Category: Drug Testing News

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Hawaii Becomes the 26th State to Decriminalize Marijuana

On Tuesday July 9, 2019 the State of Hawaii, under the new legislation HI measure 1383 became law without the signature of Hawaii Governor David Ige.  This new bill will take effect on January 11, 2020 which removes any jail time associated with marijuana possession of 3 grams or less and now individuals will face a fine of $130.

Additional penalties outlined in this bill include Possession of more than 3 grams, but less than 1 ounce of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000.

Possession of 1 ounce or more but less than 1 pound is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1-year imprisonment and/or a $2,000 fine.  Possession of 1 pound or more, of marijuana is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Governor David Ige declined to sign the legislation but also didn’t veto it by Tuesday’s deadline.

States with Marijuana Decriminalization

The following states have passed laws either fully or partially decriminalizing certain marijuana possession offenses. Usually, decriminalization means no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal consumption.

In most decriminalized states, these offenses are treated like a minor traffic violation.

Additionally, over 50 localities in about a dozen states have enacted municipal laws or resolutions either fully or partially decriminalizing minor cannabis possession offenses.

* Voters in each of these jurisdictions have subsequently approved legislation legalizing the adult use and personal cultivation of cannabis.

** These states have partially decriminalized certain marijuana possession offenses. Although the law still classifies marijuana possession offenses as criminal, the offenses do not carry any threat of jail time.

*** North Dakota’s law takes effect on August 1, 2019.

**** Hawaii’s law takes effect on January 11, 2020.

How does marijuana legalization effect employers?

Employers regulated by Federal law (DOT, HHS, Federal Drug Free Workplace Act) are still required to test for the Standard Federal 5 panel drug test which currently screens for the following drugs.

  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Opioids
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Under ‘Opioids’, previously ‘Opiates’, DOT testing will continue to include confirmatory testing, when appropriate, for Codeine, Morphine, and 6-AM (heroin). 

HHS also added initial and confirmatory testing for the semi-synthetic opioids Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, and Oxymorphone to this Opioids group.  Some brand names for the semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®.

 Non-Regulated Employers

In most states employers still reserve the right to be a drug free workplace regardless of specific State or local municipalities laws regarding recreational and/or medical marijuana.  We recommend that each employer review their drug free workplace policy and any specific State, local or case law that may impact testing for a marijuana prior to implementing a drug free workplace policy/program.

What Employers Can Do?

  • Create a culture of safety for your employees, customers and community
  • Research any State, local or case law that may impact your drug free workplace policy to ensure compliance
  • Update your workplace drug & alcohol policy, making sure it is clear on violations and consequences.
  • Your policy should include all forms of drug & alcohol testing that you intend to use.
  • Employees company-wide must be made aware of the workplace drug & alcohol policies and procedures. This is an on-going conversation that should occur on a regular basis.
  • Enforce your policies consistently and fairly.

For more information regarding establishing a drug free workplace policy call us today!

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Alcohol In A Urine Test

Alcohol testing unlike most drugs, has a much shorter detection window. A urine drug test can screen for ethanol, which is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, up to 12 hours. However, there are some types of urine tests that can identify alcohol byproducts for up 72 hours after the person’s last drink, but those tests can have significant limitations.

The vast majority of alcohol, about 90-95% is broken down by the liver. A small amount is expelled through someone’s breath and sweat. The remaining 1-2% is excreted in urine.  Alcohol usually shows up in a someone’s urine within an hour of consuming alcohol and it remains detectable for up to 12 hours. However, the time frame can vary depending on different factors such as, weight, health, gender and the amount of alcohol consumed.

The alcohol in urine testing can sometimes be used to estimate a person’s blood alcohol content. The amount of urine alcohol is approximately 1.33 times more than the amount of alcohol in their bloodstream. For more accuracy, at least two urine samples are  usually collected 30 minutes to an hour apart.  

Byproducts of Alcohol in Urine

Alcohol in a urine test does have a relatively short detection time, however certain byproducts remain in the body longer. One of these byproducts are EtG (ethyl glucuronide) can be detected in urine for up to 3 days after someone’s last drink. Another byproduct that some labs can test for is EtS (ethyl sulfate) which can signal for recent alcohol intake as well.

Both EtG and EtS tests can sometimes be used for court ordered, to see if people are complying with their probation requirements. Some rehab programs also use this test to monitor people in treatment and identify any potential relapses.

Even though EtG and EtS have longer detection windows, there are a few draw backs. The testing can be more costly and may not be widely available as a standard urine screening. It is currently unable to differentiate between ethanol from alcoholic beverages and exposure to alcohol from other products.

In some cases people who have taken over-the counter flu or cold medications and mouthwashes that contain alcohol may end up testing positive for EtG or EtS. Even typical use of other products that contain alcohol such as, body sprays, insecticides and hand sanitizer can sometimes result in a positive EtG/EtS test.

If you need to get a urine alcohol test done give us a call today at (800) 221-4291 or visit our website for more information at http://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com

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New York City has now announced a law that prohibits many employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana and THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis. This new law characterizes these drug tests as “an unlawful discriminatory practice.” Unfortunately, there are numerous exceptions that New York City may prohibit on all pre-employment testing for marijuana with some exceptions.

New York City Prohibiting Testing For Marijuana

Testing for THC and marijuana will be permitted for the following employment positions and for the following reasons only:

  • Police/law-enforcement officers;
  • Positions requiring construction safety training or OSHA certifications under New York laws;
  • Positions requiring commercial driver’s licenses;
  • Positions involving the supervision or care of children, medical patients, or vulnerable persons as defined under New York laws;
  • Other positions with potential to significantly impact health or safety as determined under the regulations to be enacted or identified on the website of the department of citywide administrative services;
  • U.S. Department of Transportation required testing;
  • Testing required under federal contracts or grants;
  • Testing required under federal or state statutes; and
  • Testing required under collective bargaining agreements.

New York City New Law

This law prohibiting pre-employment testing for marijuana in New York City, will become effective one year from today 5/13/2020. Therefore, this gives employers, labor organizations and employment agencies operating in New York City one year to review and revise their drug-testing policies and procedures to ensure they are in compliance. In the meantime during this year of transition, employers are wanting to have further guidance in regards to the compliance measures. The New York City Commission on Human Rights should provide these employers with more clarification on what types of employers and employees will be covered.

With all that being said, we are seeing more and more states joining the wave of allowing the use of marijuana. Now that New York City is first to make it law for employers to remove marijuana and THC in their drug policy’s. Many employers will need to have a new policy intact, here at Accredited Drug Testing we can do that for you. We also offer drug testing panels that exclude marijuana and THC. For more information on being in compliance with the new law in New York City give us a call at (800) 221-4291 or visit our website at www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com to get your drug policy revised today!

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Weed Breathalyzer Device

California product developers are in the works of perfecting a marijuana breathalyzer that will be able to determine if someone smoked marijuana before getting behind the wheel. The device will be hypersensitive and can detect whether someone has smoked in the past 2-3 hours. Currently there is no method that police or other law enforcement’s can accurately test a driver for marijuana in current time, meaning if the individual is currently high on marijuana.

Other current blood, breath and urine tests might not be reliable, as many can only determine if a driver was high at some point that day or week, instead of at that very moment, according to USA Today. Law enforcement is becoming more and more aware of the issue.

 In five Michigan counties where a pilot program was recently introduced, police are able to carry handheld devices to test for the presence of drugs in drivers’ saliva. Results are back in about five minutes. But nothing like that has rolled out statewide or nationwide, and it’s unclear how efficient this system really is. And as the laws pertaining to marijuana use continue to loosen across the U.S., it might make you wonder: What are police doing to keep stoned drivers off the roads? Shouldn’t there be one uniform way to test for marijuana?

Weed Device Of The Future?

Right out of Oakland, California a startup company named Hound Labs have invented a hypersensitive breathalyzer to help regulations for public safety. The device will be able to pick up any THC that might be present on a driver’s breath. Hound Labs had their second clinical trial this past February 2019 and the results are promising.

Stated by Hound Labs, “Results from this landmark study confirm – for the first time in a clinical trial – THC is present in breath for two to three hours after smoking, which is the same duration as peak impairment, according to government studies. The trial also concluded that detecting THC in breath for two to three hours requires the capability to measure complex molecules in breath at extraordinarily low levels – to one trillionth of a gram per liter of breath.” Hound Labs’ technology is indeed capable of detecting THC in breath in picograms, or parts per trillion — demonstrating that a portable breathalyzer can capture incredibly low concentrations, the company said.

Hound Labs Weed Breathalyzer

Once everything is finalized for the device this could be a monumental time the public safety regarding marijuana. The device also has other features as well, not only can the device detect current THC but it can also tests a person’s blood-alcohol level, as well. It can also pick up on whether someone has vaporized or eaten a marijuana product. For more details on the device click here to see how it all works.

This could be the device of the future, it is still early in the process but with all the collected data as of today it is more than possible. “We have had a great deal of interest in our breathalyzer from law enforcement and employers in the U.S., and across the globe,” Hound Labs says online. “(We) continue to receive new inquiries regularly. … We have tested versions of the Hound marijuana breathalyzer with law enforcement as part of the development of the tool. Multiple law enforcement agencies are planning to use our breathalyzer when it becomes available.”

We are excited for a new ventures in the drug testing industry, for any questions or if you would like schedule a drug test visit our website at www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com or give us a call at (800) 221-4291.

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Urine Testing

Urine drug testing is the method most used by employers and law enforcement agencies. Urine is tested for the parent compound of various drugs, as well as their metabolites. Most commonly, in a job setting usually checks for amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, nicotine and alcohol.

A urine drug test screening is quick, convenient, and quite accurate. Even after the effects of the drug has worn off, urine is still capable of detecting its presence. Drug testing timelines do vary depending on what type of drug it is.  The number of metabolites in your urine may increase and decrease which can lead to different results within the drug testing detection window.

How do I take a urine drug test?

To take a urine test, you will simply have to urinate within a specimen cup. The administrator will let you know how much urine is needed. Most drug tests will require at least 45 milliliters of urine. This is to ensure that there’s enough sample for the testing. It also makes sure that the specimen belongs to the right individual.

Urine Testing Detection Times

There are many factors that can play a role in the time length that a test can detect certain drugs in the body. Some of those factors are:

-Body Mass

-Hydration Levels

-The acidity of the urine

-How long ago a person took the drug

-How often the person took the drug

If someone uses a drug frequently or heavily, a urine test will detect the drug for a longer period of time. For example, the detection time for marijuana depends on how often someone may use it:

This table can show the average detection times for other drugs that may be tested in a Urine test:

Drug Detection Times

 If a person is taking any prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies or supplements, it is best to advise your test provider. That way the MRO (Medical Review Officer) can validate the results.

If you need a test, choose the best! Be sure to visit our website www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com and schedule a urine drug test the same day or give us a call at (800) 221-4291.

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Can You Fail a Drug Test For Alcohol?

The plain and simple answer is yes.  If a particular drug testing panel contains alcohol as a marker, it is possible you may fail a drug test for alcohol.  Oftentimes employers and individual’s think of drugs and alcohol as one in the same.  In fact, both substances have the ability to cause impairment of a person’s mental, physical abilities, cause long-term health issues, and can foster unsafe situations.

Due to the abuse of alcohol and its long-term impact on public safety, society, addiction and health problems, it is common for employers to establish a drug-free workplace testing program that includes both drug and alcohol testing.

Concerns regarding substance abuse and addiction concerns is sweeping the nation and various companies may choose to implement alcohol testing as a deterrent and promote safe and healthy working environments. For this reason, one common question many employers and employees have regarding workplace alcohol and drug tests is, “Does alcohol show up in a drug test?” Let’s find out .

Does Alcohol Show Up In a Drug Test?

As we take a deeper look at if alcohol will show up in a drug test, we find several options.  It is important to note that a standard drug test does not test for alcohol.  However, alcohol can be included in a drug test if specifically requested. Thus, if you’re interested in testing employees or individuals for both drugs and alcohol, simply consult with your drug testing provider to determine what type of program best meets your needs.

How Can An Employer Test For Alcohol In The Workplace?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends testing at the very minimum of the 5 most commonly abused drugs: (amphetamines, THC, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP) as well as alcohol. As stated previously, a standard drug test does not evaluate the presence of alcohol in a person’s system, but many companies elect to include alcohol in their written drug-free workplace policy.  The most common form of alcohol testing is a breath alcohol test; however, urine, saliva or hair testing options are available as well. In addition, with the current climate of the opioid epidemic, many companies are requesting their drug test include additional drugs beyond the standard five mentioned above (e.g., adding synthetic opioids and ecstasy).

Which Alcohol Test Is Right For Me?

Let’s dig a little deeper and determine if alcohol will show up in a drug test?  If you plan to test for alcohol, it is important to understand the different testing methods available and the amount of time that alcohol is detectable in the human body.

In hair, alcohol is present for up to 90 days. In blood or oral fluid, it is present for 12-24 hours. Finally, in urine alcohol can be present for 6-80 hours (depending on the method used for testing).

The two most common ways an employer can test for the presence of alcohol are through breath and saliva tests:

Breath: This method is the most common method for alcohol testing in the workplace.  Breathalyzer is the brand name of the original device and is the one of testing methods that provides a real time result and will measure impairment.  The Department of Transportation (DOT) has established strict requirements for the devices used to perform breath alcohol tests.  All devices used for DOT alcohol testing must be on the Conforming Products List of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  We recommend that employers or individuals only utilize devices that meet these high standards.

Saliva: This detection method detects the presence of ethanol, a by-product of beer, wine, and spirits. Although slightly more expensive than urine tests, saliva tests are easy to perform and can also detect alcohol ingested within the past day or two.

Finally, blood, hair and urine tests are most often used in forensic, legal and civil testing but infrequently in the workplace.

For more information call us today, 800-221-4291

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Synthetic Drugs On the Rise

April 13, 2016

Synthetic DrugsAdolphe Joseph, 34, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for smuggling fentanyl, an opiate 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. But he has not been charged for the nearly three pounds of a synthetic opiate more than 10,000 times as powerful as morphine investigators found in his South Florida home last Fall. Nor will he be, say prosecutors.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat people with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to opiates. It is a schedule II prescription drug.

Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opiate receptors, highly concentrated in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. When opiate drugs bind to these receptors, they can drive up dopamine levels in the brain’s reward areas, producing a state of euphoria and relaxation.

W-18 is one of thousands of synthetic opiates that is not scheduled as a controlled substance and thus not subject to criminal drug penalties, and one of a handful of drugs that law enforcement officials and scientists say they have seen in increasing numbers in the last six months, as use, abuse and overdose deaths continues to rise.

U-47700, which is seven to eight times stronger than morphine, has been the source of overdoses over the past year in at least 10 states since the first US incident was discovered in Knoxville, Tennessee, in June 2015.

Barry Logan, the executive director for the Center of Forensic Science and Education, said his lab has been able to track down 17 overdose cases of U-47700. And several other overdose deaths and hospitalizations have been identified by local law enforcement in Florida and northern Texas.

Overdoses on synthetic opioids “may be reported as a heroin overdose death unless the medical examiners dig down deep”, said Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Russ Bare. He said forensics scientists often will not take steps to search for existence of a specific compound unless an individual overdoses near drug paraphernalia, or there is other environmental evidence.

Jim Hall, a prominent South Florida epidemiologist, said the chatter he’s been hearing from experts and law enforcement about U-47700 in the last few weeks reminds him of the beginning of the Flakka epidemic. Flakka caused panic in the Broward County area over the last few years due to high fatal overdose rates and its effects of causing violent hallucinations paired with superhuman strength.

When Broward prosecutor Anita White was charging Joseph, she found that W-18 was too chemically different from any other controlled substance to make a case at all. Since opiates already resemble the brain’s own natural substances in chemical structure, the brain easily assimilates opiate effects within its chemical system. As tolerance levels increase, a dependency cycle takes root leaving the brain unable to regulate chemical processes normally without the drug’s effects.

With drug and alcohol testing centers throughout the entire United States, Accredited Drug Testing is there to answer all of your drug and alcohol testing questions and needs. For more information contact:

Andrew Gormally
Marketing/Industry Relations Assistant
Andrew@accredtiteddrugtesting.com
https://www.accrediteddrugtesting.com/
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc

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New FRA Rules Expand Drug and Alcohol Testing

Dec 1 2016

New FRA Rules Expand Drug and Alcohol Testing

Separate rules increase protections, add Maintenance of Way workers to drug and alcohol testing policy

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced it has issued two final rules to better protect railroad employees working on or near railroad tracks.

One rule amends the existing Roadway Worker Protection Regulation, while the second rule, Control of Alcohol and Drug Use, amends the FRA’s current drug and  alcohol testing regulations expands the requirements to now cover maintenance of way (MOW) employees.

The second rule fulfills a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

The Roadway Worker Protection final rule amendments will:

  • Resolve various interpretations that have developed since the rule went into effect almost 20 years ago;
  • Implement FRA’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee’s (RSAC) consensus recommendations;
  • Organize certain FRA Technical Bulletins;
  • Codify a FAST Act mandate by adopting new requirements governing redundant signal protections;
  • Address the safe movement of roadway maintenance machinery over signalized non-controlled track (not under a dispatcher’s control); and
  • Amend certain qualification requirements for roadway workers.

The most recent amendments require that job briefings include information for roadway worker groups on the following:

  • Accessibility of the roadway worker in charge
  • Standards for how “occupancy behind” train authorities (when the authority for a work crew does not begin until the train has passed the area) can be used; and
  • Require annual training for any individual serving as a roadway worker in charge.

“These new rules add another layer of protection for workers who work along and near railroad tracks and will help us reduce preventable worker injuries and fatalities,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg.

These updated changes came in response to a congressional mandate and recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  These changes allow the FRA to broaden the scope of its existing drug and alcohol testing regulation to include Maintenance of Way (MOW) employees.

Currently, a MOW employee is only drug and alcohol tested when he or she has died as a result of an accident or incident. MOW employees will now be fully subject to FRA’s drug and alcohol testing that includes random testing, post-accident testing, reasonable suspicion testing, reasonable cause testing, pre-employment testing, return-to-duty testing and follow-up testing.

“Whether you are an engineer, conductor or someone working alongside the tracks, safety requires alertness. Any reduction in awareness caused by drugs or alcohol use can often be the difference between life and death,” Feinberg added.

The final Roadway Worker Protection rule is effective April 1, 2017. The Control of Alcohol and Drug Use goes into effect one year after publication.

http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L17465

http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L17467

For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For  information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For  information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here

John Burgos, CPC
Business Development Manager
https://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc

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Marijuana-testing-workplace

Colorado Supreme Court: Employers can fire for off-duty pot use

Employers’ zero-tolerance drug policies trump Colorado’s medical marijuana laws, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday.

In a 6-0 decision, the high court affirmed lower court rulings that businesses can fire employees for the use of medical marijuana — even if it’s off-duty.

With the ruling, which was a blow to some medical marijuana patients and a sigh of relief to employers, Colorado became the first state to provide guidance on a gray area of the law.

The decision came nine months after the state’s highest court heard oral arguments in Brandon Coats’ case against Dish Network. Coats became quadriplegic in a car accident and used marijuana to control leg spasms. He had a medical marijuana card and consumed pot off-duty. He was fired in 2010 after failing a random drug test.

Brandon Coats listens as his attorney talks Monday about his case. Coats said he is disappointed in the state Supreme Court ruling that businesses can fire
Brandon Coats listens as his attorney talks Monday about his case. Coats said he is disappointed in the state Supreme Court ruling that businesses can fire employees for the use of marijuana even if it’s for medical purposes and even if it’s done off-duty. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)
Coats, who was a customer service representative for Dish, challenged the Douglas County satellite TV company’s zero-tolerance drug policy, claiming that his use was legal under state law. His firing had been upheld in both trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals.

DOCUMENT: Colorado Supreme Court affirms ruling

When the case went to the state Supreme Court, legal observers said the case could have significant implications for employers across Colorado. They noted that the ruling also could be precedent-setting as Colorado and other states wrangle with adapting laws to a nascent industry that is illegal under federal law.

At the crux of the issue was whether the use of medical marijuana — which is in compliance with Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Amendment — was “lawful” under the state’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute.

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That term, the justices said, refers to activities lawful under both state and federal law.

“Therefore, employees who engage in an activity, such as medical marijuana use, that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute,” Justice Allison H. Eid wrote in the opinion.

Current Colorado law allows employers to set their own policies on drug use.

Coats’ attorney Michael Evans, of Centennial-based The Evans Group, called the decision “devastating.”

He said he does not plan to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“You need the Colorado Supreme Court to stand up for its own laws,” he said. “The U.S. Supreme Court is not going to do that.”

Resolution at last

On Monday, Coats and his mother, Donna Scharfenberg, spent all morning refreshing the Colorado Supreme Court’s website. When they finally read the ruling, there was 10 minutes of silence.

“It was just kind of shocking,” Coats said. “There was a silent moment there for a long while.”

It was a disappointing resolution to what has been a five-year battle for Coats, who is unemployed.

“This is a controversial issue,” he said. “This is a hard case, and it was going to be a hard case to win. I was definitely hoping it would go the other way around.

“I was feeling like maybe, maybe, but it didn’t go that way.”

Officials with Douglas County-based Dish lauded the decision.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the court’s decision today,” the company said in a statement. “As a national employer, Dish remains committed to a drug-free workplace and compliance with federal law.”

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman said the decision gives companies the freedom to craft their own employment policies concerning marijuana.

“Not every business will opt for zero-tolerance, but it is important that the latitude now exists to craft a policy that fits the individual workplace,” she said.

A question for the legislature

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana last year, employers across the state increased their drug testing, said Curtis Graves, an attorney for Mountain States Employers Council, referencing a workplace survey at the time. A year later, and with an unemployment rate below 5 percent, some employers have loosened the reins.
“We’ve seen a number of employers, particularly in hospitality … who are actually omitting THC from a pre-employment drug screen,” he said.

The market might dictate a further shift in the future.

Until then, people like Coats will have to consider other treatments or find a position that does not enforce a zero-tolerance drug policy, said Austin Smith, managing shareholder of employment law firm Ogletree Deakins’ Denver office.

“It puts employees in a tough spot,” said Smith, who watched the case closely but was not involved.

Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor, said the justices’ decision comes as no surprise.

“It’s easy to make too much of this decision,” he said. “It really comes down to interpreting this one word (‘lawful’) in this one statute.”

As a matter of statutory interpretation, the court got it right, he said.

But for Coats and medical marijuana advocates, this is a blow, Kamin said. He said he thinks the state legislature will take up the issue.

“I think (Coats’) case is very sympathetic, and I think his case would be quite compelling before the legislature,” Kamin said.

Six of the seven justices decided the case. Justice Monica Marquez recused herself because her father, retired Senior Judge Jose D.L. Marquez, was on the Court of Appeals panel that upheld Coats’ firing.

Alicia Wallace: 303-954-1939, awallace@denverpost.com or twitter.com/aliciawallace

Excerpts from the Colorado Supreme Court decision

• “Colorado’s ‘lawful activities statute,’ the term ‘lawful’ refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law.”

• “Nothing in the language of the statute limits the term ‘lawful’ to state law. Instead, the term is used in its general, unrestricted sense, indicating that a ‘lawful’ activity is that which complies with applicable ‘law,’ including state and federal law. We therefore decline Coats’s invitation to engraft a state law limitation onto the statutory language.”

• “Coats does not dispute that the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits medical marijuana use. The CSA lists marijuana as a Schedule I substance, meaning federal law designates it as having no medical accepted use, a high risk of abuse, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

• “Having decided this case on the basis of the prohibition under federal law, we decline to address the issue of whether Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Amendment deems medical marijuana use ‘lawful’ by conferring a right to such use.”

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Orlando to Consider Decriminalizing Small Amounts of Marijuana

April 18, 2016

Orlando Decriminalizing MarijuanaOrlando Mayor Buddy Dyer discussed a possible new civil citation process for misdemeanor violations that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Dyer, along with Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Organize Now, talked about the issue at a news conference at City Hall.

The process, which also will be discussed at a City Council meeting Monday afternoon, would decriminalize possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, allowing officers to issue citations, rather than make arrests. Under the new proposal, anyone found with 20 grams of the drug or less would not be arrested if it was a first offense. Instead, they would only get a ticket, starting at $50. Fines would increase, and a possible court hearing would be mandated, for repeat offenders. The city of Tampa and Volusia County both approved similar ordinances last month.

Supporters say it would give a lot of people a second chance and prevent them from ending up with a criminal record. Currently the charge for cannabis possession is a criminal offense and can result in jail time of up to a year.

“The third option is not as harsh as an arrest, which can result in jail time and the possibility of lifelong criminal record, but it still holds the offender responsible for their behavior,” Dyer said.

Of the 43,000 Orange County Jail bookings last year, about 6,700 were related to drug possession and, of those, only a few hundred were for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

With drug and alcohol testing centers throughout the entire United States, Accredited Drug Testing is there to answer all of your drug and alcohol testing questions and needs. For more information, contact:

Andrew Gormally
Marketing/Industry Relations Assistant
Andrew@accredtiteddrugtesting.com
https://www.accrediteddrugtesting.com/
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc