Drug Tests Shouldn’t Weed Out Pot Use

Give me your urine. And no, it’s not for some weird fetish of mine. The reason I’m asking for your liquid waste has to do with my attempts at finding employment this summer.

You see, the company that has expressed interest in hiring me has made quite a few demands.

They want me to provide proof of enrolment at the University, a recent driver’s abstract, and two pieces of government-issued ID. I’m fine delivering these, though I have a problem with their fourth demand: that I complete a drug test within the next week or two.

When considering the basic test for cannabinoids, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP, it seems understandable why an employer may not want to hire someone who is a heroin user, or someone who can’t go 48 hours without smoking some crack. Those are what many people, including National Geographic, consider to be hard drugs — substances that are physically and psychologically addictive, and are potentially very harmful with long-term use. Even though alcohol and nicotine are legalized and not tested for, they also fall into this category.

The problem I have with the procedure is that they also test for the most widely used illicit drug in Canada, marijuana, whose testable psychoactive properties stay in a person’s urine for about a month. Exactly how long depends on how much is ingested and the body fat of the user, among other things. It’s a drug that over 50 per cent of Canadians have admitted to trying, and is proven to be safer than alcohol, tobacco, and aspirin, which is grouped with more damaging substances.

In California, the legalization of cannabis will be voted on this fall. Although it’s not guaranteed to pass by any means, it’s a sign of the changing culture. And that’s just as well, because employers aren’t decreasing the chances of their employees getting high on the job when they know that they usually won’t be subjected to random tests once employed. What they’re effectively doing is adding an arbitrary defining element to their hiring process.

I can see why the government may want to test for more illicit substances, though I don’t know if they could do anything with that information. That being said, I don’t see any reason why a company would make it their responsibility to enforce a law whose origin involves racial prejudice, moral panic, and a lack of informed debate.

It frustrates me that I presently risk losing a job because I enjoy mind-altering states just as much as 99 per cent of people do. There are many sources and studies available online to back up all the things I’ve said, and though I’m speaking to a university audience here, I believe there are still large campus populations who need to educate themselves on illicit substances, be it marijuana or otherwise.

I won’t ask for your urine again. It probably wouldn’t be warm enough anyway to do me much good. Though until marijuana is legalized or tests remove THC from their checklists, I’m left counting the days until I may light up again. Maybe I’ll enjoy a few hits of LSD to make the time pass in a more entertaining fashion. Thank God they don’t test for that, because I’m addicted.

– Article from The Gateway.

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  293. Anonymous on

    It’s a big, sick fucking outrage that little CONSERVATIVE prick got away with driving drunk in possession of cocaine.

    If that was you, he’d be working hard right now to see that you got sodomized against your will by a serial killer.

    And if you’re over the age of 50 and think it’s too late for this to happen to you, guess again. They don’t respect you either, we are all fucking meat sticks.

  294. Anonymous on

    Exactly. Not one person from any other field can look at the people who are stuck with these low-paying jobs and say “that’s all their capable of,” or “that’s what they’ve amounted to.” It’s lost, wasted potential.

    It’s these artificial ways of dividing us that make so many of us feel like we are in a class structure. Sometimes I think, if 95% of people really want a class system, maybe they SHOULD all be on the bottom! X’D

  295. Anonymous on

    Taking a hit or two of cannabis on a friday night will be out of your system by Monday morning, Im subject to randoms and use this method and NEVER have a problem, but I also buy at home drug tests to test myself prior to starting the work week. And obviously you never give a clinic your first piss of the morning.

  296. Anonymous on

    Drug tests can give false positives (Check out the Mythbusters episode).

    For employment it would be wise to substitute whether or not you use drugs. With employment tests you are given privacy so it is really no sweat. You have to sign a form saying this is your urine. Last time I was thinking “Of course it’s mine. I wonder if they want to see the receipt?”

  297. Anonymous on

    The part that bothers me the most is that crack and cocaine users will stand to gain the most.

    A cocaine user can pass a drug test by staying clean for 48 hours, or even by consuming certain other things. Even an occasional cannabis user could fail a test many days later… regular user would fail over a MONTH after the last use…

    Cocaine also effects a temporary ‘brain boost’… a fictional allusion to this exists in that the character sherlock holmes was a cocaine user… I believe Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was trying to expose this most insidious evil to the world. Literally selling one’s soul to ‘the devil’ in exchange for a temporary false intelligence.
    I’ve worked with cocaine users. They’re miserable and clueless most of the time, but come up with amazing ideas overnight or come back ‘supercharged’ after their break. For an hour or two they’re happy, socialable and full of great ideas.

    Legislators that get caught using drugs are cocaine users, not cannabis users… just look at the politicians with cocaine charges (dropped, wtf?!?) while the government pushes it’s tough new anti-drug laws focusing on ‘marijuana’, in opposition to both the will of the majority of Canadian people, and all scientific evidence ever presented…

  298. Brian Kerr on

    If I had a company I would test for weed and only hire weed smokers. (just joking)

    Cannabis use is a productivity booster as users come to work after a full nights sleep and in a non stressed state because they smoked the night before. Much Much better than drinkers which may come to work hung over. I would rather hire free thinking creative people, many cannabis users are just that. I would never take a drug test for work. It is immoral to test for drug use. It is no bodes business. If you show up at work and do a good job is all that matters.

    Is there a list of companies which test ? I would love to send letters of displeasure to them.

  299. Anonymous on

    Everywhere i’ve ever worked, intense labour jobs, construction, customer service, bike courier. Everybody fucking smoked weed, bosses and humble employees.This needs to stop

  300. Anonymous on

    until its legalized this is perhaps not about having them come in baked, or using mind altering substances is keeping their names “clean” and supposedly having a tough stance on drug use. They seem like a “responsible company” that way. My previous job had me sign a contract for permission to test. I didn’t agree to it, so I kept it secret to most. But it was a matter of having money or being unemployed.