“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” right? Probably not. We’ve all heard the stories and seen the pictures, it seems nothing stays private for long anymore. If you come to Colorado and partake in your newly legal right to use marijuana, it might not stay private for up to 30 days or more. This may not seem like a big deal, I mean, you’re not taking any pot back on the plane, right? Well, if you happen to be drug tested within 30 days of using pot, it might have serious consequences.
We have discussed why blood, breath, and urine tests are not always accurate at determining the level of impairment. But what if the person who is testing you, say an employer, doesn’t care about the level of a substance? They only care if it shows up. These tests are a reliable way to determine positive/ negative readings.
The majority of drug screenings are given as urine tests; it’s quick, easy, and fairly cheap. Examiners will determine the amount of marijuana’s chemical breakdown product (metabolite) THCOOH is in the sample. These metabolites are easily stored in fat cells, which means they can stick around for 30 days or more. The good news is science backs the variability of these tests and hold that urine test results are not a perfect indicator of recent consumption or intoxication (e.g. if used as evidence of DWI). The bad news is, many states have passed zero-tolerance laws that have stiff penalties for any THC or THC metabolite found in your system, regardless if it means you were under the influence.
There is no way to know how long each individual will test positive for marijuana use. If you have an upcoming drug test, we suggest playing it safe. Positive drug tests can impact many areas across your life, even in pot-friendly states.