Colorado drug testing locations
Colorado drug testing laws
After the passage of Amendment 64 on November 6, 2012, marijuana became legal for medicinal and recreational purposes in the state of Colorado. This amendment went into effect in January of 2014, and since then, Colorado has become a hot spot for cannabis tourism, where people come here to purchase and use the marijuana available at various retail stores.
Despite the fact that marijuana is now legal, it is still illegal to be impaired while at work. If an employer suspects an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she can request a drug test be performed, especially if that impairment caused an accident or injury. Colorado’s Worker‘s Compensation law requires drug and alcohol tests to be conducted by a medical facility or a certified or licensed laboratory. A duplicate sample must be preserved and made available to the employee for purposes of a confirmatory test. If a test indicates the presence of drugs or alcohol, it is presumed that the employee was intoxicated and that the incident was due to the intoxication. |
Unemployment benefit disqualification
Unemployment benefits may be denied for off-the-job use of non-prescribed substances or alcohol if:
- It interferes with job performance;
- An employee uses or distributes drugs or alcohol at work;
- An employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol in his or her blood stream at a level of 0.04 or above.
Pre-employment drug testing
Employers who do pre-employment drug screening are required to have their drug-free policy printed on their application or to inform job applicants of the policy at their first interview. This is good for both employers and pot smokers. Employers win by making their drug policy clear to the applicant and by letting the candidate know that drugs are not tolerated in the company. Job applicants win as well because they have the choice to withdraw their applications and search for a company to work for that is more lenient or even accepting of marijuana use.
Most employers who want to be sure that their employees are drug free probably do not think that a marijuana smoker is going to come into their business and cause a major disruption. It is still within their rights to ban marijuana and all other drugs from being used in their workplace. After all, employment is by will and either party has the right to terminate it at any time. The employer has the right to keep the business free from drug users, even pot smokers, if that is his or her prerogative.
On November 7, 2000, almost 54% voters of Colorado voted in favor of Amendment 20. This amendment allows the use of marijuana for medicinal purpose. Now the patients could use it after a doctor’s written approval. According to this law, a patient may possess up to 2 ounces (56.69 grams) of medicinal marijuana and may grow as many as six marijuana plants (not more than three flowering plants at a time). Those patients who are caught with more than the allowed limit may argue about the “affirmative defense of medical necessity” but they are not protected under the law.
The doctors can recommend allowing their patients to have additional marijuana or grow additional plants, depending upon their specific medical needs. There are several diseases which are recognized for marijuana use in Colorado: cancer, chronic pain, chronic nervous system disorders, cachexia, epilepsy, and some disorders like glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, seizures, HIV and AIDS, nausea, and muscle spasticity. Furthermore, the patients cannot use the marijuana openly or in any place in plain public view. They must not drive any vehicle after using marijuana. In Colorado, medicinal marijuana cannot be sold in a general pharmacy, but only from a government recognized caregiver or a non-state-affiliated club known as a dispensary. These dispensaries offer a range of marijuana strains with different qualities. Some dispensaries even offer the seeds to the patients who want to grow the plant at their residence.
Amendment 64 was a controversial amendment, and it legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults older than 21. Now individuals can grow up to six marijuana plants (not more than three flowering plants) at a private residence. He will be the legal owner of that grown marijuana. He can also possess up to one ounce of marijuana while traveling and he can also give it as a gift to another adult 21 years or older. Amendment 64 also allows for licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities and retail stores. Tourists and visitors can purchase the marijuana and use it, but they may face persecution if they are found with marijuana in an adjacent state. The Denver airport has completely banned the possession of marijuana, but they have admitted that they have not charged a single person with possession, and they have never seized any marijuana after the ban came into effect.
Hair testing is a form of drug testing that is available to employers. Hair testing in Denver, Colorado, is popular with companies, as it can provide a drug use history over the past two or three months. Colorado is one of 14 states that have medical marijuana legalization. Hair drug testing is useful in indicating past drug use. It does not, like urine testing, provide evidence of the person being under the influence of drugs at the precise moment. Testing for alcohol cannot be done with hair testing, so another method must be used for this purpose. Hair follicle testing is done by cutting a small piece of hair, usually around one-eighth of an inch in diameter, or approximately 100 hairs, from the back of the head. The strands out are typically one and one-half inch long, and are cut as close to the scalp as possible. This is because the hair shafts closest to the scalp will reveal the latest drug use. Longer strands of hair can reveal many drugs that were used over the past 90 days. Hair shafts have drug molecules inside of them, and laboratories and companies who test the shaft, rather than the exterior surface of the hair, eliminate the possibility of drugs appearing from second-hand smoke from marijuana or crack.
Some people believe that hair can be altered to eliminate the drug evidence, but this is not possible since the drug molecules are deep within the hair shafts. The special clarifying shampoos and other chemicals that are sold only treat the external hair shaft. This is also why bleaching or dying the hair will not block a positive drug test either. If a person has no head hair, hair from the face or other body parts can be used.
Laboratory technicians are able to determine the drug history of a person as they examine the length of the hair sample. Since hair grows about one-half inch per month, it is fairly easy to tell when certain drugs were used. For example, if drug molecules are detected one inch down the hair shaft, then it can be safely assumed that a drug was used two months ago.
Hair tests are often the preferred drug test because urine tests can only detect methamphetamine, PCP, opiates, and cocaine for 48-72 hours after use. In contrast, a hair test will find these drugs that were used up to three months ago.
Colorado has similar laws regarding driving while impaired by any drugs. Although it took almost six attempts and three years to pass marijuana measures for intoxication. Eventually, lawmakers decided on a nanogram limit. Today, Colorado clarifies that the judge can convict a person of marijuana intoxication if they have more than five nanograms of THC per milliliter of