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.

Yes on 64 Watch Party.jpeg
Photo by Brandon Marshall
An A64 supporter on Election Day.

"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."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Boulder DA to take no action in activist's Amendment 64 complaint"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.

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41 comments
420_All_Day
420_All_Day

I think it's a shame that in today's world a person can lose their job and livelihood from smoking a simple marijuana joint. This is why when ever I have a drug test I visit these guys:

http://www.passdrugtestsfast.com

The customer service is great! Their products are reasonably priced and their products work if you use them correctly.

dale
dale

We simply no longer test for pot at our office. 

stevebeast
stevebeast

I think we could solve this problem real easily. QUIT DOING BUSINESS WITH COMPANIES THAT DO DRUG TESTING. mock them, shun them, and drive them from our city,

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

For all the weenie womper nay sayers, there will be private cannabis smoking lounges, large grows are right around the corner, tourists from anywhere in the world will be able to purchase and use cannabis.  Here is the video of last nights marijuana business symposium: 

 

http://youtu.be/u1Ohyryq5Y8 

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

(6) Employers, driving, minors and control of property.             (a) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED TO REQUIRE AN EMPLOYER TO PERMIT OR ACCOMMODATE THE USE, CONSUMPTION, POSSESSION, TRANSFER, DISPLAY, TRANSPORTATION, SALE OR GROWING OF MARIJUANA IN THE WORKPLACE OR TO AFFECT THE ABILITY OF EMPLOYERS TO HAVE POLICIES RESTRICTING THE USE OF MARIJUANA BY EMPLOYEES.Here is the language of the Amendment.  So, it is your right to have your employer to determin your right.  Is that what you people think is freedom?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

So Stoners -- would you actually want your Pilot or Surgeon to be high on the job?

 

HipTip: Colorado is an "at will" employment law state, which means that employers can fire or hire anyone for any* reason or no reason if they desire. They can also set whatever employment standards they desire.

 

Why hire a clueless semi-literate stoner-slacker when there are sooooo many better qualified sober candidates for the job? ... same goes for lowlife tobacco addicts, who need them?

 

* excepting the constitutionally protected categories of race, religion, national origin, etc.

.

 

wtfk
wtfk

"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?"

 

Umm...IN THE WORKPLACE? Just because someone HAD it in their body RECENTLY doesn't mean it's in the workplace. Either search your workers for the substances in question (NOT preferred) or make them assert (an affidavit) they they will not have it in the workplace.

 

One more reminder--the cannabis test does not test for cannabis--it tests for "metabolites." Thus, testing positive does not mean they had it in their system when tested.

wtfk
wtfk

So, it sounds like the smart thing to do is only test for the drugs that "matter" or don't test at all, perhaps unless there's a performance issue (but performance should be reason enough for action by itself, without going there.)

oshuncommunity
oshuncommunity

Ugh. Come on. This guy is gutless. ---- I'm sure someone commented on the statement where he wonders (paraphrased) 'if drug tests could exclude weed'. That, for a ton of obvious reasons is one of the dumbest things I will read today.

 

Do whatever you want business man. All you have to do is put up a sign that says, 'We test for weed and all other 'drugs' randomly.' ---- That's your right as a business owner. 

 

Even though it's a dick move. That's your right as a business owner. And if you're still worried, you can move. That's also your right.

hippie19623
hippie19623

Take a look at the insurance companies.these are the people that have made mandatory Drug testing .thay know that a larg majority of the people smoke pot or take a pill that was not perscribed to them. the insurance companies are making millions of dollars off of this and put it in the pocket

wtfk
wtfk

 @stevebeast Good luck with that. Most think the feds require it, and you probably aren't going to change their minds with threats of a boycott.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @stevebeast So you only buying your groceries from the corner convenience store now?

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc"tourists from anywhere in the world will be able to purchase and use cannabis."

 

They can purchase and use marijuana now ... in their home town ... like they've been doing forever. No need to travel 1000s of miles just to purchase a pathetic ounce.

 

 

 @tutonehcc   "there will be private cannabis smoking lounges"

 

They exist now -- in Parents' basements all across the U$A!

 

hth.

 

wtfk
wtfk

 @CoreyDonahue In a word, Yes. Contracts are a meeting of the minds. This means you can have your requirements for being employed, and they can have their requirements for employing you. Fortunately, we're in a state that respects that.

wtfk
wtfk

 @DonkeyHotay Good thing someone who occasionally enjoys pot isn't necessarily a stoner and isn't necessarily partaking on the job. I'm not paranoid about it, as you apparently are.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay I would not have a problem with my surgeon being high on the job, as far as the pilot being high on the job, it's a bit of a pun not intended....

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay In the 90's I traveled to Colorado because I heard the cannabis was really good.  I moved here shortly after because it is my favorite place to smoke pot and get high.  I'm sure I'm not alone.  People from all over the world want to come to Colorado and smoke some high quality mountain grown cannabis that they've always heard about and now can legally purchase and enjoy!  Let's all get high and have fun!

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

 @CoreyDonahue Rob Corry explains that A64 does in fact allow for Industrial Hemp large scale operations.  The amendment says that any cannabis with less than 3% THC isn't considered marijuana at all, thus industrial hemp isn't marijuana. 

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

 @CoreyDonahue you should really watch the video, I live streamed this last night, and then converted it to youTube for again all the naysayers to watch and hear what's really going on

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @wtfk  @CoreyDonahue 

 

In Colorado, employees slave away at the will of their employers.

 

The Employer can fire them for any reason, or no reason, at any time.

 

hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @tutonehcc " I would not have a problem with my surgeon being high on the job"

 

Explains much about your current condition.

.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @wtfk 

 

Still waiting for you to tell us how Surrendering Total Control of Marijuana to BIG GOVERNMENT Regulators, leaving 99.9% of CRIMINAL Prohibitions against Marijuana in State Law, and adding $40,000,000.00+ in NEW TAXES fits "principled" Libertarian Policy ... or even unprincipled Libertarian policy.

 

Be specific, and show your work.

 

LOL!

wtfk
wtfk

 @DonkeyHotay  Please cite any lack of principle in the post. It points out that corporations do the government's bidding, without really questioning, when it comes to how they treat their workers. I'm sorry you're unable to grasp that.

chris
chris

 @DonkeyHotay  @tutonehcc This is going to be awesome! I'm so proud of our state. No coincidence that our state song is "Rocky Mountain High"!

Love Love Love

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @tutonehcc "In the 90's I traveled to Colorado because I heard the cannabis was really good."

 

You should have kept going to the Golden Triangle in California.

 

You = the best reason to know that marijuana "tourism" won't happen.

 

 

 

 

zach_furns
zach_furns

@DonkeyHotay So you really like bashing on Colorado residents in general don't you? Calling a majority of us idiots, fools, and stupid stoners doesn't do much for you. Honestly it just makes select people want to find you to show how things go when you run your mouth and throw everyone under the same stereotype.

Kevins_Mom
Kevins_Mom

@tutonehcc @CoreyDonahue Rob Corey? lol

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @CoreyDonahue  @tutonehcc 

 

A64 = written by idiots, for fools and tools too stupid to read, much less comprehend what it proposed.

 

 

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

 @tutonehcc (j) NOT LATER THAN JULY 1, 2014, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL ENACT LEGISLATION GOVERNING THE CULTIVATION, PROCESSING AND SALE OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP.The state has to enact legislation regarding hemp.  And the proponents said, ¨we hope they don´t outlaw hemp cultivation, but yes this language allows them to outlaw hemp cultivation.¨ Rob was not at the meeting he does not know what he is talking about he is just looking to make a buck.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

 @tutonehcc You should have been in all the meeting that the proponents had with the State of Colorado, the Supreme Court Challanges to A64 or just read it and then you would know what´s going on.  I don´t need people to blow smoke up my ass I read and understand what A64 says and does.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @wtfk  So stoners can QUIT if they don't like their employer's drug policy.

 

Ain't freedom great?

 

.

wtfk
wtfk

 @DonkeyHotay  ...and yes, supporting that is also a principled libertarian position.

wtfk
wtfk

 @DonkeyHotay  Just like the employee can leave for any reason, or no reason, at any time. It's a contract of equals. I'm sorry you suck.

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