Workplace Drug Testing Evolving In The Age Of Legalized Marijuana

COLORADO:  For the first time in a decade, employees are testing positive for marijuana at a higher rate nationwide, especially in Colorado.

According to Jenny Dudikoff, a spokesperson for Quest Diagnostics, positive testing for marijuana for regularly tested employees in Colorado increased by 20 percent. The growth was even greater in Washington, the only other state to have legalized recreational use. Employees there showed a 23 percent increase.

Quest is a workplace drug testing service. They analyze employees for a wide range of substances using several methods, including urine, spit and hair. But the increased marijuana results were not limited to so-called green states. Nationwide, Quest found a 6.2 increase in marijuana use.

“Washington and Colorado are believed by many to foreshadow future trends in recreational marijuana use,” said Barry Sample, Quest’s director of science and technology. “While Quest’s drug testing index shows dramatic spikes in marijuana positivity rates over the past year, a longer view of the data suggests a more complex picture.”


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