It’s Time to End All Drug Testing

As the reality of legalized marijuana inches closer and closer every day, more and more Americans are rethinking our society’s attitude towards drugs. But not the American Society of Addiction Medicine. In a recent white paper, the organization argued that we should start expanding drug testing at schools and in the workplace.

As that paper’s author put it, “The major need today is the wider and smarter use of the currently available drug testing technologies and practices.… Smarter drug testing means increased use of random testing rather than the more common scheduled testing, and it means testing not only urine but also other matrices such as blood, oral fluid (saliva), hair, nails, sweat and breath.”

I couldn’t disagree more. Drug testing is counterproductive, degrading, and invasive, and it’s we put an end to it once and for all. Although humans have used narcotics and intoxicants since the dawn of time, drug testing as know it is a relatively new phenomenon, and really took off with Nixon’s War on Drugs.

I had a friend back in the early 1970s - let’s call him Stanley - who sold drug purity testing kits out of the back of High Times magazine. It was a good business because it cost about ten cents for the drug-testing chemicals and he sold the testing kit for ten bucks plus shipping. By the 1980s, though, once the drug testing hysteria took off, he got really rich by selling his little drug-testing company for several million dollars.

The reason Stanley was able to sell his testing kits for such a big markup, of course, was that they’re hugely profitable. Today, ten cents worth of chemicals are sold for $30 to as much as $100. Drug testing is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. And it’s only gotten bigger. According some estimates, approximately 84 percent of all American employers require pre-employment drug tests.

This is absolute insanity. There is little proof that drug tests do anything other than make testing companies rich. That’s because as the ACLU has concluded, “…drug tests do not measure impairment. Rather than looking for drugs, drug tests look for drug metabolites…As a result, drug tests mainly identify drug users who may have used a drug on the weekend, as they might use alcohol, and who are not under the influence of a drug while at work or when tested.”

That’s the biggest problem with drug testing. If an employee’s drug use actually affects their job performance, then their employer can and should have a discussion with them about it - and if they’re seriously impaired, get them into therapy or out of the job. Any other probing into an employee’s out of work behavior is just a violation of their basic right to privacy.

Think of it this way: there are a whole bunch of things that can affect someone’s job performance. Health issues, financial issues, spousal issues, quality of sleep, you name it. And if any one of those things becomes a problem, then an employer should work it out with his or her employee. But if we took the principle behind drug testing to its logical conclusion, then we’d let employers install cameras in their workers’ houses to see if they getting a full night’s sleep. After all, poor sleep can impair many people worse than moderate drug use.

Of course, people would say that monitoring employees’ sleep is an insane idea. But it’s just as insane as making people pee into a cup to work at a factory. There is maybe a case to be made that some jobs, like being a commercial airline pilot, are so dangerous that we should require drug testing for them. But I know from years of experience as a pilot and passenger that the people who work in the airline industry are so concerned about their safety, as well as the safety of their passengers, that they will self-regulate even without the threat of getting fired after a failed drug test.

And what’s more, the work and pay schedules of some airlines - particularly the commuters, who pay their workers less than Burger King managers and have them work grinding hours - have been demonstrated to be a serious safety problem, one that’s arguably worse than any problem casual drug use could cause.

Ultimately, drug-testing gives people a false sense of security. And false positives regularly cost people time, money, and sometimes even their careers. Most importantly, though, drug testing cuts at the core of our right to privacy. It gets usused to regularly having our privacy - including the privacy of our own bodies - invaded.

It promulgates the false meme that the Fourth Amendment is porous, when in fact it’s very clear in saying that our government has no right to mandate the inspection of your person or papers without getting a warrant first. It also promotes the worst ideas about what it means to be both a drug user and a worker in America.

It promulgates the false meme that drug abuse should be a criminal matter, when in fact it’s a medical matter. And it promulgates the false meme that employers are kings who can do whatever they want to their employees, when in fact employers should be treating their employees with respect.

What you do on the weekends and in the privacy of your own home is your business and your business alone, and no one should be allowed to punish you for it. We need to end all drug testing beyond what is totally voluntary. Let’s make America once again the “Land of the Free.”


DdC's picture
DdC 10 years 14 weeks ago

Random Drug Testing for All? The Chilling Proposal That Could Eradicate Your Privacy by Paul Armentano.

The practice of random drug testing has become popularized in both the workplace and in public schools. But according to a recently released paper by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the controversial practice is, at present, “underutilized” and ought to be expanded to include people of all ages in virtually all aspects of daily life.

The white paper, authored by former United States National Institute on Drug Abuse Director (and present-day drug testing consultant and profiteer) Robert Dupont (along with input from staffers at various drug testing labs and corporations) argues: “The major need today is the wider and smarter use of the currently available drug testing technologies and practices. … This White Paper encourages wider and ‘smarter’ use of drug testing within the practice of medicine and, beyond that, broadly within American society. Smarter drug testing means increased use of random testing rather than the more common scheduled testing, and it means testing not only urine but also other matrices such as blood, oral fluid (saliva), hair, nails, sweat and breath.”

Somebody apparently let Robert DuPont write something. Oh, and Andrea Barthwell helped.

Drug mishandling may have tainted 40,000 cases

More than Sixty Years of Suppression

The Official Story: Debunking “Gutter Science”

Urine Testing Company

After his resignation, (Reagan Drug Czar) Carlton Turner, joined with Robert DuPont and former head of NIDA, Peter Bensinger, to corner the market on urine testing. They contracted as advisors to 250 of the largest corporations to develop drug diversion, detection, and urine testing programs.

After his resignation, Turner joined with Robert L. DuPont and former head of NIDA, Peter Bensinger to corner the market on urine testing.

Soon after Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty.

Just as G. Gordon Liddy went into high-tech corporate security after his disgrace, Carlton Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 10 years 14 weeks ago

Off topic:

Because the total obstruction of the Obama administration has lasted almost six years now, the media considers this an old story, not worthy of coverage. How about a better approach like the coverage of the Iranian hostage "crisis" which reported a daily count of how long the problem was extant? Of course, that was to the disadvantage of a Democratic president back in the seventies whereas the current strategy is to the disadvantage of a Democratic president now! Is there a pattern here?

dtlewis 10 years 14 weeks ago

I am blood relative (immediate family) to the owner of a prominent drug testing lab here in the US. If it weren't enough that this person rakes in millions annually on state, federal and private contracts in corrections, transportation and private industry through testing of individuals for commonly abused drugs (among other things,) the business is organized such that the operating company which does the testing holds no assets and therefore cannot suffer any significant damages for botched tests which harm innocents. A separate holding company owns all the assets other than a pay period's worth of cash so the cash reserves and physical assets are beyond the reach of most courts. And if that weren't sufficiently insulting, this person once intimated that being in such a position, virtually any manner of compound is readily accessible to him in its pure form for the taking whenever the urge to partake should arise, no prescription required and, apparently, with little if any regulatory oversight. This is the same person whom, when we were considerably younger, was found to be in possession of syringes, needles and illicitly produced or obtained illegal drugs. Right up there with the likes of Darrell Issa i.e an unrepentent sociopath gleefully exhibiting the rigidly authoritarian corporate personna of so many of our "pillars" of industry and society. Pompous, arrogant, self-righteous and condescending pretty much sum up my impression.

fredamae 10 years 14 weeks ago

Real Impairment Testing

The solution has been touched on--here is the resource...

This actually measures impairment from all cause - not just targeting drugs, which will actually Improve work place safety.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

Thom makes an excellent point about sleep problems. I've had sleep apnea my whole life but only learned about it recently. When I drove for a living I used to routinely fall asleep at the wheel after about 45 mins of continuous driving. I thought it was normal. Only after people who heard me sleep insisted I get it checked out did I learn the truth. With a simple CPAP machine my life was changed. Now I can't force myself even to take a nap during the day. It's a new lease on life; and, a miracle that I never killed myself or anyone else. Like Thom said, when you sense you have a problem you tend to self regulate and find ways to cope to protect yourself and others. At least I did. I would take breaks and short naps along the side of the road when necessary.

Ironically, a lot of truckers use various drugs to cope with the same problem. The drugs counteract their sleeping problem. I wonder what would happen to highway safety if you took those drugs away and their sleep apnea went undiagnosed? Actually, no, I don't have to wonder. Thom hit the ball out of the park with this one, we do need to end drug testing. It is counterproductive as well as a Constitutional violation of unwarranted searches and seizures. It has the potential of causing much more harm than good in many ways; and, has no place in a free society.

gantt's picture
gantt 10 years 14 weeks ago

My question in regards to mandatory drug testing is this; If we are to test employees, does this include random drug testing for Prosecuting attorneys, District attorneys, all cops, legislators, congressmen, senators, bankers, CEOs, etc? Is this random drug testing for all or just random drug testing for the little guy?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Lewis, thank you for sharing such an illuminating and unique perspective! The immediate relative you speak of sounds like a psychopath all right; and what a bloody hypocrite!

The whole idea of drug testing is enough to make me friggin' crazy. I've only endured this degrading ritual once in my life. It was almost twenty years ago, during my brief stint as a nursing student. Given that situation and environment, and all that I'd already invested in my training up to that point, it was unavoidable. I'd prepared for it well in advance, via the necessary (ahem) change of habit and lifestyle, so I passed the test without incident. But I vowed to myself that never again would I subject myself to such a disgusting and unwarranted intrusion.

This has been a major factor in my decision to remain self-employed. It's bad enough that employers control as big a chunk of our lives as one typically spends on the job. But drug testing gives employers control of how people spend their time off the job, which is simply outrageous. It's like they own you; even your body. And these tests specifically target marijuana smokers.

Policies and laws of this sort are the hallmark of a fascist police state, where every aspect of your life is under the microscope. I will go to any lengths to avoid this. Frankly, I'd rather be dead than have to live on other people's terms 24-7, because it is tantamount to modern-day slavery. Shouldn't we all have certain areas of our lives that are for us alone, beyond reach of Big Brother or employers, or other authority figures? Isn't this a major factor in what makes life worth living? Who owns our bodies anyway?! Something well worth contemplating. - Aliceinwonderland

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 14 weeks ago

Alcohol is the gateway drug anyway.

DrRichard 10 years 14 weeks ago

Even Hitler and Stalin never imagined treating their people with such abuse. And one hopes that, in Germany at least, the average citizen would have complained about such nastiness. But the fact that so many Americans quietly submitted to this horror shows how far this country has fallen, and that the lyrics about the "land of the free" are as hollow as the slogan in a beer commercial.

DdC's picture
DdC 10 years 14 weeks ago

7 Reasons to Hire a Stoner

“A single glass of wine will impair your driving more than smoking a joint. And under certain test conditions, the complex way alcohol and cannabis combine to affect driving behaviour suggests that someone who has taken both may drive less recklessly than a person who is simply drunk".
~ New Scientist March 2002

Cannabis and Driving

THC’s effects after doses up to 300 g/kg never exceeded alcohol’s at BACs of 0.08 g% and were in no way unusual compared to many medicinal drugs (Robbe 1994). Yet THC’s effects differ qualitatively from many other drugs, especially alcohol. Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving WHEREAS THC encourage greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the former’s users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence.
~ Hindrik W.J. Robbe
Institute for Human Psychopharmacology,
University of Limburg,
P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands

Field Impairment Testing (FIT)
FIT 2000 Series
Impairment Screeners

30-second test. PMI has developed a unique technology to measure human impairment. It’s proprietary technology can assess whether a person is significantly impaired by fatigue, legal medications, illegal drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation; alone or in combination.

PMI has developed a mobile and fixed location device that permits an individual to self-administer a quick, non-invasive assessment test. The technology measures a person’s involuntary eye-reflex reactions to light, and compares key eye measurements to the person’s own baseline. These measurements can be used to track changes in the person’s alertness levels and levels of impairment.

Critics Sound Alarm Over Secret Drug Tests of Injured Drivers

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has raised serious concerns on behalf of 3,000 injured B.C. drivers whose blood will be tested for marijuana without their knowledge for a $1-million study on drugs and driving. full story

12 Days in Jail Over a Faulty Drug Test

Warroad woman was held in Canada after a motor oil bottle tested positive for heroin. full story

Systematic Discrimination Boycott List

’White Men Getting Rich From Legal Weed Won’t Help Those Harmed Most By Drug War’ @stopthedrugwar @WeedFeed

Parents 4 Pot ‏@parents4pot

Have you told your kids the truth about pot?

The US Government Now Supplies Cannabis Extracts to Epileptic Kids

Please send Rev. Eddy Lepp a letter in prison!

Ed Rosenthal ‏@edrosenthal

WSJ Poll: Candy Is Dandy But Pot Is Less Harmful

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago
Quote leighmf:Alcohol is the gateway drug anyway.

leighmf ~ Hiccup! Yep! I'll sure drink to that!

delster's picture
delster 10 years 14 weeks ago

i am an independent contractor in advertising. I specialize in medical and dental inustries. I've got over 30 years experience in the dental industry alone. From my own personal experience i truthfully can testify to the fact that the dental industry is dependent on trade, favors, and gifts of high quality, recreational pot and cocaine. Most dental sales and manufacturer executives sales reps are generously appointed with gifts of recreational drugs to dentists, health care professionals, assistants, hygenists,

operatory and clinic managers etc. Sales managers who benefit fron literally million dollar a year salaries insure annual sales in their territories with favors od drugs to support sales. No Joking !

These are the well respected comfortable comservative business executives with the nice homes, trophy wives, and mercedes in the driveways, who get thrir hands dirty in illicit drug trade. Why do they not get caught in screening ? The upper management personel never take drug tests becuase thet are above suspicion. No Joking ! Phamacuetical reps, same game. Doctors, same thing. I

have indulged with literal pillars of society on several occasion, some od them going on to serve in congress. So drug testing is not just an invasion of privacy its is also prejudice against lower income

emplyees. We could catch a lot of drug users if the drug tests were truely randon and un bias. ha ha !

Mystic's picture
Mystic 10 years 14 weeks ago

If your relative with the drug testing business has access to all these drugs, would it not be possible to spike the sample of someone he wanted to trash? Or someone he was paid off to trash? How can you possibly defend yourself against that kind of abuse?

Mystic's picture
Mystic 10 years 14 weeks ago

Dear Thom,

I wanted to clarify just a little on our brief discussion today concerning drug testing airline pilots.

1. It is probably not fair to say that drug testing makes flying "Less" safe, probably more accurate to say that it is an expensive and intrusive violation of our Constitutional rights in search of a nearly non-existent problem.

2. Would we be less likely to refer a fellow pilot for evaluation or help because of drug testing? In most cases we probably would refer them for help anyway. The vast majority of pilots are consummate professionals, and while it is difficult to be the heavy and question one of our peers, we also know that if we can get them into the Employee Assistance Program before they report for duty, we have a very good chance of saving their career. If however, someone reports for duty under the influence, the FAA and everyone else, including law enforcement, gets involved, and it is ugly. If they have a problem and we catch it early, we are doing them a favor. If they are just fatigued, the trained EAP councilors can figure that out.

3. And speaking of fatigue, I believe it is much more of an issue than the almost non-existent substance abuse. The airlines are always searching for ways to make the employees more “Productive”. We are often treated like robots that, to their annoyance, have to be scheduled according to various FAA and contractual limits. In practice they will push those limits right to the edge all the time. International flying often covers 10 or 11 time zones, and that combined with 12 to 16 hour flights, wreaks havoc on the body clock.

I just switched to more domestic flying, and in our schedules for next month I see that the company has figured out yet another means of increasing crew utilization. We have a large number of 3 day trips that start Mid-Continent and fly to the West coast with an early morning departure on the first day. Then you get a 13-14 hour layover to day sleep, followed by an all-nighter to the East Coast, arriving around 5-6AM. Day sleep again, followed by an evening flight back to the West Coast, arriving late evening, sleep at night, and finishing up with one to three legs late morning on day 3, winding up back home mid to late afternoon.

Generically it looks somewhat like this. All Times Local, so remember the 3 time zones involved.

Day Depart Arrive Layover hours

1 MidCon 0800 West Coast 10:00 13:30

1-2 West Coast 22:30 East Coast 0600 All-Nighter 14:00

2 East Coast 20:00 West Coast 23:00 12:30

3 West Coast 11:30 Home 15:00

Wrap your body clock around that schedule, but be alert, the passengers are counting on you. It has four duty periods in 3 days, with constantly shifting sleep times. The scheduling the company imposes on us is probably a significantly greater threat to our performance than the extremely limited substance abuse ever was.

I do like the performance test concept. When we start failing the tests due to fatigue, the companies would be forced to devise more humane schedules.

Pilot 136.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

These systematized practices are always just a means for the powerful to kick around, control and, ultimately, to exploit the powerless. There's even the thesis that drug laws were made in the first place to criminalize the cultural customs of racial minorities who they didn't like or didn't want stepping out of their place and always wanted to have an excuse to throw in jail, e.g., marijuana for African-Americans and Mexicans and opium for Chinese immigrants in California.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Ddc said "A single glass of wine will impair your driving more than smoking a joint"

jack Herer Images for jack herer strain
Do not Drive Dude lol

oh and Drug Test the Polluting Factories First "corrporate pissonage" Nancy say NO Justice

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Well put, Dr. Richard!

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Edit right then. and you can learn high as well

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

Sorry Mystic, just had to fix a couple of typos. I get pretty serious with these comments. Please hit "Edit" and "Save" and jump back in front of me.

Noam Chomsky said it well, when Communism fell in Eastern Europe U.S. elites needed a new bogey man as a pretex to dispense with the Constitution and make ilegitimate military actions elsewhere. When old man Bush wanted to invade Panama in 1990 after Mannuel Noriega got too independant, for example, the Berlin Wall had fallen and "glasnost" and "perestroika" were disolving the Eastern Bloc so he couldn't say, "Communism!" anymore so he said Noriega was a "narcodictator" trafficking drugs into the United States. Bush had started his "zero tolerance" campaign against drugs, their trafficking and use, the next to previous summer (some 15 months earlier).

Also part of that campaign - that fomented hysteria about drugs, drug use and drug users - was the rushed passage of new, draconian drug laws of questionable constitutionality and a disdainful dispensing with constitutional provisions in enforcement methods. Drugs were so terrible, it was reasoned, and drug users and dealers so despicable that surely we had to be hysterical and dispense with any constitutional measures that were designed to protect the innocent from wrongful conviction or harrassment by the authorities - just as "communism" and "communists" were before and "terrorism" and "terrorists" would be later on. Surely, it was implied - and sometimes stated - the founders of the United States and framers of the Constitution could not have been providing for this monstrous unforseen circumstance when they crafted the Bill of Rights (or for communism before or terrorism later) and thus could never have intended for us, of subsequent generations, to apply the constitution to this monstrosity and to these monsters (it would appear, from their rhetoric and action, that the Constitution could only function, and was only intended to function, under some sort of ideal circumstances and conditions, which, of course, never happen as this isn't anything near to an ideal world - in actuality, of course, such times of crisis and likely hysteria are when the Constitution is needed most and are the very times and circumstances for which it was written).

Also, in the '80s, the Reagan era, the War on Drugs was used for political witch hunts. Just as Joe McCarthy and HUAC, in the '50s, used anti communist hysteria to purge radicals of the '30s, right wingers of the '80s, as the Village Voice noted at the time, used the hysteria about drugs to purge the radicals of the '60s. People who were discovered to have smoked pot in '60s or '70s - before the super straight (but alcohol soaked) '80s - were fired, denied positions and banished from public life and effectively "black listed". Most notable among these was David Ginsburg, Reagan's Supreme Court nominee who did not gain confirmation when it hit the fan that he had smoked pot in college.

This strategy served them well because if, at that time, you could exclude everybody who'd ever smoked pot from public life you would effectively exclude all the radicals of the '60s. It was also at about this time that the wide spread drug testing earnestly began - for the purpose of excluding those who'd made a defiant life style choice more than to prevent impairment on the job (as was more or less frankly stated at the time, saying it was done to make for general intolerance ["zero tolerance"] of illegal - and, of course, otherwise illicit - behavior).


Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

I only look like I get high. I haven't smoked any weed in more than 22 years. Maybe it's the long term effects.

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 10 years 14 weeks ago

I once had to take a general drug screen up in Seattle. I had to report to the Jones Building. Seattle is kind of poetic.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Frank Gehry Seattle Stoner Monument Images for frank gehry seattle experience music project

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 14 weeks ago

I worked on oil rigs when I was younger and I am probaly alive today because of drug testing. Things are a lot different when your life depends on it.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

Somebody here has a book I want to read!!!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago
Quote Kend:I worked on oil rigs when I was younger and I am probaly alive today because of drug testing. Things are a lot different when your life depends on it.

Kend ~ Correction! You are probably alive today because of the lack of common sense testing; but, please, don't take my word for it. The future will bear me out.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

Palindromedary (and/or Aliceinwonderland) ~ If that is me, then my all time favorite book is this one:,_the_Buckaroo

Everyone needs an all time favorite hero... That's mine!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Mark, having studied marijuana prohibition, I can assure you that everything you've claimed (that pot prohibition is used as a legal weapon against minorities like blacks & hispanics) can be easily substantiated. - AIW

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Good point insurance is much more expensive for some than others. the more reckless amongst us indanger the as to the situation.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

Who you crappin', Kend? There was no drug testing when you were younger. Marijuana couldn't even be found in the system by any tests until the '80s. Anyway, Canada had already decriminalized pot by the '70s.

As far as "when your life depends on it", we got a credible pilot who thinks otherwise.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

This systematic harassment of marijuana smokers will not cease with the end of pot prohibition. Employers will continue subjecting workers to these urine tests, along with saliva tests, hair tests, blood tests ad nauseam, and people will continue living under the microscope of fascist surveillance. Hey, what's to stop landlords from subjecting prospective tenants to this abuse? The more the merrier!

Land of the free, home of the brave! - AIW

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 10 years 14 weeks ago

I dunno. I hear those Malaysians smoke a lot of weed and then their planes disappear. Seems pretty clear to me.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

Listen Cop Out, I'm sick of your nonsense! We're trying to have intelligent discussion here on this blog and you're making all these careless and stupid comments. I wish you'd go where people like you belong and stop bothering us self righteous, uh, that is, I mean, righteous scholarly types.

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 10 years 14 weeks ago

Who the f are you to question Kend's credibility? If he says he worked on an oil rig, he worked on an oil rig! If he says drug testing saved his life then it saved his life! Self righteous clown!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

Oh, peezh tush! That Kend is such a bullshitter I think he invented his whole online persona. I think he's a shill. Dumb ass!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago
Quote anarchist cop out:Who the f are you to question Kend's credibility?

anarchist cop out ~ And just whom may I ask are you to vouch for anyone here. You, are not even able to vouch for your own credibility--of which, in my humble opinion, you lost in it's entirety the moment you vouched for Kend's. Good bye!

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 14 weeks ago

Mark, how old do you think I am. Just for the record I did work on the rigs. I started in the early 80's in my teens and worked in the oil business into the 90's. All well after wooden dereks by the way. In the begining there was no drug testing as we know it today. If you even seemed a bit high on anything you where run off . The first rig I worked on was Westwood rig four, which by the way blew up on a location near a town called lodgepole, AB . I lost friends in that blow out and it and my time on the rigs was very f&%#ing real. My point was when you work in a job that a mistake could cost you your life you don't take any chances.

cop out thanks for your support

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

You know, Alice, you're right. Employers have gained so much power and employees lost so much that employers almost own their employees now in many ways. I remember when it was only necessary to do a job 8 hours a day, five days a week. Now you have to be the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even a crappy minimum wage job. They drug test day laborers not infrequently also.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

Kend, I thought you were at least my age. You're a few, maybe five, years younger.

I would agree, Kend, if they were testing, reliably, to see if you were high at the time, on the job. In that case, however, it wouldn't matter what you would be impaired by, impairement from any source would be an equal concern. Drug testing is really about intolerantly controlling other people's lifestyle choices and about general control and dominance. I mean, the drinks you had last week wouldn't be relevant to any current situation, would they?

Cop Out's a dumb ass. He's a softie, an easy mark (no pun).

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago
Quote Kend:My point was when you work in a job that a mistake could cost you your life you don't take any chances.

Kend ~ Very true! You don't take any chances, do you? The environment dictates your behavior. Darwins theory of natural selection does the rest. My father worked a similar job. Anyone who was dumb enough to show up compromised was quickly identified by co workers who didn't want to depend upon them. Anyone who fell through that line of defense fell by their own hands in short order. You cannot work such a job and serve the master of drugs at the same time. There really is no need for any invasion of privacy.

Drug testing has only been around for a few decades; yet, since the time the pyramids were built there have been dangerous work environments that required complete attention by all workers to perform their daily tasks. The lack of drug testing didn't inhibit the building of the pyramids, the Eiffel tower, Stonehenge, The Space Needle, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Twin Towers, or any other physical testament to the accomplishment of a drug testing free environment that exists in any developed city anywhere in the world.

Do you really want us to believe that drug testing was the key factor in keeping your oil derrick safe and you alive?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

We have a local restaurant here in town that has a framed photograph that has always shocked me. It is a photograph of highrise construction workers taking a lunch break on a steel beam many floors above ground. They all seem quite casual about lunch. It would have scared the hell out of me. Just looking at the photo always gives me the creeps. Certainly none of these workers were the least bit impaired. Even completely sober you could never get me on that beam. There is a certain amount of self discipline we all assert over our own behavior in order to satisfy our sense of self preservation. It has worked since the dawn of time and only those interested in a fascist agenda and a quick profit would have us think some draconian measure is suddenly necessary to replace the human sense of self preservation. That is a ridiculous notion.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

What about jobs where safety isn't an issue. What about a job where you answer the phone, sit at a desk all day shuffling paper, or play a game. The underlying issues here are job performance and health. Shouldn't that be the main concerns of employers and employees. What would happen if it was discovered that being under the influence of something increased performance? Babe Ruth and Mark McGuire were both under the influence of something when they outperformed all other batters in Baseball history. It was their choice. Why not let freedom of choice trump corporate policy and performance testing replace drug testing for any situation where safety isn't an issue, and let the human need for self preservation reign in all other situations. How will we as a species ever learn the true value and harm of various substances on the human body unless we test them in the real world? Once this information is learned and becomes common knowledge the human sense of self preservation will do the rest. These draconian laws are preventing and delaying our own human progress and evolution. The time has come to stomp them out once and for all.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 14 weeks ago

Marc there is a big difference from back then to today. You can't use the natural selection theory today. Well maybe after tracking the empoyees screw ups for months maybe years. Putting together a extensive file showing how useless and unsafe this idoit really is. Then maybe after you give him a massive package then and only then can you terminate the employment. Hopefully before they kill or hurt someone. In my day there it was simple if we didn't feel safe the guy was gone. It kinda went like this. "get the F&%@ off my lease" done, no HR dept. Done.

As far as drug resting. It can't hurt. you pee in a cup. Big deal. Get over it. Look if it saves one life its worth it. Besides companies have so much liability today with all the bullshit law suits what else can they do. They have to cover there butts.

Besides if you are that worried invest in a whizzinator.if you don't know what that is goggle it.

On a lighter note my cousin smoked a little pot and had to get drug tested so he got a buddys urine for his Whizzanator and the borrowed urine tested positive for Cocaine. Best part is he payed the guy for it. I swear true story. Up in Ft McMurray (Ft McMoney as we call it) where oil sands are there is manitory drug testing everywhere. thats where he got busted. lost his $45.00/hr job driving a 1/2 ton truck around. He was a teamstear but up there if you are positive you are gone. Safety first they say,

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago
Quote Kend:As far as drug resting. It can't hurt. you pee in a cup. Big deal. Get over it. Look if it saves one life its worth it.

Kend ~ What could it hurt to save one life? What about all the lives lost fighting for our Constitutional rights that you've just cancelled. Oh, that right, you're a Canadian. Well some of us Americans hold our Constitutional rights very dear and simply won't hand them over to... maybe save one life.

Your example is flawed. What you described applies more to a stupid incompetent person than one on drugs. Unless, you've never interacted with someone on drugs it isn't that hard to spot. In addition, someone on most common drugs screws up continuously and is easy to spot. Insisting that someone who is suspected take a test, and randomly testing everyone are two completely different things.

On a lighter note, your example shows another flaw in testing... it is an easy thing to get around if you already know the result will be positive; and, who better to know that fact than yourself? I once knew someone who smoked weed who used his kids urine for the test. I asked him what would happen if the test came back positive anyway? He said he would kill his kid. I then asked him if that course of action didn't make him feel the least little bit like a first class hypocrite? He insisted it didn't. There you have the type of situation this blatant violation of the Constitution fosters--an artificially created class of first class hypocrites, liars, and deceivers. Is that really the company you like to keep?

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

That's my point, Kend, your cousin smoked some weed long ago and far away and it has naught to do with any safety on the job today. You're trying to control employees' lives and lifestyles, arranging everything for your convenience, without any consideration for employees' personal lives and freedoms.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

If anyone can't tell someone is under the influence of drugs after being in their company for several minutes it's because you're not paying attention. Someone under the influence of Alcohol slurs their speech, is uncoordinated, and, usually smells like a brewery. Someone under the influence of Marijuana has reddened eyes, slowed movement and reflexes, increased appetite, loss of short term memory, and, usually smells like a Colombian ganga ranch. Someone under the influence of Cocaine, or Speed, has dilated pupils, tremors, and sweats for no reason like they are in a sauna. They are hyperactive, have no appetite, and often smell like chemicals. Someone under the influence of hallucinogens like LSD, PCP, mescaline, peyote, ecstasy, itc, are typically completely helpless and unable to function in most situations. They have dilated pupils and are very sensitive to light, They exhibit extremely uncharacteristic behaviors and also tend to sweat for no reason like they are in a sauna.

The drug policy of any company should be limited to recognizing such obvious symptoms and only testing people who exhibit such symptoms regularly. In exchange for not losing ones job the individuals who are found using should first be offered recovery resources which should be a part of any health program. Drug testing such employees after attending a recovery program for a period of two years or so as a condition of employment isn't a problem for me.

What people do on their own time is their own business. Only Marijuana testing identifies the drug in the body after the effect of the drug wears off. For that reason alone drug testing discriminates against Marijuana users. Ironically, Marijuana is the safest and most healthy drug to use that is known to man. It is an excellent drug for recreational purposes and it is time society recognizes that fact and encourages it. There is absolutely no reason to invade the privacy of anyone when actual drug use on the job is so easy to detect without drug testing. Drug testing should only be used to verify a legitimate suspicion when the use of drugs presents a legitimate safety hazard.

Furthermore, any employee who displays the symptoms above without testing positive for drugs should have a complete physical and psychological evaluation because these are abnormal symptoms that indicate other serious health issues if drugs are not involved.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

"You pee in a cup", says Kend; "Big deal. Get over it."

You conveniently ignore one very significant fact in this debate. Flunking a pee test does not indicate a worker is stoned. It only indicates he got high a day ago, or a week ago, or even a month ago, which is none of your goddam business. When you subject an employee to a pee test, you are sticking your nose where it doesn't belong: his leisure and personal life off the job, not to mention his private body parts. Someone's performance on the job is all you need to be concerned about.

The only people who get to examine my body fluids are doctors who are concerned with my health. It's because of people like you, Kend, that I won't work for someone else. NOBODY gets to dictate what I can and can't do on my spare time, and I mean NOBODY. - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. Marc, I wrote this before reading your last post, and I see that you've made the same point. This is what makes me so crazy about these tests, outside of the privacy issue. It's the fact that they target marijuana users specifically, and don't even indicate someone is under the influence! And I don't see this insanity going away even after pot prohibition has ended. I predict that the harassment and intimidation will drag on as employers continue subjecting workers to this demeaning ritual. So again I ask, who owns your body? Because that's really the bottom line. Whose body and life is this anyway?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

Be proactive...urinate in a baggy when you haven't had any drugs for quite a while...freeze it...then use it when you have to....just make sure it's not icy cold when you submit it for testing.

By the way, Kend, I have been trying to locate that Lodgepole blowout well, of Oct. 17, 1982, but it seems that even doesn't list it...if the well is well number 13-12-48-12W5 as is noted in the videos:

Well number 00/11-12-048-12W5/0 is what I believe to be very near where the blowout well was located. There is either a mistake in the well number I have from that video or maybe there is some other reason why it is not shown. There are many abandoned wells shown so why isn't the infamous one shown..I wonder. The blowout well had been doing a horizontal drill underneith the Pembina River...somewhere near the one shown here.

If one zooms out and moves around the map one might be astounded as to just how many wells there are. I think I saw a number ...something like over quarter of a million of them...just there in that area of Alberta.

So, my guess, given that you were probably 18 or 19 in 1980-1982, that should make you about 53 or 54 or 55 years old.

From what I've read about it...that Lodgepole blowout went on for about 67 days and spewed a lot of hydrogen sulfide into surrounding towns where lots of people got headaches and respiratory ailments. It was very interesting how they managed to put it out though. Now those were some really brave dudes. But there were a couple or three dead ones because they took off their masks (as I have read). H2S-Hydrogen Sulfide in such concentrations within several thousands of feet from the well would have been very lethal.

I've smelled very strong rotten egg H2S odors very often in Saudi Arabia...not very pleasant even at low levels.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ So how do you like the book I suggested in #27. It is a true story that makes for a great read. The synopsis in the link I provided doesn't do the true story justice. You need to get the book and read it for yourself to absorb the true life of probably the greatest hero in American history. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. I've already read it several times myself and own two copies just in case I can't find one for another read. John L. Davies is a constant inspiration in life; and, has been for many, many years.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

DAnnemarc: John L. Davie had a very interesting life...he was lucky it wasn't a short one. To stick up for himself against the! And to have spent 18 years as mayor of Oakland. And Jack London helped fight against the RR with him. Wow! The people certainly liked and respected him. I also like Jack London's stories. I used to go down to Jack London Square and eat at the Old Spaghetti Company..and some of the other restaurants. They had an old largely wooden complex...looked like it was made out of old barn wood...with wood floors. Went into all those stores. Used to go to the boat shows. And some years watched the boat parade at Christmas time at all decorated up with lights. I liked to go to that bookstore...I forget now which one it was Barnes and Nobles? I also went to the farmer's market a few times. Thanks for telling me about John L. Davie...what a character!! I haven't actually read the book yet only bits and pieces from various sources. I have so many books now, many I have read, some only partially, and not enough time to read them all. I have many times been very tempted to buy yet more books but I have to keep slapping my hands reminding myself that I will likely only buy yet one more book that I may not have time to read. I'm trying to get into the habit of "not buying books" to counter my habit of "buying them" that I've been on so many years.

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 10 years 14 weeks ago

I guess I'm lucky. I retired young, at 47, and it was the following year that drug testing became so popular for low level employers and minor managers. The Middle and upper level managers didn't seem to have to go through it - just the ones who dragged themselves into the office every day - after having been up with a baby or a sick child more than half the night, sick with a cold, or not feeling from from literally everything BUT drugs. The upper level management people bragged about their partying all night, how many lines of coke they'd done, how many shots they'd counted before they lost count, and other things. But they were exempt.

Drug testing is ridiculous. I know of very few people who don't take sleep aids, drink, or take medications for many other health problems. If everyone is forced to take a drug test, it serves no practical purpose. The ones who are favored (either) will never have to, or theirs will be swapped out for a clean test. It's just another hatchet job against real, hard-working people who struggle to raise families and have to go to work, as well.

And now that MMJ has been proven to relieve pain and some other problems in so many hard-working people, the testing is out-of-line. As long as a person can perform their job well, their reputations shouldn't be marred by the stress of one more invasion of privacy.

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