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812 leads in positive pot tests

Brief by Central Staff

Mountain Life – July 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Where do you find the highest number of positive results when you test potential employees for marijuana use?

The mountains of Colorado, according to a report released in May by the White House Office of Drug Control Policy.

Nationwide, about 2.8% of job applicants test positive for marijuana. Seven areas in the mountains exceeded that. The results were grouped by 3-digit postal codes — the first three digits of a Zip code.

‘The highest was in the 812 zone, which extends for 132 miles from Florence 81226 through Salida 81201 to Cimarron 81220.

In 812 territory, 3.92% of the people given drug tests in 2004 tested positive for marijuana. However, there were only 153 tests, with six coming up positive — all in Crested Butte 81224. So it’s a pretty small sample. If only five people had been positive, then 812 would have been 3.3%, and our zone wouldn’t have led the state.

In 816, which includes Aspen and Vail, 3.42% were positive, and in 815, Grand Junction and environs, it was 3.61%. Other Colorado areas above the national average were the 813 zone, which covers the Durango area, with 3.05%, and the 810 zone, Pueblo and southeast, with 3.01%.

A Rocky Mountain News story quoted the human resources director at an Aspen Hotel. She wasn’t surprised, since “The hospitality industry tends to attract people that would more likely be occasional drug users.”