Marijuana Considerations & Laws In Colorado

Marijuana Law:

Marijuana Law:

No Broad Laws
Legalizing Marijuana*:

*In these states, marijuana is either totally illegal, or there may be laws decriminalizing possession, or use of marijuana, or, the state may have a CBD law legalizing THC at a level constituting marijuana-derived CBD.

Employers have so many questions! Learn More About Workplace Considerations for Marijuana Use.

What are the impacting issues of marijuana use? Review Our Checklist of Impacting Issues to Research.

Employment Information

Employer Concerns – Significant to Review

  • Employers are not required to accommodate medical or recreational use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace and employers have the right to restrict the use of marijuana by employees.
  • There is no specific drug testing law for employers in Colorado, however the city of Boulder has ordinances strongly impacting drug testing.


  • Employers may terminate an employee for a positive marijuana drug test even if use happened off the job and the employee has a valid medical marijuana card.


  • Employers may terminate (and thereby discipline) an employee for a positive marijuana drug test even if use happened off the job and the employee has a valid medical marijuana card.


  • It is illegal to ingest cannabis in a motor vehicle or drive under the influence

Other Impacting Laws (e.g., drug testing, workers’ compensation, unemployment)

  • For “Driving Under the Influence of Drugs” there is reasonable inference law with legal limit >0 ng/ml for THC. For “Impaired Driving” per marijuana-specific laws, there is reasonable inference for THC 5 ng/ml.
  • Colorado has unemployment and workers’ compensation voluntary laws with many details about drug testing. Although not required, these statutes provide greater latitude to deny workers’ compensation and unemployment claims.
    • Unemployment denial – Benefits will not apply if the discharge is due to, (Colorado Revised Stat. 8-73-108(5)(e)(VIII)) “…off-the-job use of not medically prescribed intoxicating beverages or controlled substances…” “…to a degree resulting in interference with job performance;” or , (Colorado Revised Stat. 8-73-108(5)(e)(IX)) “…on-the-job use of or distribution of not medically prescribed intoxicating beverages or controlled substances,” or a positive drug test per Colorado’s code.
    • Workers’ compensation denial – Benefits will not apply if the injured employee has a drug test result that is positive, at such a level, (Colorado Revised Stat. 8-42-112.5(2))“… it is presumed that the employee was intoxicated and that the injury was due to the intoxication.”

Sources (e.g., Bill Number, Authority)

  • Colorado Constitution XVIII §14 – Medical marijuana law
  • Colorado Code 44-10-104 – Medical marijuana law
  • Colorado Constitution XVIII §16 – Recreational marijuana law
  • Colorado Rev. Stat. 8-73-108 – Unemployment related
  • Colorado Rev. Stat. 8-42-112 to 112.5 – Workers’ compensation law
  • Colorado Revised Statutes 18-18-102 – Definition of controlled substance
  • Colorado Rev. Stat. 42-4-1301 Section 25-1.5-106(2)(e), C.R.S. – Driving related

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DISCLAIMER: This resource is designed to provide accurate information regarding the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that those involved in the resource are not engaged in rendering legal counsel. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

CAUTION: Where there are quotation marks, the language is directly from published law. This information is only a summary of some issues and it will benefit the reader to review the information in context (go to the law) and in relation to other laws (e.g. workers compensation, unemployment law).