Colorado NORML – Fighting to Relax Marijuana Regulations

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Our Colorado marijuana lawyers know that state employees and contractors can be required to undergo urine tests for marijuana but activists are fighting for change.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is fighting to do away with marijuana urine tests entirely.

The majority of employers who have drug-testing policies utilize urine tests. The problem with urine tests is that they reach back in time to identify use days or weeks in the past but are not able to measure current impairment or use of marijuana.

NORML states they are not fans of drug testing, particularly because it does not even have the capability to measure whether an individual is high in the workplace.

NORML representatives state that they do not currently advocate the state telling private organizations to alter their drug testing policies. In fact, the legislation which legalized marijuana specifically allows drug-testing to continue despite the legalization of marijuana.

Blood tests to identify the presence of THC in the blood stream are still in development and are not being widely used. In addition, tests that can detect the presence of THC through saliva are being developed but not ready for mainstream use.

In addition to altering the drug-testing polices for state employees, NORML is advocating a list of rules that regulate pot use.

One of the group’s goals is to institute a standard that allows the use of marijuana on private property, even when it can be seen from public streets and sidewalks. Denver’s city council is already considering a similar regulation.

NORML also announced its opposition to Colorado’s presumptive legal standard for Cannabis impairment.

The legislation, known as House Bill 1325 was struck down twice earlier this year before it was passed at the very end of the 2013 legislative session.

House Bill 1325 creates a permissible inference that an individual is under the influence of marijuana if THC identified in the driver’s blood is 5ng/ml or higher. As opposed to previous versions of this bill – this version does not create a per se standard, which means a defendant would be given the opportunity to present evidence at trial that rebuts the permissible inference that they were impaired by marijuana.

Five states currently have per se limits for cannabinoids. In addition 10 other states impose a so-called zero tolerance policy if an individual’s blood contains cannabinoids or the metabolites of cannabinoids.

The United States National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration has expressed caution about inferring impairment based on blood levels alone.

The Colorado CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets – Marijuana, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Imposing Per Se Limitations for Cannabis: Practical Limitations and Concerns, Paul Armentano, February 6, 2013.

More Blog Entries:

Cannabis Patients Fight to Keep Rights , December 3, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
The Feds Backtrack on Marijuana Policy: Planned “Enforcement Actions” in Colorado, November 28, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog