Study: Student Drug Testing Programs Don’t Work

The imposition of student drug testing programs is not effective in limiting students’ consumption of controlled substances, according to survey data published in the January edition of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Investigators from Israel and the United States assessed whether students’ awareness of drug testing programs in their school was associated with a reduction in the frequency of their use of alcohol, cigarettes, or cannabis.

Authors reported, “Consistent with previous research, results of the current study show that perceived SDT (student drug testing) is not associated with a reduction in initiation or escalation of substance use in the general student population.”

They concluded, “The current research reinforces previous conclusions that SDT is a relatively ineffective drug-prevention policy.”

An estimated 20 percent of US high schools impose drug testing upon members of the student body.

Previous assessments of student drug testing programs, including random testing programs, report that the imposition of such programs are not associated with reduced levels of student drug use and, in some instances, are “associated with increased use of illicit drugs other than marijuana.”

Full text of the study, “Student Drug Testing and Positive School Climates: Testing the Relation Between Two School Characteristics and Drug Use Behavior in a Longitudinal Study,” is available online here.

46 thoughts

  1. I don’t think student drug testing was ever intended as a preventative measure. Regardless of whether it’s sold on that premise, it’s always a class weapon wielded the same way it is in the workplace and society at large: discriminatorily.

  2. Did this really have to be tested? I’m currently a senior in High School, and i see more drugs flowing through the halls than in a club. A kid just got caught the other day with 12 packets of heroine, intending to sell. Many kids are doing molly every weekend and a lot are drinking too. I get asked everyday if i know anyone that wants pills of any kind. We can get randomly tested, but the kids just don’t care. Also i’d say, at the very least, half of the whole student body smokes marijuana. All they are doing is wasteing money.

  3. When you get right down to it student drug testing is obviously worthless. As daytonvh said,”class weapon”. Tired of it all. Can’t wait to get to sunny California.

  4. One more thing. In todays world did anyone really think that they wouldn’t at least try cannabis. I know i’d be a fool if I thought my kids would never try it. You could no more stop kids from these experiment than you can stop them from having sex. How they behave after it is a matter of what you as a parent have contributed to their upbringing.

  5. I am a young doctor in the US military and took part in a command wide urinalysis today. A whole gymnasium full of officers standing around holding cups of their own urine for over an hour as we wait to submit our samples to the command. I was Wondering how effectively we are spending the tax payers money as a couple hundred officers take over an hour out of their day to do this. wondering if anyone will even test positive and also wondering if there is any correlation between drug testing and work safety, readiness, effectiveness at work, etc. I have a feeling that the above findings would apply.

  6. Hmm… Seems like it is easier to just not go to police-state, I mean school…

    Right?

    Get a GED, kids then go to college!

  7. Duh!!!

    They may as well study whether bears really shit in the woods. It’s pretty obvious to most of us …

    The people have spoken! We have chosen to use cannabis regardless of brutal laws or threats of getting tested. This is America at it’s finest – standing up to tyranny!

  8. Same ole, same ole testing that does not identify the time of impairment so it can’t tell if it was off-duty use or on-duty use.

    The military ought use impairment at the time of the tests to rule out leisure time use. You can get piss blind drunk and as long as it you don’t come in hung over on a work day, nobody gives a shit. The military pisses away more money buying all this other shit that trickles down to the drug warriors, you know, like their SWAT equipment going to cops, so they can initiate the impairment at time of test equipment implementation and get all the bugs worked out then when they get new the fairer at time of test technology can roll downhill, too. You can go off-duty to some party or event and drink yourself so drunk you have difficulty focusing your eyes and pass out, then wake up feeling like shit in your own vomit and realizing you pissed yourself while you were out cold.

    Just carding people and looking for the big 2 of being stoned (1 the smell of smoked weed, 2 bloodshot eyes) while someone is on the job or behind the wheel ought to do it. There are you two prongs in the 2 big things to look for. Once the US inevitably legalizes I will expect the military to adapt.

    Well, on the bright side, what better way to see everybody’s meat! Who has got what? J. Edgar Hoover appears to be still live and well. Well, it could be a way of picking who you want to date and then broach things with them later to see if they are receptive doing things together and ultimately winding up in the sack together. There has to be a less humiliating way and fairer way of testing. The old tests are based on old ideas of uninformed people who are long gone.

    The feds need to answer the letter with good news that they are going to give the go-ahead to legal cannabis banking, basically tell the banks it’s okay to accept cannabis money and that the feds calling off the dawgz.

  9. I’m actually surprised that drug testing doesn’t work. I’m NOT surprised that it continues despite evidence it doesn’t work.

    When drug testing is “…associated with increased use of illicit drugs other than marijuana”. This is a monstrous perversion driving people from a relatively innocuous substance to dangerous crap like heroin, meth, alcohol and nicotine.

  10. I just read on marijuana.com that Colorado put in for a $7 million grant for MMJ research, and they had better effing get it. As someone who has been battling cancer, I want absolutely every possibility for cures researched. You know, I’m just so tired of some asshole in a decision-making position telling me that cannabis is off-limits, not an option. And then these assholes get together and make everybody in the world put up with this shit. It’s always different when it’s you so why do people who do not need cannabis medically get to decide this shit. They have no sense of urgency. What the hell do they care? It’s not them. Many a prohibitionist has changed their tune when it comes to cannabis and someone they know or when cancer or some shit hits them.

    Like Governor Christie was such a fat prick to Vivian Wilson’s dad and with this hemp legislation in NJ it sure would be nice if NJ loosened up all the restrictions on cannabis MMJ and recreational. State would be raking in the bucks if you could get seeds there, too. Atlantic City needs a boost now that neighboring states have jumped on the casino money train. I can see it now: vacation in New Jersey and buy some weed and some seeds to take home with you, lotta people coming up I95 from the Carolinas and the South, too. $Kaching$

  11. That’s the first time I’ve heard the phrase “class Weapon”. That is a very accurate description. All drug testing does is create an under class. It proves nothing on impairment or safety. We truly are in a police state.

  12. There once was a time that you could still pass a drug test on the railroad with THC in your system. It just depended on how much, and would result in pass or rehab. I think that the kids today should be tested for STD’ s which are more dangerous than cannabis. Let me as a parent police my kid, schools need to focus on education, everything else is wasted effort.

  13. The only drug test my kids will be taking in high school will be a test on what drugs affect us, and the history of the profit motivations for the drug war.
    The test questions will be as follows:
    1. Is it constitutional to allow the chief executive law enforcer, the attorney general, to legislate drug policy?
    2. What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
    3. Is it constitutional for the president to declare any war without Congressional approval?
    4. What is the difference between celulosic and petroleum based products?
    5. Is it constitutional that the number of Representatives in the House stopped at 435?
    6. What is the endocannabinoid system?
    7. How does a timber or fiber patent on synthetic, petroleum based products affect the prohibition of a domestic hemp market?
    Discuss. Educate. Participate.

  14. @Militarydoc: “also wondering if there is any correlation between drug testing and work safety, readiness, effectiveness at work, etc. I have a feeling that the above findings would apply.”

    Actually, there has been plenty of independent study of this subject from day one, and the result was: Drug testing does not improve safety, productivity, or reduce drug usage rates. In fact, drug testing has been shown to increase drug usage rates for hard drugs and decrease safety, as it disincentivizes accident reporting (even though it does artificially improve the safety record on that point and create the illusion of safety, in terms of actual safety, it’s the other way around). Drug testing was forced onto this country based on public ignorance, moral panic, and deliberately skewed data and outright lies from the drug testing industry, and it continues on in that vein, further insulated from the truth by having created a witch-hunt culture in which people like me must be afraid to speak out for fear of being pre-convicted of drug use even if we’re not users, based entirely on the fact that we criticize the drug testing industry. It has never gotten FDA approval and it has never once passed a peer review. Every bit of evidence showing it works is industry-funded, much like the tobacco-industry funded evidence that cigarettes are as healthy for you as air. Up to 30% of all positive drug tests are false positives, and a lot of that is due to the fact that there is little to no regulation or oversight on the drug testing industry, resulting in a number of basic errors and mistakes (and seriously, if we can be randomly tested, shouldn’t the company that holds our jobs and our freedom in its hands be regularly tested/inspected to ensure its accuracy?), not to mention the cross-reactivity, because drug metabolytes are shared or similar to the metabolytes of many OTC meds and foods, meaning there are people even today testing positive for heroin because they ate a poppyseed muffin. It has also been used before to screen out people for legally protected health conditions the employer might find onerous to have on their health insurance: In 1988, the WA police took drug testing samples from all employees, but the actual purpose for taking the samples was to test the female employees for pregnancy so they’d know who to get rid of. If they got caught doing that once, what are the chances that they haven’t been doing that a lot since, especially since the drug testing industry and the practice of drug testing is largely left to its own devices, funded by government money in the form of tax writeoffs, tax breaks, and workers comp subsidizations but entirely immune to any government regulation or oversight? The drug testing industry is allowed to operate with zero transparency on any level, and zero accountability to anyone. Does anyone really believe these weasels are behaving themselves sheerly out of the kindness of their black little hearts?

    The facts are available to anyone who wants to see them, but I’ve found them scattered across the internet, so I’ve been collecting them. Here is a list of sources I’ve compiled regarding the untold story of drug testing. In the opening paragraph I mark some of them as being particularly good, but they’re all worth a read. Especially check out the one from the National Workrights Institute, detailing more recent studies that show the inaccuracy of the drug testing industry.

    http://enddrugtesting.blogspot.com/2013/05/anti-drug-testing-facts-helpful-list-of.html

  15. @Militarydoc: Also, SPREAD THE WORD! I can’t emphasize this enough! A lot of people who simply accept the drug testing industry do so because they don’t know the facts and assume that because it’s been around for so long it surely must be good. I’ve come out to about five people at work, and four of them were very interested in hearing what I had to say about drug testing. Only one seemed disinclined either to speak about it and only reluctantly took my list while repeating “well, I don’t need it because I don’t do drugs”, and even then she told me later on Facebook that she wasn’t assuming I did drugs because I opposed drug testing, and it was mainly because she felt she had to emphasize that she didn’t do drugs because she’s a student.

    At this point, 58% of Americans support legalization AND 64% of Americans feel it is inappropriate for employers to fire people for off-the-job marijuana use. (Another point: 98% of positive drug tests are for marijuana, and drug testing is useless for catching any other kind of drug user.) I think this may be the best time to start spreading the truth that the drug testing industry has suppressed through fear and force for thirty years and counting. Which is why I made my compilation and I do continue to add to it when I find something new, and I encourage anyone who has something not on my list to leave a comment on that post and link to it (and I’ll add it to my list too, but if I don’t get to it right away at least it’s available). The facts are against the drug testing industry and it’s power to silence its opponents is thinning as more and more people are willing to listen to this side of the story and fewer and fewer people are succumbing to the Drug War brainwashing and tuning out anyone who says “the Drug War is a failure”, “marijuana should be legalized” or “drug testing should be outlawed”.

  16. @daytonvh: Too true. The fact is that drug testing is a form of submissive urination. You know how you yell at your dog and it pisses on the floor in front of you–even if you’re yelling at the dog because it pissed on the floor to begin with? That is submissive urination; the dog is pissing before you to show you how powerful you are and how frightened he is of you as the alpha. It’s a primal pack instinct, and I strongly believe that this is a major consideration of companies that choose to employ drug testing. I think that, among the other benefits of being able to artificially improve safety records without actually improving workplace safety, getting government payoffs, and being able to screen out people with protected health considerations, a big consideration they make is the fact that it subconsciously establishes the worker as the slave and the employer as the master. Why else would they continue to do drug testing when it constantly screens out the most qualified applicants from the job pool and forces them to fire the best workers from their businesses? Why else would the deal-breaker be pissing on command rather than, you know, actual competence, intelligence and training? Because they want to know before they hire you whether you will accept them as your ruler, accept the fact that your flesh is now company property and not your own anymore, that you are willing to piss for them to show how frightened you are of their awesome power. And believe me, it does affect how you relate to your employer even if you accept and/or support drug testing. The effects are subconscious, which is why employers like it–it makes the effect much more insidious and therefore harder to fight.

    There are a lot of subconscious power benefits employers realize by making submissive urination the ultimate basis of their hiring policies.

  17. When I was working the oil rigs in the north sea. They would drug test after the hitch to see if you had been smoking while on the rig. A hitch or shift is normally two weeks. They didn’t care what you did before you went out as long as you were sober when you got on the chopper.

  18. No shit Demonhype. Drug testing is there to make people feel like shit about themselves in one way or other. It should only be used for jobs in which you operator dangerous machinery. Otherwise it is nothing more the the kind of training you give to a pet. Or someone you think of as a slave. The cracker bullshit train of hate keeps making its deliveries.

  19. I’m retired from a transit union. Drug tested was federally mandated upon us and the rest of the country after a RR accident in Md. caused by an engineer who had thc in his blood. All members of my union are tested, whether or not you’re a driver. In the name of safety. Yes, several dozens of members have been caught under the influence, mostly alcohol, and lost their jobs. All this over 1 incident, that us locals know as the real cause was his watching football on a portable tv and not paying close enough attention to the signals. When NTSB found the damaged, discarded tv, he denied it was his. Hence the Feds blamed the cannabis and drug testing was born. So if you want to blame someone for all this sh…..

  20. BTW…the second engineer on board tested negative for drugs, had a wife and kids, and wasn’t charged with any offense, yet the accident still happened. Hmmmm……..

  21. It is associated with an increase in alcohol and hard drugs, because marijuana is the only drug that tests positive for 30 DAYS AFTER! Alcohol doesn’t even test positive at all. This is a mission to get kids busted and on harder drugs! These tests are part of a mission to sabotage the next generation of American students, during a time of war – by companies that hate America.

  22. @Miles
    They may as well study whether bears really shit in the woods. It’s pretty obvious to most of us …
    The ONDCP’s response would be “Bears do not shit in the woods, they never have and never will.” Lieing is actually in the Drug Czar’s job discription. When ask if “misleading information”(lieing) is within the scope of the job, the response was that it is “within the stautory role assigned to the ONDCP”. So,…… they lie. Fact. Asking this liar to tell you the truth will only get you an answer that will fulfill the mandate of the ONDCP, and that is to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form)” residing in the CSA’s Schedule 1. What has always troubled me on this is the far reaching impact of such behavior on our children. When a government lies to its people and creates conflict among them it fosters this eternal contempt for authority(when they find out the truth and they always do). Much like what I feel for sub-humans such as Harry Anslinger or Richard Nixon and really any of them that particapate. Just think of the contempt our children will face long after we are dead. I hope I can do a better job than my Dad did and make my children a better instrument of progress.

  23. @Dave Evans: Actually, I think drug testing should be outlawed even for dangerous jobs, based on the fact that it actually increases hard drug use and compromises workplace safety–because it is not testing for impairment, just for off-the-job {marijuana} use so, as mentioned above, it drives people onto hard drugs and disincentivizes accident reporting. Drug testing makes for a less productive and overall less safe workplace every time, no exceptions, and I think that it should go the way of the polygraph and be outright outlawed from use as a condition of employment or continued employment.

    My late* brother at one point told me he thought I was nuts until he got a safety-sensitive job with an extensive drug testing policy and found himself constantly working alongside people on heavy machinery who were wasted on alcohol and hard drugs on the job. In fact, one lady my mom works with told her “how would your daughter feel if her brother died because they didn’t drug test?” and was shocked to her very core to find out that, despite their drug testing program, LOTS of people were constantly coming to work blitzed out of their gourds! The whole “drug testing for safety-sensitive positions only” was how this whole thing got started. That was their wedge to drive it home. After all, if you don’t know much about drug testing and assume it keeps people from being on drugs much less reporting to work stoned, it “makes sense” that we should drug testing people working on heavy equipment. Then we spread it out from there, expanding the purpose from “workplace safety” to a moralistic “if we make the drug users unemployable, we can end drug use entirely” (and we all know how well that turned out), until we get to now, when every single person is drug tested not just once but multiple times, for their McJob, for the food stamps and public assistance to supplement their McJob, in schools, and of course there was talk about mandating it for driver’s licenses.

    No, I would advise against the “only for safety sensitive positions”, because the history shows that the drug testing industry will just use that wedge to take power again. I much prefer to see the drug testing industry die a long overdue death, be burned to the ground and have the ground salted so nothing can ever grow from it again. Leave a seed alive and it will grow again into a great oak with it’s branches thrusting into the private parts of every American citizen again. It’s too risky IMO.

    What they need to implement with dangerous jobs is fitness-for-duty testing, that tests specifically for on-the-spot impairment and does not differentiate between whether you are drunk, stoned (on legal or illegal drugs), tired, or just plain distracted for whatever reason. Because alcohol abuse and workplace fatigue each individually dwarf all illicit drugs in terms of negative effects on the workplace, and with or without drug testing you are much more likely to get killed because someone is abusing prescription drugs, hasn’t gotten a decent night’s sleep in a week, or is just plain drunk off his ass. If it was about safety, we’d have already implemented this testing, and we’d probably also have breathalyzers on every timeclock so you won’t even be able to clock in if you’re plowed. Either of these should be fairly easy to implement, especially if we threw the kind of government money at it to pay for it that drug testing has had over the years. But we don’t. I wonder why that is…

    *No, he did not die in a workplace accident.

  24. Drug testing is used as a “get out of responsibility card” by the insurance companies. Your fault, they’re fault, anybody’s fault. They won’t pay nothing on a positive test. It won’t even be recorded as an incident.
    Guess who’s writing the rules.

  25. Demonhype, well I wasn’t talking about “drug testing” for marijuana. Just drugs that cause impairment. That *is* drug testing. Testing for marijuana is just useless/fake drug testing for all the reasons you listed and more. If you’re not testing for impairment, you’re not performing drug testing.

  26. look…are you going to tell me if the feds decided to consider legalization if a stipulation that testing for a predetermined time for work as well as driving in the interest of safety could be implemented…you wouldn’t go for it….ITS HERE PEOPLE! wtf? testing is here. if we want a private life to burn a little and have to be clean a number of hours before we work or drive…is that such a problem to get a little bit of what we want? yea, testing SUCKS but,it is better than not being able to consume at all….isn’t it?…lets friggen here it!

  27. The insurance industry is writing the standards. Their hold over law enforcement stems from decades of policing for profit and jurisprudence by liability.

  28. @Dave Evans: Yes, I do agree we need impairment testing and only explicitly for immediate impairment, but not drug testing for any reason without cause. The only drug they have any hope of catching with testing IS marijuana, which is why it’s useless, and absolutely zero drug testing at any point can tell you about someone’s impairment at a given point, only that at some point they consumed drugs.

    Here’s the thing: 98% of all positive tests are for MJ, so there is effectively no such thing as just “marijauna testing”. It’s not so much that drug testing targets MJ users so much as it is that the drug testing industry pads its numbers with MJ users, while citing the terrible, horrible effects of the un-detectable hard drugs as their justification for testing. Basically, they are showing a large number of “drug users” they’ve heroically screened out of the workforce, emphasizing the terrible toll that cocaine or heroin can do, and then omitting the fact that 98% of those numbers are for marijuana users. “Cocaine and heroin are terrible because reasons, and look! We’ve screened 100 people out of the workforce (and never mention that only 2 of those people were on any hard drug at all, and 98 of them were on harmless MJ)”. Without marijuana, there is no drug testing, because they would only be able to claim 2 out of every 100 positive drug tests in their claims of effectiveness.

    @locked out of MY shed: I am not following you. Testing is here, but it is a fraud, it was encouraged and spread based on fraudulent data, it does not test for impairment but off-the-clock behavior, it can and has been used to screen employees/potential hires for protected conditions like diabetes and pregnancy, it has the effect of decreasing workplace safety and productivity while increasing the usage rate for hard drugs, and it needs to be outlawed.

    Are you seriously suggesting that drug testing, which has never passed peer review, confers no actual benefit on companies that engage in it, is completely ineffective at screening out all but marijuana users, and actually is a detriment to the workplace is acceptable, just so long as marijuana users are exempt in some way? Are you also okay with the government using YOUR tax money to pay off your employer to violate your physical human rights? Because that is a big part of it: the drug testing industry is a free service provided by the federal government, because companies are allowed to deduct the cost from their taxes, and then they get further tax deductions just for accepting that essentially free service! And in some states they even use more tax money to subsidize the worker’s comp insurance of any company that drug tests!

    Are you seriously saying you’re okay with this abusive fraud known as drug testing?

    But that’s beside the point, locked out of MY shed, because the fact is that 98% of all positive drug tests are for marijuana, which means that with marijuana eliminated the drug testing industry is going to lose 98% of its illusion of efficacy and it’s complete ineffectiveness will be fully visible. The lawsuits that will eventually result from marijauna users over drug testing policies will make some companies think perhaps it’s not worth the government payout to keep such an ineffective and detrimental free service. The publicity from those lawsuits is going to start more national discussion on this subject, and the facts about the fraud that is drug testing will be shown to more and more people, people who are even now majority opposed to the Drug War itself and supporting legalization. And when the federal law dies and the government eventually stops paying our employers to violate our 4th Amendment rights (which is what it is, a subcontracting of BoR violation to the private sector), drug testing will go away.

    In fact, we could even encourage this further, by letter-writing campaigns to companies encouraging them to eliminate their drug testing programs and citing the fact that such programs target MJ users specifically, are unable to catch the vast majority of hard drug users, and that the majority of the country supports legalization and that eliminating drug testing would be a fantastic way to gain PR–because another reason that companies drug test is that they think they get a PR boost by “doing their part for the Drug War”, making users unemployable. Some companies may even decide on their own, smelling which way the wind blows, to eliminate their drug testing programs as a PR thing, but we can also inform them that this practice is unacceptable and that they would have greater PR points by eliminating it and firing their piss sniffing uromancers. I think this will be very successful when MJ legalization really takes off.

    The fact is there is no way that the drug testing industry will survive legalization OR the inevitable end of the failed Drug War, and they know it. Which is why they’ve poured so much into trying to stifle legalization, and why they’re trying desperately to extend their fingers into more walks of life, now that they’ve nearly entirely saturated the workplace with their piss sniffing services. They’re trying to dig in their heels and root themselves even deeper into our society to make it as hard as possible to pull them out, and trying to force their fraudulent service into non-workplace programs in the hopes that they can keep their ill-gotten, undeserved and unearned billions flowing once the workplace rejects them as the frauds they are.

  29. @locked out of MY shed: Oh, one more thing. Are you okay with the fact that up to 30% of all positive drug tests are false positives, according to the National Workrights Institute (http://workrights.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/NewInformationDrugTesting.pdf).

    Are you also okay with 30% of people fired for positive drug use losing their job, reputation and possible career based on this? Are you okay with people on probation losing their freedom and going back to jail based on a false positive? Just so long as MJ users are exempt?

  30. Demonhype, no they should be sued into oblivion. It is a scam and pretending marijuana users are cocaine users is already a violation of the law.

    See there is a whole branch of crazies in this country that doesn’t believe in regulation. Did you know that unregulated cell growth is called cancer? There is a large chunk of our society that believes regulating industry is detrimental to success–which is just a big lie. Why should my company be regulated? Because without regulations, your company is a cancer eating up innocent victims like any other fucking cancer does. If potato farmers could make extra money getting people working in watermelon farms fired, some of them would do it! Does it achieve anything? Nope, it is just another way of pushing victimization as policy.

  31. @demonhype, thank you for your reply and, I understand what you are saying.i get it my friend and I agree. I do not agree with any of the present conditions that testing creates. i cannot explain what I am trying to say and have it make any sense. I do know my personal feeling is that yes, I am very partial to cannabis and am against other forms for health and safety reasons.if they allow cannabis to be legal, and require testing as part of the process(with many changes of course)then, in my opinion sir, it is worth it to me to be able to consume in a reasonable manner. I feel that other forms of drugs are damaging to people themselves as well as unsafe to those around so, I am not concerned with legalizing other forms.so, sir, I am saying, if they say we can consume cannabis legally and can find a reasonable form of testing for workplace safety as a stipulation for imployment…im in! if my employer tells me I must be at a certain level after x amount of hours in order to go to work I don’t find a friggen problem with it.as a matter of fact, I find it sensible to do so.i do not need to burn 24/7. is that so friggen wrong?i do understand drug testing must be changed first!does this help any?..have a good day!

  32. @lockedoutofMYfrigginshed: It doesn’t really help because, again, drug testing doesn’t actually show impairment and doesn’t test for the actual drug in your system. It tests for metabolytes, the after-effect material your body creates after metabolyzing a substance. They aren’t going to be able to just have you piss in a cup prior to clocking in and determine how much of anything is in your system. I think the only test they might have that could determine actual drug in your system is blood testing. Do you really think it’s reasonable to force people to take blood tests on a regular basis, or every day prior to clocking in? Do you think the latter is even remotely feasible? You can’t just do a little finger prick either, you have to do a full tap-a-vein blood test, because the basis for such things is percentage per milliliter, so you have to have a large enough sample to determine that. And what about people from religions that are against breaking the skin, or people like me who have debilitating phobias against intraveinous anything (seriously, I had debilitating chronic migraines for a while that painkillers wouldn’t touch, and I STILL wouldn’t go to a doctor because I knew the first thing they’d want is a blood test!)

    On top of that, the effect of those harder drugs on the workplace is actually negligible and not something to be concerned about. Alcohol, on the other hand, is the biggest problem in the workplace, both for safety and productivity, and we actually have a quick, non-invasive test for immediate inebriation: the breathalyzer. Why do we not have a breathalyzer on every single timeclock then, like we have on the car ignitions of people who have convictions involving alcoholism? I mean, if we are going to test people by giving them an a priori conviction and requiring them to be physically examined or searched internally to “prove” their innocence in the form of drug testing, how much less offensive should pre-clock in breathalyzers be, especially considering the much larger negative effect of alcohol on the workplace and the much greater liklihood that any accident will be caused by someone being drunk than someone being stoned?

    Also, it’s becoming clear that we don’t actually know as much as we thought about the dangers of those harder drugs. Look up Dr. Carl Hart, who has done some groundbreaking work on the subject. He’s discovered that, for example, cocaine is not nearly as addictive as we’ve been led to believe, that in fact most people do not get addicted to cocaine at all, and a great deal of this is because science has been complicit in misinforming the public. Studies about hard drugs focus ONLY on the people with the worst hard drug addictions and extrapolate from that to the average population. Which is tantamount to studying the effects of alcohol by only focusing on the worst alcoholics, who have a physiological predilection to such addiction, and then extrapolating from that to determine that alcohol is a rank poison and even a single drop can and will addict ANYONE and will ruin ANYONE’s life.

    There’s also that fact that drug testing is driving MJ users to hard drugs explicitly because it’s damn nigh impossible to actually catch hard drug users with drug testing. Which means that drug testing is not deterring people from the use of hard drugs, however dangerous. Which means you’re not going to deter hard drug users from using hard drugs OR showing up to work stoned on hard drugs. Which means that no matter how terrible your claims might be regarding the effects of hard drugs, drug testing is not going to be the tool to catch them or to deter them, because it has already been proven to be useless for either of those goals.

    Not to mention my purpose for citing Portugal is to point out that prohibition has been as much of a failure for hard drugs as it has been for MJ, and criminalizing a cocaine user is as much a failure as criminalizing an MJ user. On the other hand, regarding hard drugs, decriminalizing them and putting the money into making safe and effective rehab freely available to ANY person who wants it has been a tremendous success. And that’s not even legalizing hard drugs! With legalization, you can also control the situation with supervised injection centers, which have also experienced great success so I’ve heard.

    I certainly hope you’re not willing to throw hard drug addicts/users on the grenade just to get your own agenda passed, and leave them to rot.

    I mean, if you’re okay with submitting to taxpayer-funded 4th Amendment violations that offer zero benefit except to employers who, perhaps, would like to continue testing people for legally protected conditions like pregnancy, diabetes and heart problems (which is the only reason drug testing would continue post-MJ legalization), and that is rife with not only corruption and abuse but also incompetence and inaccuracy due to minimal to non-existant regulation or oversight wherein 30% of people fired (or go back to jail) for failing a drug test are being fired (or being sent back to jail) for false positives, then….I have no idea how to finish this sentence. Really. Because I don’t think you’re entirely understanding the symbiotic relationship between drug testing and prohibition of all kinds, or the fact that drug testing is an oppressive tool that does not make you safer in any way.

    But I am not a user of any illegal drug–I’m even suspicious and extremely careful with the legal ones, like aspirin or alcohol. I’m in this movement to end drug testing, because I have no intention of spending the rest of my life having a hard time finding work that doesn’t strip me of my rights and my dignity, and I’m not willing to continue submitting to a gross violation of my bodily rights just so long as you can smoke a bowl whenever you want.

    There are people like me who aren’t users who are fighting for your rights to use MJ, and trying to convince other non-users that this is their fight as well–because many non-users have this attitude that it doesn’t matter if MJ gets legalized because they, personally, don’t use any illegal drug. I certainly hope you’re not willing to throw non-users like myself and hard drug users who, by your own admission, need help and not criminalization, so long as they exempt your favorite drug. Such MJ users are no better than alcoholics or chain smokers who support the Drug War just because their own drugs of choice are legal and accepted.

  33. Demonhype:

    Whatever, I support drug testing for drugs, not marijuana. You actually don’t mind having coke head treasurers??? The issue is drug testing, right? Well if they are not testing for marijuana, what the F would you’re problem with it be? If someone is impaired, there isn’t any reason not to drug test them. Are you really that clueless? I’ve been around the corner more than once, I’ve been around coke heads and they aren’t safe. They are fucking nuts. In my whole life, I’ve met one guy that does coke on a regular basis that isn’t nuts. One guy out of a couple dozen does tell me coke is a bad drug that attracts negative/fucked up people and there is no fixing that. So what? Marijuana needs to stop being compared to stupid shit like cocaine. Drug testing is for drugs. If you’re “drug testing for marijuana” you are not doing “drug testing”, it is just a scam and your company should be sued with the value distributed among its victims. Returning the stolen money and peoples’ good names is exactly how to jump start the ecomony.

  34. There is no reason to “fail people” if they have marijuana in their system because marijuana is not “intoxicating”. Marijuana is in fact non-toxic. Alcohol, cocaine, nicotine directly attack and kill nerve cells; marijuana protects nerve cells from the damages these other drugs cause/invoke.

    Persey Laws are garbage. Testing positive equals a finding of guilt is about as illegal of an idea unless the amount of “impairment” can be reliably tied to amount of the drug in an average person. As with alcohol. Taking a short cut and just declaring any and all marijuana use as “impairing” is a fallacy and tesifying so to juries and other court officials is perjury. People are starting to understand you can’t just regulate one chemical or drug in one way, just because that is how you regulated another one that is completely unlike the first example… That is just stupid and pretty much the same thing as lying.

  35. @Dave Evans: It doesn’t matter what any hard drug does to a person, the point is, that you are constantly overlooking, is that DRUG TESTING DOES NOT CATCH COKE HEADS OR ANY OTHER HARD DRUG USERS. That is WHY drug testing is driving MJ users toward hard drugs–because drug testing is entirely useless to catch hard drug users.

    Why is this extraordinarily simple premise eluding you, no matter how many times I explain it? No, no one wants “coke head treasurers” or anything like that, but the fact remains that drug testing is entirely USELESS to screen out those cokeheads or whatnot.

    What you are saying is that you are okay with continuing drug testing because hard drugs are not good, despite the established fact that drug testing doesn’t catch hard drug users or deter hard drug user in any way and despite the fact that drug testing is also a violation of physical privacy that has many serious and damaging uses that can and have been used to hurt all manner of non-users and despite the fact that drug testing is notoriously inaccurate and 30% of all positive tests are false positives, destroying many innocent people’s lives.

    No, I am not clueless. Yes, I’m aware that hard drugs are bad and will screw you up. No, I don’t want people to do hard drugs. However, it has been established that drug testing is NOT a tool by which we can fight hard drug use. There are other methods that have proven to be amazingly effective at combating hard drug use that don’t involve a priori criminalizing every single citizen and forcing them to expose many protected health conditions to potential employers. Such as decriminalizing ALL drugs and making safe effective rehab available to ANYONE who wants it. Like in Portugal. Because it turns out that many if not most people who are screwed up on hard drugs don’t like it and jump at the chance to clean up when someone bothers to give them the chance instead of throwing them in jail!

    Also, I am not a user myself, not even of MJ. So why should I have any problem with drug testing for MJ, since I’m safe? My problem isn’t the targetting of MJ. I opposed drug testing because it is an abuse of the citizens of this country, because it violates my rights, because it is inaccurate, unreliable, and ineffective ESPECIALLY for hard drugs, because I value my physical privacy and I actually consider my own body to be my own property and not the property of whatever corporation employs me.

    Let me put it this way: if they outlawed drug testing tomorrow, I would continue to fight for marijuana legalization because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes, because it has myriad health benefits and, so I’ve heard, psychological benefits. So even though I don’t use it, it is still a lynchpin of the failed Drug War that oppresses all of us. I am asking for the same respect and the same support, that you’re not going to throw drug testing opponents like me, who are fighting alongside you for a right we don’t even intend to use, on the grenade just so long as your favorite drug is exempt.

    And I’m hoping MJ users like you aren’t going to throw all those terrible hard drug users on the grenade, because they are no less victims of the failed Drug War than you are–possibly more so, since their drug is actually addictive and harmful and they need even more help that the Drug War explicitly refuses to afford them. Yes, their drug of choice is actually harmful, but criminalizing them does not help them nor does it deter them from using. We’re all in this together.

    I mean, seriously, ” Well if they are not testing for marijuana, what the F would you’re problem with it be?” Well, I’m not a user, so why the hell should I care if they test for MJ? Why should I oppose it? I got mine! Hell, maybe my employment chances will go up if MJ users keep failing drug tests and fall out of the running for jobs! Cha-ching! I’m not a user, so why should this even be my fight anyway?

    And I’d like you to know that I have gotten many non-users to care about this Drug War and legalization issue by using the facts about drug testing to illustrate that the Drug War and prohibition affect all of us, not just MJ users. When I tell them about how drug testing criminalizes and victimizes non-users like them, they start listening to what I have to say about legalization and taking the idea seriously. Because I have shown them how this is their fight too, because I have given them a reason to care about whether you get to smoke your bowl without losing your job. Why should I waste time bringing other non-users to your cause, when I’m not even a user? Why should I bother using my credibility as a “clean” non-user–credibility that even an MJ user simply doesn’t have, because they have an obvious ulterior motive–to spread support for legalization when I’m finding that many MJ users are willing to throw the cause of opposing drug testing under the bus? Why should I encourage other non-users to support your cause of legalization when you’re more than willing to support the Drug War and throw millions of hard drug addicts under the bus, just so long as you’re exempted from their scrutiny? If you’re going to sell out so easily, why shouldn’t I sell out now and throw you under the bus?

    As I said, we’re all in this together. MJ users, hard drug users, and non-users are all oppressed by the Drug War and all its failed methods, including drug testing. Our enemy is huge and powerful and extremely wealthy and has had forty years to cement itself in place. Can we please not start selling each other out and fragmenting our movement in order to effect our own personal agendas? Because that’s the surest way we’ll end up losing this.

  36. “Persey Laws are garbage. Testing positive equals a finding of guilt is about as illegal of an idea unless the amount of “impairment” can be reliably tied to amount of the drug in an average person. As with alcohol. Taking a short cut and just declaring any and all marijuana use as “impairing” is a fallacy and tesifying so to juries and other court officials is perjury. People are starting to understand you can’t just regulate one chemical or drug in one way, just because that is how you regulated another one that is completely unlike the first example… That is just stupid and pretty much the same thing as lying.”

    Testing positive shows that a drug was ingested in the past and doesn’t show impairment at the moment. Which is precisely why it doesn’t work for hard drugs either. I keep saying this in most of my posts. A positive hard drug test means little more than a positive MJ drug test in terms of whether or not someone is impaired. And a positive hard drug test is not easy to get, because hard drug metabolytes flush out of the system within 24 to 48 hours tops, which is why testing is entirely useless for screening for hard drugs.

    And you really should look up Dr. Carl Hart, regarding hard drugs. He has the same experience that you do with people who use hard drugs, and even went into researching hard drug addiction because he wanted to find a way to help them. And what he found was that, like with MJ, a lot of the damage of hard drugs is actually caused by the Drug War prohibition of it. He did a study where he gave people in an in-patient rehab cocaine every morning, with them blindfolded as the pipes were prepared and while they smoked it, so they couldn’t see the dose, which varied every day. Then they were given the choice between a similar dose or a small cash allowance (to be paid out when they left rehab) several times over the course of the day. In the vast majority of cases, people chose the cash payout and not more hits of crack.

    I could tell you all the many stories about how alcohol hurts people and that it should be made illegal because let me tell you horror stories about alcoholics I’ve known, etc. etc. But you wouldn’t buy it, because alcohol is accepted and legal and because of that we all have enough experience with it to know it doesn’t affect everyone the way it affects people with a physiological predilection toward alcoholism. What people like Dr Carl Hart are saying is that the actual effects of many hard drugs are unknown because all we know about them is the worst case scenarios, because people who can handle their cocaine, for example, aren’t going to be obvious about it because it’s illegal and denigrated by society. So the only experience we get, and the only research is done on, people who get insanely addicted and act like maniacs. People who don’t have that reaction are invisible and therefore uncounted.

    It’s the same thing that happened to MJ users. If you recall, MJ users had the same reputation among the average Joe Q. Public that hard drug users get, and the increased visibility of MJ users has destroyed that illusion.

    I’m not saying that hard drugs are great. I’m saying that we do not know for sure exactly how good or bad they really are, because the research is fatally flawed, because even science has been complicit with the Drug War to misinform us about…well, pretty much everything about illegal drugs. I mean, for every story I’ve heard about people who have a dangerous reaction to cocaine, I’m hearing about another person who used off and on for a while and then just stopped using on their own, as if that person was just a light alcohol drinker who decided to give up alcohol completely. I’ve always been told that one hit of cocaine will turn you into a slavering addict, so finding out about people who use cocaine and don’t have that reaction really expanded my horizons.

  37. “Testing positive shows that a drug was ingested in the past and doesn’t show impairment at the moment. Which is precisely why it doesn’t work for hard drugs either. I keep saying this in most of my posts. A positive hard drug test means little more than a positive MJ drug test in terms of whether or not someone is impaired. And a positive hard drug test is not easy to get, because hard drug metabolytes flush out of the system within 24 to 48 hours tops, which is why testing is entirely useless for screening for hard drugs.”
    Wrong, this is why drug testing for hard drugs works. If someone is impaired and they are tested and come up positive for an impairment causing drug, you have good place to start for the reason for the impairment.

    Someone has coke in their system doesn’t mean they are “impaired”, but at least it can be linked to a point in time when they were impaired. This can not even be said about marijuana. You can smoke 5 blunts and drive fine so the idea of a positive test meaning there was a period of impairment is patently false.

    No, I know more people with cocaine/meth problems than people with alcohol problems. And alcohol is way more available. I don’t know what the issue is exactly, maybe some one should be doing some research, eh? I suspect most of the people that really like coke are medicating themselves for ADD/ADHD type problems, which make them seem “odd” when they aren’t drugged up in the first place.

    I would be repeating the same mistake the drug warriors are doing by “talking shit” about coke heads, like they do about us. Sure it can look like that, but duh, we all already know marijuana and cocaine should not be regulated the same way and that they do not belong in the same catagories. And I would be repeating that drug warrior mistake if I didn’t actually know what I’m talking about.

    Do I think the war on drugs in a made to fail scam? Yes. It allows people that act completely insane/unsane to rise to the top of our society just because they don’t use certain “drugs” and therefore “qualify” for the positions of authority. Or haven’t got a falsified police report saying they committing a crime by owning a “drug”. After all, how was the last three presidents able to take office? They are barring from it thanks to their former drug use…? How are companies still able to use false positives for marijuana use from the night or two weeks before hand to justify firing people? They can’t and this huge bill is coming due.

  38. It really is an engineering problem. The Drug Warriors have setup marijuana as the “gateway” to all the other bad drugs. This is a fallacy. So they feel they can take a short cut and use super cheap drug tests that don’t really work and can only find marijuana after more than about two days. Remove marijuana from the false associations and many of the problems with drug testing disappear. Cheap tests for marijuana are worthless if they can’t use a positive for marijuana as an excuse for a “disciplinary action”!!! Only real tests that are used to find impairment should be acceptable.

    The drug war has been mis-engineered on every level to function as an excuse for class/racist abuse and the drug testing is currently used to further this abuse. Thanks to the way it has been engineered not to work.

  39. @demonhype so, I take it you are talking about piss testing concerning other drugs being out of your system in a number of hours. my company uses hair samples…which has history (so I understand). and their have been individuals dismissed because of cocaine detection in a 90 day period. can you explain how that works…hard drugs detected!
    look,how can we fight against something that is in favor with the employers of America? yes, it is dam sure wrong to us but when the ins. companies have employers up against the wall(as, I believe mine is) coupled with the fact that the push from a safety point drives testing home.i am not throwing anyone under the bus but,other drugs are worse than cannabis.i have used some of them so I am fimilar with their effects and not proud of it now, either.i am proud of the fact that I knew I shouldn’t continue with any of them and I could see why their is issue with addiction, at a high school age when I was younger but not quite so stupid so it goes.cannabis has brought benefit to me where a.d.d. and anxiety/depression are concerned.32 yrs of it to be exact.
    I said all of that to say this,i find you correct in that present testing is completely for the wrong reasons for the most part.i believe their can be some validity where safety is concerned from past experience. if say,i could walk in my shop,grab a swab, roll it around in my friggen mouth and drop it in a sleeve for them to see that I haven’t consumed some of the remedy in the last say, 6 hours for safety reasons to make my employer and that asshole ins. company happy then I say it is doable.i realize right now that saliva testing is not reliable at present but who is to say it can NEVER be.THOSE are the grounds for drug testing in my opinion.if you think their should not be any form of testing, especially because you do not use then,you really do not know the dangers. as much as I hate it, yes I would be willing to WORK WITH the opposition to find a happy medium for freedom.my company has NO right to know what I do in the privacy of my own home.PERIOD. if it does not hurt me or others around me,i believe cannabis does not hurt me or my family or anyone around me.but I have personal experience with alcohol destroying many great families including my own at an early age as well, as harder drugs.it is a factor for me.believe me when I say I am with you….honest. I also realize that you know much more about testing then do I. but I know and feel for cannabis and believe it is an answer. therefore , I am willing to dicker for a small bit of freedom to enjoy its benefits. have a great day! I am truly glad you are this side of the big green fence !!

  40. @Dave Evans: “Wrong, this is why drug testing for hard drugs works. If someone is impaired and they are tested and come up positive for an impairment causing drug, you have good place to start for the reason for the impairment… Remove marijuana from the false associations and many of the problems with drug testing disappear.”

    I love how you are selectively picking and choosing elements of my responses and not reading everything. Let me spell out the logic for you:

    Here are the facts as established about drug testing:

    1. Companies and schools that drug test have higher rates of hard drug use than those that do not.

    2. Students and workers are choosing hard drugs over marijuana specifically because the narrow windows of detection make it nearly impossible to find hard drugs with drug testing.

    3. 98% of all positive drug tests are for marijuana, meaning ALL hard drugs are represented by only 2% of positive drug tests.

    Now put those three facts together and what do you get? The only conclusion is that hard drug users are not being caught by drug testing. I doubt anyone, least of all myself, is saying we should leave hard drugs alone and hope they go away on their own. But the data has shown time and time again that drug testing is not only not catching hard drug users but is not deterring hard drug users.

    And as for the constant pissing and moaning about “OMG do you want to be working with cokeheads?” My response is WE ALREADY ARE! In fact, if your company drug tests you are guaranteed to be working with more cokeheads than if your company doesn’t drug test. Again, that is a fact as exposed by the National Work Rights Institute. Don’t worry about a scary future without drug testing where you will be working alongside cokeheads, because it’s already happening and has been happening since the earliest days of workplace drug testing programs. These facts were known back then, and ignored in favor of making money off of ignorance and panic.

    And I love you and some of your friends here don’t seem bothered by the fact that employers can and HAVE used these samples to test for legally protected medical conditions. I also love how you don’t seem to mind the fact that there is no oversight and up to 30% of positives are false. This isn’t just about “wah, I don’t wanna pee in a cup cause freedom!”

    “Remove marijuana from the false associations and many of the problems with drug testing disappear.” This is not really true. Actually, remove marijuana from drug testing and the complete and total uselessness and unreliability of drug testing becomes obvious. Remove marijuana and drug testing companies lose 98% of their “catches” from their numbers, 98% of their illusion of efficacy gone just like that. Marijuana legalization is going to be the lynchpin to undoing the drug testing industry, because it was a pseudoscientific failure from the start and only ever intended as a method of capitalizing on a frightened and ignorant public who wanted nothing but an easy magic-bullet solution and security theater blanket to cling to. This isn’t about just legalizing marijuana, this is about ending the Drug War itself, ending the criminalization of all citizens to catch the guilty few, and enacting new, actually beneficial and effective methods for controlling and reducing drug use, methods that actually work.

    Remove marijuana, and the uselessness of the DEA and the Drug War becomes clear. End the Drug War and we end Drug War payouts to employers AND all illusion that drug testing will garner them PR points (which is the actual reason they do it). End the PR points and payouts, and you end drug testing. Most companies by the early nineties had eliminated their drug testing programs because they were not actually cost effective (ie: not actually catching enough drug users to make it worth their time) so the government MADE it worth their time in order to force drug testing on us.

  41. @lockedoutofMYshed: Well, hair testing has a bad history too. Hair testing is even more problematic and even more unreliable in many ways than urine testing because the results vary heavily based on personal hair texture. For example, African American hair holds to drug particles stronger than white hair and the detected particles deteriorate from white hair much faster, so there is a massive racial disparity there that has caused many lawsuits. Plus, hair testing is loved by some employers because it allows them to detect up to several years back, esp. in the case of people with longer hair and/or African Americans. If I did some coke two years ago and am clean now, I will still lose my job because of that. There’s also an even bigger problem with cross-reactivity and such, because some people use a lot of various products on their hair that can soak in and screw up the results in various ways, from causing a false positive to neutralizing a legitimate positive.

    “look,how can we fight against something that is in favor with the employers of America?”

    I’m glad you asked!

    First of all, you keep on citing “safety” as the consideration at hand for drug testing. The fact is that drug testing does not improve workplace safety, a fact that was known from the first day they proposed workplace drug testing in the seventies, and the data was deliberately skewed in order to produce an illusion that drug testing improved workplace safety. They did a five-year study on some company that had enacted drug testing, and it did not have any effect. So they skewed the data in order to take advantage of a trend in that company, in that their safety record had been steadily improving about five years prior to employing testing and had continued that steady climb through the experimental period. There wasn’t even a hiccup in the data where the drug testing program went into effect, no spike, no dramatic improvement in data that was any different from the already-established arc upwards. So they cut off the information right at the moment they started drug testing and took credit for an improvement in the safety record that they weren’t responsible for.

    The facts are showing that drug testing does not improve workplace safety and is, in fact, decreasing workplace safety. This is because drug testing is correlated with higher rates of hard drug usage, and the other reason is because drug testing discourages accident reporting. There are people like you, who use MJ and don’t want to get fired, and people like me, who value our bodily rights and privacy, who will not report accidents and hazards for fear of being targeted by the piss sniffers. Unfortunately, that also has the effect of artificially improving the safety numbers while actually decreasing safety in the workplace, so many employers don’t have any real incentive to scrutinize their drug testing policies and see if they truly work for the purpose of safety.

    Here’s the big thing though: When push comes to shove, companies that drug test will admit that there are only two reasons they drug test: First, a perception that they get PR points from the public for Doing Their Part in fighting the Drug War, and second, they get hefty payouts from the government, authorized by the Drug War, to drug test their employees. They get to write it off their taxes, making it a free service of Uncle Sam, they get further tax breaks just for accepting the free service, AND in some states a company will get tax-subsidized discounts on worker’s comp insurance for using every form of drug testing available, both with-cause and no-cause.

    What does that mean to opposing drug testing?

    Well, first of all, it means that we can start raising awareness. The majority of people aren’t just in favor of legalizing marijuana, you know. The majority of people are also in favor of ending the Drug War entirely in favor of non-law enforcement compassion-based solutions for addiction, and also against employers firing workers for marijuana. This indicates a shift in public opinion and perception of both the Drug Warriors and their methods. We can start expanding that “no testing for MJ” opinion to “no testing period” by raising awareness of the massive problems involved in drug testing, as well as the massive abuses and failures that have destroyed even the lives of non-users. We can make it clear that drug testing is only capable of catching the tiniest fraction of hard drug users and, as such, is not cost effective or reliable. We can also make it clear that even non-users can be fired for a false positive and branded a drug users, undeserving of employment, because of the massive failures of the technology. We can also make it clear that drug testing has huge opportunities for abuse on many fronts, an issue that should concern non-users greatly, as we are not talking about a “little” loss of freedom (as if there is such a thing), we are talking about a major loss of basic rights and a major loss of job security based on our legally protected infirmities being detected by unscrupulous employers and testing companies, as well as being based on the proven abject incompetence and inaccuracy of the testing companies.

    We can start writing to companies that do test and make it clear that they are receiving no PR points for their drug testing program, that “doing their part” for the Drug War is now a point against them, and discourage them from continuing their drug testing programs. We can also write to companies that do not test and congratulate them for doing the right thing and not using invasive security-theater violations of their employees in order to create the illusion of safety or pretend they are Drug War heroes. We can make both companies aware of which way the wind is blowing regarding the numbers of people who favor the Drug War and its methods anymore, and we can make sure they know the untold story of drug testing, something the testing companies have never told them and never will, and have made sure to silence their opponents using witch-hunt tactics (such as Dave Evans’ “You don’t support drug testing, so therefore you support coke addiction” fallacy, for example, something intended to scare the opponent into shutting up and taking it in the ass for fear of being targetted themselves).

    We can also make every effort not to shop at any place that drug tests whenever possible, and make it clear to those companies that they have lost your business because of it. I know some wisenheimers will come in saying “good luck with that” but I have several stores I shop at that don’t test right now. It’s not as impossible as the pro-piss sniffer would have you believe.

    The other factor in companies adoption of drug testing is the government payout. Well, when marijuana is legalized and employers are no longer permitted to fire people for MJ use, employers may just decide that the government payout to catch a handful of hard drug users isn’t worth the loss in PR or the loss of business and will drop drug testing in favor of more reliable methods (such as background checks, managerial education, and good old fashioned paying attention to interviewees and employees, which as worked greatly with non-drug testing companies), especially if the anti-Drug War movement makes these sentiments known to them. Failing that, the end of the Drug War (because as I said, a majority of people oppose the whole Drug War, not just the part about MJ) will eventually mean the end of Drug War payouts to employers to subcontract Fourth Amendment violations, and without the payout I doubt the employers are going to keep drug testing. Especially since when we get to the glorious day the Drug War comes to an end, even the densest company will know which way the wind is blowing and will know they get no PR points for drug testing.

    The fact is, lockedoutofMYshed, the drug testing industry has worked hard and paid a lot to demonize opposition to drug testing and to make drug testing look like such an inevitability that people like you and me will either be afraid to stand against it, or feel too overwhelmed at its omnipresence to believe we can make a difference. They want you to believe you have to dicker away your rights, they want you to believe that it’s an either/or situation, and you need to choose between your rights and your marijuana. But no matter what they say, the facts are showing that we can and will end the Drug War and drug testing, and marijuana legalization will be the lynchpin for both. All we have to do is keep talking, because they no longer have the power to keep the truth about drug testing silent any longer. We can have legalization AND end drug testing, and I don’t even believe that it is possible to have the former without the latter.

    Just keep talking, just keep raising awareness of the failures of drug testing, and don’t let them stop you! And don’t forget, raising awareness of the failures of drug testing is a fantastic way to get non-users on your side regarding the Drug War, because many of them figure that since they don’t use it doesn’t affect them and is therefore okay. This is a way to give them a stake in the fight on your side!

    I had a good thing happen today: I mentioned my opposition to drug testing to another co-worker and she actually said right away “well, I’m right with you there, it’s an invasion of privacy”. Though she didn’t know all the other stuff about why drug testing is an 800 billion dollar a year failure and was eager to hear more, it was wonderful for once to say that to someone and not get the blank look, or the “why?” or the “well, safety, right?” I would like to have more of that happen in the future, and we can make it happen!

    “have a great day! I am truly glad you are this side of the big green fence !!”

    Back at you! I am looking forward to attending in-person NORML meetings in the next few weeks/months, as Ohio is opening a few new chapters in the Northeast! I hope I’ll see some of you there!

  42. @lockedoutofMYshed and Dave Evans: Another thing is that we should differentiate between no-cause and with-cause drug testing. I usually don’t get upset at with-cause, which is post-accident and with-suspicion. This is the closest thing you will get from me in the realm of compromise about drug testing. Not that with-cause isn’t in my crosshairs, because all forms of drug testing are inaccurate, unreliable, and have no benefit, but no-cause has even greater potential for abuse of the greatest amount of citizens and amounts to a priori convicting every citizen of crimes in order to (pretend to) catch a few. Most places I’ve worked have had with-cause only policies.

    That’s not to say I wouldn’t be trying to end with-cause as well, and that might be harder, but my primary goal is to eliminate no-cause drug testing. If anyone, from a school to an employer to a law enforcement officer to your government, wants a sampler platter of bodily materials from you, they’d damn well better have cause to ask for it and have no right to demand it without proper cause.

    Also @Dave Evans: When I was talking about decriminalization of hard drugs, such as what Portugal did, I am not talking about legalization of hard drugs. Portugal only decriminalized personal possession and use and used the money formerly wasted in enforcing criminal drug laws to provide ample free and effective rehab to anyone who wanted it (and they do have to want it). And it turned out huge amounts of people wanted it. But making hard drugs, smuggling hard drugs into the country, dealing hard drugs, that all remained and still remains illegal in Portugal.

    The reason they had such success is that they dried up the demand for those hard drugs. Because drug lords and drug cartels LOVE it when you criminalize their customers–it makes them more vulnerable to their manipulations and less able to, say, go to the cops or go to get help cleaning up. It guarantees a steady supply of lifetime victims/customers who need the drug lord’s poisons to live and have no way to stop buying. If they go to the law, the law throws them in jail to “punish” them for their addiction. When you stop stigmatizing those “cokeheads” and start understanding them and start getting them the help they need and stop throwing them in jail when you find them or when they come to you, you make it easy for them to clean up and stop using. Which is what happened and continues to happen in Portugal, which has halved their drug use rates in, what, ten years now? Ten years to half their usage rates when our Drug War criminalization of addicts has only created more addicts over forty years of failure.

    Think about that: Portugal’s decriminalization of all drugs has accomplished in ten years what our Drug War criminalization policies have not been able to accomplish in forty years. And the situation continues to improve.

    You’re not going to hear me say we shouldn’t arrest some asshole selling crack on the street, or smuggling it into the country. Those are the real criminals. And I LOVE how decriminalization in Portugal has dried up their demand and hurt their vile business. But addiction is a public health problem, and treating it like a law-and-order problem was destined for failure. Our policies have taken hard drug addicts who are already victims of the dealers and victimized them all over again.

    When you criminalize addicts, you help the real criminals. When you help the addicts (by getting them help without judgment), you hurt the real criminals, and that is awesome. We need to look past the “cokeheads” and see where the real problem lies, because that’s where the effective answer will be found. And has been found. And implemented with success.

  43. Also, there is an entire coalition of cops that agrees with me on this. LEAP: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. These are cops who know what the Drug War has done, who know more about “cokeheads” and every other kind of -head than anyone on this site could imagine, who have fought on the front lines of this failed Drug War, and have seen first hand how it has failed every single one of us. They don’t fret about how an elimination of criminal law-enforcement Drug Warrior methods will create a future of all of us having to work side-by-side with hard drug users. They know the facts and fight for them, even against many laws that dictate that they are not allowed to make any public arguments or state any public opinions against the Drug War. Yes, we have laws that dictate that law enforcement is only allowed to celebrate the Drug War and never criticize it in public. Does that sound like something that works or something that needs to hide from the truth because it has no validity?

  44. @demonhype,i have found that our workplace safety has not changed since testing was implemented see that ,really, nothing has changed except peoples attitudes. but this company cited safety as an important reason. and I know , in the back of my mind that they were getting a paycheck for it and or, tax breaks. you offer what seems to be valuable information and it shows me yet another foothold. I will be researching this that you have given to print up to be pinned on the bulletin bord…appreciate ya.where might I find this study on safety and drug testing?

  45. student testing will not help to solve the problem, since many children these days are doing drugs. Testing will only show the number of students doing drugs and most of the time will not make them stop but give them courage to do more drugs and openly since now they know that even you know they are using.

    The better method is to actually form an real class mandatory to all students to attend to learn about the effects of drug abuse to them, to their family, to the society and to the future generation. they should know who is benefiting and who is in loss.

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