Marijuana: Failed drug test rate highest in five years

Categories: Marijuana

marijuana joint close up smoking 205x205.jpg
After the passage of Amendment 64, which allows Colorado adults age 21 and over to use and possess small amounts of marijuana, opponents of the measure lamented about all manner of potential societal harm, including possible negative impact on employment and job productivity.

Now, such critics have new ammunition with which to make their case -- a study that shows the percentage of people failing drug tests is at its highest point in five years.

The analysis, conducted by Quest Diagnostics at the request of the Huffington Post, doesn't measure the performance of job seekers post A64. According to HuffPo, the data analyzed dates from the first six months of 2012. Using those figures, techs concluded that "the rate of positive results for pre-employment urine screening increased by 5.7 percent since 2011" and is now at levels not seen since 2007.

This is not to suggest that the numbers are overwhelming. Of the 3.4 million urine tests analyzed, 2 percent spiked as a result of pot use -- more than double the percentage for amphetamines, the second most flagged substance at 0.86 percent.

The totals may be higher in Colorado, however. A map accompanying the HuffPo item features areas in red that registered failure rates of between 2.7 and 4.7 percent -- and as you can see, there's a lot of that hue on the state:

marijuana positivity by three digit zip code.jpg
Click to enlarge.
No doubt these digits alarm but don't shock Jeffrey Popiel, president and CEO of a Denver-based company, Geotech. Last November, shortly after the election, he told our Sam Levin that A64's impact would be profound and destructive, especially considering that he was already bitter about the number of applicants who were also stoners.

Thumbnail image for Jeffrey Popiel thumb.jpg
Jeffrey Popiel.
"I'm having trouble hiring people to run our business," he said. "We used to...run ads, bring people in and interview them, go to take a drug test -- because you have to pass a drug test before we hire you -- and people would fail. So then we started listing, 'Must be able to pass drug test,' in the ad. And then...people don't apply. So now we're not even getting people to apply."

He expected that A64 would exacerbate this challenge.

"It's going to get even more and more difficult," he maintained.

Is he right? Obviously, drug-test-failure rates have been higher in the past, so the mini-spike in the failure rate may be cyclical in nature, rather than proof that progressive marijuana laws will do untold damage to America. But you can bet those upset by Amendment 64's approval will be watching to see if the numbers get worse in the future.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Amendment 64: Denver CEO says legal pot will make it hard to hire, devastate economy."

My Voice Nation Help
160 comments
jermaine_l_clemons
jermaine_l_clemons

My country is full of hypocrites running multimillion dollar businesses. I have been smoking cannabis my whole life, and I have had successful employment over the years. Never been out of work more than 2 months. I just currently became employed, but instead of applying for the jobs I'm qualified for, i often second guess my self because of these ua test. What type of sensible person really believes that get trashed off 100 proof liquor 2-4 times a week is less dangerous than smoking a joint before you go to bed. People really need to wake up and we need to take our free will back. Judge me by my performance not by your preconceived notions and myths about cannabis use. Hey CEOs enjoy your Bacardi on the rocks and continue to shun the many great potential employees in our society. Hypocrites. 

adamlkspowder
adamlkspowder

Jumpstart this economy and eliminate testing for marijuana. Pot smokers want to advance, get ahead and not fit the stereotype. Working on $10 an hour sucks. Imagine if someone came to you and said, "You can have this job but you can never have another sip of wine...ever, even on a romantic date with your wife, you're not allowed.” Sure it sounds simple enough to give it up...but what does it say of the employer who asks for such. Some refuse to apply simply out of principal. What is your freedom & liberty worth? How stubborn are you? Some of the most entrepreneurial, creative, motivated, intelligent, open minded, romantic people I know smoke pot. Forcing someone to pee into a cup seems Orwellian to me. Seriously… How can employers base their hiring decisions on a medical test? Didn’t they look at the employees resume, check references, interview etc.? They have plenty of right to fire someone who comes to work, offends customers, performs poorly and so on. Step 1.Stop employers from drug testing for marijuana. Step 2. Shield employers and employees from any liability arising from an employee’s “off the clock” use. Step 3. Watch the economy grow as huge numbers of at home marijuana smoking privacy advocates rush in to seize new opportunities.

shamanhawk
shamanhawk

Mr. Popiel obviously has an agenda against Cannabis users.  First off, there are plenty of Vets who would love to work for him.  Problem is, Cannabis helps the ones with PTSD. But they could work during the day and use at night.  Unfortunately he doesn't understand that Cannabis stays in body fat.  The person tested could be totally clean for almost a month.  And really, shouldn't this be about "Can you do the job?"  After all, you are given a 90 probationary period before hire and your problems are solved.  Of course I use Cannabis and have immense critical thinking skills.  Can't say the same for the "sky is falling" attitude exhibited from Jeffrey.  I'd prefer a Cannabis users over an Alcohol user any day.  And I too created a scientific instrument company.  Didn't/don't have a problem with Cannabis users. 

bobdobbolina
bobdobbolina

Drug tests for pot use,that prevent an otherwise qualified applicant from getting a job just add to the pervieved myth that pot users are lazy and bums with no jobs.

bobdobbolina
bobdobbolina

Drug tests for pot use,that prevent an otherwise qualified applicant from getting a job, just add to the perceived myth that pot users are lazy and bums with no jobs.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

Michael Roberts should have listened to Russ Bellvile's show which dealt with this subject.  

Random positives of employees dropped 5%, offsetting the pre-employment 'spike'. 

 Also, companies have been using oral swab tests which defeat the tactics by marijuana users that have studied for their drug tests by strapping on their water weenies.

Hey Roberts, do some more research and spend less time reporting on the same five dispensaries.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

I heard that Jeffery Popiel was having trouble finding new hires because he asks all prospective hires if they can suck the chrome off his trailer hitch.

Honu
Honu

How about taking a more in-depth look at whether or not it matters if someone smokes pot off of the job?  Perhaps those that have tested positive would still make fine employees.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

I'm all for market based solutions. If WestWord took an offering, how much do you suppose it would take to get them to permaban DonkeyHotay?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

So then we started listing, 'Must be able to pass drug test,' in the ad. And then...people don't apply. So now we're not even getting people to apply."

Yeah, so what does that tell you? Tells me people aren't fans of pissing in cups. So, tell the government that the Drug Free Workplace Act sucks balls.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Easy. Take pot off the test. It doesn't belong there.

Finished. How hard was that?

instntkrma
instntkrma

@Honu I've never met an engineer that was worth a crap who didn't at least occasionally smoke marijuana.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Honu ... no need to. There are MILLIONS of employees who do NOT smoke pot.

There is no need to cater to those who do.



kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  I've got $100 for the effort.  

The Hell's Angles have said that they are going to deport him from planet earth if they can ever get a home address for Aaron Sawyer.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... spoken like a true anti-free speech fascist scumbag.


stuka1
stuka1


@Cognitive_Dissident Yup, tough shit that people are saying NO to invasive, privacy-denying bullshit jobs and employers. Is anyone here crying because they cant get a job working for this assclown? All I see is this assclown crying because no one wants to bend over to work under his bullshit terms. 

badbillied
badbillied

@DonkeyHotay @Honu............ but those millions will soon...get used to it...you are clueless sir.....


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Spoken like someone who has absolutely no concept of property, and takes his opportunity to shit all over the property of others.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident FYI, the job "somebody else is paying for" is assumed to be in a nominally free market until someone like you comes along and forces all companies who do business with the government to make all their employees piss in a cup.

...and I'll joyously stop taking my medicine (WHICH I DO NOT SMOKE) when the pain stops, so I don't need my medicine.

instntkrma
instntkrma

@kevin_hunt @instntkrma there are more than a few out there. Many have a degree from BYU.

The most amazing scientists I've met all played with LSD/mushrooms.

The gubmint is afraid of open minds.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident .. for someone who dislikes my posts so much you'd call for WW to censor and ban them, you sure spend a lot of time reading and replying to them.

OCD much?


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident Being me is awesome! You, apparently, have to troll message boards for entertainment, and I'm not quite sure what it says about you but it can't be good.

So--the ad hominem attacks are all you lushes have once you've been disgraced publicly...noted....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... so who -- exactly -- is forcing you to read my posts? ... the one's you claim to dislike?

{{{ cue crickets chirping }}}

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident You must feel really proud to be the only fucking troll bad enough to be referenced by name, repeatedly, as the sorry pain in the ass that you are.

As for gutless, I've always stared you down, troll. If someone has offered them cash, point me to your proof. Otherwise, you're lying about "gutless calls for censorship like yours" because mine was a very specific question (and not even a call for censorship.)

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... The Editors of Westweed have addressed gutless calls for censorship like yours, and REJECTED them.

Do try and keep up, numbnuts.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  ... your appeal has been REJECTED ... every time some cowardly cunt like you proffered it. 

Ipso facto.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident That wasn't the topic. The topic was your claim that appealing to the property owner impinges on your "freedom of speech," which, to the extent that it exists, is a protection from government abuse, not the right to piss on the property of others without interference from the owner.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... you can call a festering turd delicious chocolate mousse if you like ... in REALITY it would still taste the same.

Bon Appétit!


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident I don't know what you think you're implying my delusions are, but THIS country WAS (and still is, depending on who's talking) NOMINALLY free...they CALL it free, so it's NOMINALLY free.

Go have a cry in your fascist booze, lush.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... "this" country was only "nominally free" in your delusions.

Now go have a cry cry that reality doesn't comport with your liberkookian dystopia.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident That's not a free market. It's got government demands in it. It's got government theft in it. It's the world's largest protection racket.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "In other words, any company that wants a government contract has to do that. "

Free market.

Don't like the terms and conditions set by Contract, then don't sign that contract.

No one is forcing these companies to do business as Government contractors, as no one is forcing any clueless stoner to apply for a job with those companies.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... when were you born in this so called "nominally free country" and which country were you referring to?


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

BTW, the proposition isn't "no drugs" for anyone "doing business" with the state. The proposition is none of the drugs "we say" for anyone working in or for or contracting with the company. In other words, any company that wants a government contract has to do that. Since corporations are the government's bitches, they comply, and 90% of IT jobs require pissing in a cup.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident Yeah, that's usually what they do when they lose. Go right for the cliche's.

I guess it didn't occur to sorry assholes like you that people who were born in a nominally free country might have wanted it to stay that way, and that there are dozens of maternalistic socialist states to choose from if you want to move.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident = left-wingnut liberkookian delusion.

So who's forcing you to live in this Country you so despise?

There are 134+ other nations you can relocate to with your delusional libertoonian nonsense.



Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Someone is FORCING the money out of the hands of the people who OWN it every time the government STEALS it to spend at one of these companies. The government is saying "Here's some money [we stole], how desperate are you bitches to get your hands on it?"

By what basis do you think I know nothing about a "free market?" A free market is the antithesis of force, and we don't have one. We have a government-dominated market. DERP!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... NO ONE is FORCING these companies to do business with the U$ Government.

Ignorant fuckwit continues to prove he has NO FUCKING CLUE what a "free market" is, or how it functions.

NO one is FORCING anyone to work for an employer who tests for drug, you sniveling simpleton.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident A free market isn't force. It's voluntary exchange. I'm sorry you're illiterate.

What's wrong with FOR PROFIT? The government steals our money and redistributes it with strings attached, not unlike the Drug Free Workplace Act which you love so much, fascist.

FWIW, I managed to find a company that isn't the government's whore.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... no "force" ... other than the "free market" forces you obviously have no clue about.

No one is forcing these FOR PROFIT companies to contract with the U$ government, they do so because they desire the $$, and must adhere to the terms and conditions -- no drugs -- of the entity offering said $$.

All you drug-test-failing losers can apply for work at Westweed -- Patty Calhoun does not drug test or even care if you show up for work stoned.

Free Market in action ... get some!


Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...