Editor’s note: While DGO and Meggie J promote fair and progressive cannabis laws, we do not condone or promote being high on the job. Be responsible, folks.With the ambiguity that exists today between legal Colorado cannabis and federally illegal marijuana, employees working throughout Colorado, and legally consuming cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes can, and often do, get called for drug testing that includes marijuana.
A few weeks ago this happen to a good friend of mine who I’ll call Joe. Joe, a regular marijuana user, had gotten the news early in the morning that his employer was performing a company-wide drug test and everyone had two days to provide a urine sample. Nervous about the potential of a negative result, as well as being seen, he asked if I would purchase a system cleanse for him. I boogied on over to my local dispensary and picked up some Magnum Detox Instant Flush, which the bud tender recommended, then headed out to Joe’s.
Despite cannabis’ legality, Colorado employers still retain the right to administer random drug tests. Other states, such as Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and Rhode Island have some type of duty to accommodate the medical use of marijuana. Colorado, however, does not. This was challenged by Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who used medical marijuana to soothe back spasms, when he took his former employer, Dish Network, to court after being fired for testing positive for THC on a randomly-administered drug test. Coats lost. He appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court where Justice Allison Eid stated when delivering the opinion of the court, “This case requires us to determine whether the use of medical marijuana in compliance with Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Amendment, but in violation of federal law, is a “lawful activity” under Colorado’s lawful activities statue.” In a split decision, the court upheld the earlier decision, affirming that an employees’ off-duty marijuana use was not “lawful activity.”
Because of this decision, and the continuous ambiguity between federal law and Colorado law, employers maintain the right to test their employees at any given time, a costly and time consuming paradox that will likely continue to exist until either federal prohibition ends or constituents successfully lobby their legislative representatives to amend the law .
But, until then, as my friend Joe brought to my attention, there’s one way employees can resist: The cannabis cleanse.
Cleanse systems and test kits are readily available in many pharmacies, and dispensaries carry many highly effective and instant full-body flushes. The Magnum Instant Flush was one of several on the shelf when I walked in to the dispensary. Bud tenders said they’ve sold hundreds of them and no one has ever returned complaining of its efficacy, only to restock for the next time.
In addition to the system cleanse, Joe called another friend to run to the drug store and get a few sample tests. He also reached out to a naturopathic doctor who recommended doing a sauna, which is excellent for cleansing because it works in both your parasympathetic system, relaxing and opening up your blood vessels, and sympathetic system, rushing the toxins out of your body by getting your blood pumping and allowing your body to sweat. After a full day of saunas, drinking lots of water, and no smoking, and the test scheduled for the next morning, Joe took his first sample test. He did not pass.
The next morning, he woke up and ate a light breakfast. After re-reading the simple directions, he drank 16 ounces of water and the entire contents of the cleansing instant flush. Allowing for only three more bathroom breaks before testing, and a small glass of water to sip on, his urine would be clean for up to six hours. Joe went in to work and took his test. He called me afterward: He passed. Then he asked if I would go back to the dispensary and get him another bottle, for next time.
Meggie J is a published poet and freelance writer living in the Four Corners. She is an avid reader, rafter, and connoisseur of cannabis. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.