Ever since legalization in Colorado, Denver NORML and other cannabis activists have been working to stop drug testing of cannabis in the workplace, especially for those who consume cannabis as medicine. Now, NORML has paired up with Colorado-based Predictive Safety to propose an alternative to mandatory testing.
According to a February 19 press release, NORML is proposing a law that would protect all legal Colorado cannabis consumers from mandatory drug testing, by amending 2007’s Unlawful prohibition of legal activities as a condition of employment statute. Currently, the statute means that drug testing can still cause Coloradans to lose their jobs, even if they are patients or of-age recreational customers.
“The road to normalization is about detecting impairment, not past marijuana use. The only thing that should matter is, “Are you fit for work?” and not, ‘Have you ingested marijuana?’” said Carol Setters of Predictive Safety, according to the press release. “The company will be demonstrating its non-invasive and proven functional impairment testing system, which offers objective evidence to satisfy risk management concerns, and provides better workplace safety, reduces costs, and more.”
“A drug-free and safe workplace does not legally require pre-employment or random drug testing. Many employers have common-sense post-legalization HR policies, but we need a law to protect every marijuana consumer from employment discrimination,” added Denver NORML director Jordan Person. “Impairment testing is a 21st-century alternative for Colorado employers to outdated and ineffective 1980s drug testing for marijuana.” NORML and Predictive Safety presented this new testing method at the state capitol on February 21.
With police forces coming under fire for unfair testing laws, and countries moving to decriminalize cannabis entirely, the culture of drug testing is definitely changing. More impairment testing will ensure that employees are actually being penalized if they come to work under the influence, not just if they have legally used cannabis over the past few months.