Amendment 64: Are drug-free businesses actually required to have drug tests?
Popiel says that the nuances of how the original law was written do not change the realities of his operations going forward.
"We are required to have a system in place to have a drug-free workplace," says Popiel. "If you say you have a drug-free workplace and you don't test at all, how can you say you have a drug-free workplace?"
He says that most companies -- and the entities that they do business with -- are going to see it that way, regardless of what the law directly mandates.
"It's just written so vague," he says. "How do you have a drug-free workplace without some sort of monitoring?"
Popiel says that he does drug tests on three separate occasions: They test when they are hiring people, when there is "reasonable suspicion" and when there's some sort of accident that causes an injury or has a specific dollar amount in terms of damage. In that latter category, he says his company hasn't had any accidents that require this kind of testing in a long time.
"I just don't see us changing," he says. "We do so much business with the federal government that it's not worth the risk of potentially losing the ability to do that business."
He notes that many companies do random drug testing, but he does not.
Business like his -- and Colorado residents in general -- need government officials to make it clear what's actually allowed, he says, given that, at the federal level, smoking marijuana recreationally remains illegal.
"The feds and the state -- they've got to clarify this," Popiel adds. "There's too many conflicting rules."
Sederberg, though, insists that regardless of a company's concerns, the law is clear. And there are alternatives to drug-testing, like having a very strong educational component on the policies of a company or the harms of drugs in the workplace. "An interesting question I would like to figure out is whether or not you could do drug testing and exclude marijuana?" he says.
Ultimately, Sederberg concludes, "In a perfect world, I'd also like to have an honest discussion on whether or not drug-testing for marijuana really does improve productivity or improve anything at all."
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