Recreational and medicinal use of cannabis is legal in the state of Colorado, but just how much does the law protect your job?

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Is There A National Drug Testing Day?

The unofficial holiday of cannabis consumers, April 20, comes once a year and there are tons of people who celebrate here in Colorado.

The day after 4/20 is commonly referenced as a national drug-testing day for employers. While there is no cemented national drug testing day, it's easy to understand why the reference has become a long-running joke.

It would be all too easy for an employer to test an employee the day after the "stoner holiday" and find a positive test, but could they do anything about it here in Colorado?

What Are the Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Colorado?

Back in November of 2000, Coloradans voted to pass Amendment 20 to the state’s constitution and medical marijuana was legalized.

Fast forward to November of 2012 when Coloradans voted to pass amendment 64 which legalized the recreational use of cannabis, despite the fact that marijuana was and is still federally illegal.

Due to the fact that cannabis is still prohibited by federal law, there are no workplaces protections for cannabis users, whether their consumption is for recreational or even medical use.

Colorado Bill to Prohibit Employer Adverse Action Marijuana Use

Early this year, House Bill 1152 was proposed by Representative Edie Hooton, which sought to protect workers from adverse action from a job due to their marijuana consumption.

The bill summary states that HB 1152 would prohibit:

"an employer from taking adverse action against an employee, including an applicant for employment, who engages in the use of:

  • Medical marijuana on the premises of the employer during working hours; or
  • Retail or medical marijuana off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours.

An employer is permitted to impose restrictions on employee use of medical or retail marijuana under specified circumstances."

Unfortunately, the bill was not passed, marking the 5th time that the bill has been introduced and failed.

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