How to Prevent Employment Discrimination Against Cannabis Smokers

Now that America has some form of legalization in 23 states and the District of Columbia, activists must reevaluate those state’s laws to refine the details of their legalization systems. There are three distinct areas in which cannabis laws need clarification and evolution: employment issues, child custody issues, and DUID charges. This week, I will discuss the important area of employment discrimination.

First, let’s be clear: no one should go to work in an impaired condition, regardless of what drug is involved. It’s not fair to the employer or to one’s fellow employees, and may well constitute a safety risk. Also, some jobs are so sensitive that it may well be good public policy to require a zero tolerance policy towards all drug use. Certain jobs in the nuclear energy field, for example, or jobs in which an employee is working around nuclear weapons or flammable material fall into this category. Some risks are simply too great to allow even occasional drug use of any kind, whether it’s cannabis or alcohol.

But most jobs are not. They require a sober individual who can responsibly and safely perform their job. Whether they smoked a joint over the weekend, or even the night before, has no impact on the workers’ ability to perform their jobs in a safe and responsible manner.


49 thoughts

  1. I’m a disabled vet, a mmj patient and a business owner.

    Nonsense, employers have every right to require a drug/alcohol free workplace, if people don’t like it they can work some place else. Period.

    Additionally, until they come up with an accurate sobriety test, there’s no way to tell if they smoked last week or 30 minutes ago.

  2. yes to all of the above except the part where some jobs are so sensitive that zero tolerance makes sense. I understand that the military has a similar policy in disqualifying applicants that are taking prescription medications, the idea being that in combat you can’t have that, but short of that, your last sentence says it all that occasional use of marijuana has no impact on a worker’s performance. I would go one further and suggest that some people who smoke regularly might perform better than people that never do, as cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties which can help with alertness, ability to move physically and better resistance to illness, perhaps even enhanced problem solving abilities.

  3. 1. “…move forward to legalize marijuana smoking in that state…” Here’s where more nuance might help. Why legalize “smoking” (H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide combustion papers etc.) when, as New York recently did, a provision can be added that VAPORIZATION is permitted? Eliminate the carbon monoxide, eliminate the impairment by and large!

    2. True, that sounds like someone is trying to sell $50 utensils; the public is not yet aware– or more than a few percent so– that you CAN vaporize 25-mg servings just fine with a flexible drawtube one-hitter, igniting a 500-mg “joint” is obsolete. Suggestions how to make a one-hitter from less than $1.29 worth of parts are free at “12 Ways to Make Pipes from Everyday Objects”.

  4. I disagree firmly with your belief that someone who has an interest in working with nuclear energy should be barred from all use of psychoactive substances. Whether or not someone can perform in ANY job or career should depend on their skills and personal conduct; not on their choice of activities during their free-time.

    Mr. Stroup, I’ve long been an admirer of yours, but to posit discrimination in any form is simply wrong. It’s very disappointing to hear this from you.

    [Editor’s note: As one of America’s first genuine PUBLIC interest lawyers, Mr. Stroup’s commonsense example of employment so important to public safety that it can warrant employees engaging in a social contract regarding not using psychotropic drugs (i.e., if you employ me I promise I will not use legal or illegal drugs in private, public or the workplace…).

    Cannabis law reform can’t be taken seriously if it is perceived by elected policy makers, media and the general public as serving libertine ends, not a greater public good. Mr. Stroup affirms in his essay that largely employee’s off-the-job behavior regarding cannabis use should be of no concern of the employer.

    But, to yield no public health and safety ground regarding employees where the question of public safety is acute (i.e., nuclear plant and weapon employees, airline pilots, mass transit drivers) will retard the pace of ending cannabis prohibition and cast advocates of zero drug testing in the workplace as too libertarian.]

  5. This is why when I am an interview in one of the decriminalized states, I will ask frank questions about their drug testing policy. How often do they test? How much advance notice will I receive? Do they even attempt to differentiate between impairment and mere bloodstream presence? Which drugs do they test for?

  6. Excellent article. I went to and read the whole thing.
    It apears The Trojan Hemp Horse will be proceeded by 50 Cheech and Chong vans made out of marijuana. I didnt see it going down like this, but we’ll get through prohibition any way we can. At least we know our donations to NORML arent just going “up in smoke.”

  7. “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”-Harry Anslinger

    What if this statement is true and we created marijuana prohibition to keep “darkies” dumber than non-darkies?

    Could it be that marijuana can make people of color more intellectual and that’s why Harry’s DEA created marihuana prohibition? That would be a crime against humanity. It’s like making a law to keep a specific group of people stupid. Now that’s stupid!

    Anslinger is not a hero, he is a racist dirtbag. He ruined our race relations, and farming industry, and the safety of our nation with his stupid prohibition.

  8. Why does what a persons job type matter. Just because an individual works with nuclear devises should they be held to a different standard. That would be the same as allowing only those who are unemployed to partake in marihuana or alcohol. The effects of marijuana from responsible use would not interfere with work. Most people that would hold a critical position have already proven themselves responsible by acquiring that position to begin with and also proven themselves responsible enough to make the job requirements. It is sad that meth or cocaine can be undetected within 3 days while marijuana is detectable for much longer. It is sad that this country is still trying to enforce morals rather then wrongdoing. It is not the police forces job to protect people from themselves but rather to protect people from other people. One more question does the constitution only pertain to groups of individuals or all people.

    [Editor’s note: To yield no public health and safety ground regarding employees where the question of public safety is acute (i.e., nuclear plant and weapon employees, airline pilots, mass transit drivers) will retard the pace of ending cannabis prohibition and cast advocates of zero drug testing in the workplace as too libertarian.

    The US Constitution protects all citizens, but courts and Congress have carved out ‘protected classes’ regarding: gender, age, disability, religion.]

  9. This is a very well thought out article that shows great inteligence and common sense! It was written by someone that has been using marijuana regularly for many years. Mr. Stroup is absolute living proof that marijuana is not the devil’s weed that the prohibitionists would have us believe.

    Indeed, Carl Sagan was a regular user and is widely considered to be a genius by many. I’m quite certain that Mr. Sagan’s intelligence far surpassed the collective intelligence of the current GOP.

    Finally, I have been using marijuana regularly for more than 40 years. In that time I served in the USMC, worked in the field of electronics and computer programming, and have since retired to care for my mother-in-law full time since she has a serious case of Alzheimer’s disease. I have never spent even a single day in jail and don’t deserve to do so. However, like Carl Sagan, I keep my use very private because I too fear the unjust laws that have been put in place (of course my real name isn’t Miles any more than Mr. Sagan’s isn’t Mr. X; the moniker he used to write about his advocacy regarding marijuana).

    Because I’ve been careful not to get caught with marijuana, I’ve been able to live a good productive life instead of rotting in a prison cell. I sometimes fear that law enforcement or The DEA might come after me by tracing my internet comments. I know this is possible and it is disturbing. However, I believe in freedom and in doing the right thing and believe it is worth the risk to try to stop, what I consider to be very Nazi-like, laws that we have been forced to abide by for almost a century. It needs to change!

    As I approach age 60 I have great hope that before I die, I will be able to feel proud to be an American. This will not happen until our leaders finally show common sense and compassion regarding cannabis users and admit that they have been wrong. It would be tremendous if those that have forced their anti-freedom agenda on us for so many years formally apologize to all the people that have suffered so much under their leadership!

    Thank you Mr. Stroup! You Sir are a true American hero!!!

  10. I think much of the prejudice toward marijuana stems from ignorance and conflation with behavior associated with nicotine and alcohol.

    When it became know I partake, I found two common attitudes:

    1) Some people assume that you have to waste time hitting up throughout the day due to a physical addiction like someone on nicotine.

    2) Others assume the high must be similar to alcohol’s effects. You know, the rude, obnoxious behavior of drunks so graphically on display in episodes of “Cops”. Talk about impairment!

    These assumptions seem risibility naive to most of us NORML fans. I would think this attitude would fade with experience over time. Unless, of course, the government starts spending another $100 million a year demonizing the weed.

    Incidently, kudos to NORML for having the insight to address these issues as momentum for reform builds.

  11. “Additionally,until they come up with an accurate sobriety test,there’s no way to tell if they smoked last week or thirty minutes ago” So if you can’t tell, what’s the problem?

    [Editor’s note: “So if you can’t tell, what’s the problem?” Really? One can’t readily tell if a driver is hungover, impaired on alcohol, high on pills or sleep deprived without a roadside test. Cannabis is no different. Impaired driving is a major problem in the US, regardless of the drug or it’s legality. Police should possess and employ accurate tests to determine both the presence of drugs and the likely impairment level of drivers who’ve demonstrated probable cause to receive a roadside ‘sobriety’ test.]

  12. As long as marijuana is a schedule 1 substance the drug testing laws will apply. The key is to remove if from the controlled substance list. Chances are, its not going to happen any time soon. Its the last weapon of control.

  13. What’s crazy is that if you have a prescription for xanex or something like that, it’s fine to take it at work. In college, I failed a swab test at Lowe’s for cannabis, even though it had been 3 days since I smoked. When they called and told me I failed the test, they said “too bad you didn’t take a percocet or a lortab and had a prescription, we would have hired you”….and my wife’s aunt’s, who is a elementary school counselor, favorite phrase is “It’s xanex o’clock”

  14. I love your work; please consider just one change. Instead of “cannabis smoker” (two loaded words, not descriptive of many consumers)can we refer to “Marijuana users”, or “Cannabis users”?

  15. i have been partaking for almost 50 yrs. and in those 50 yrs iv’e had 3 jobs. state mental institution, store manager, and sub elem teacher..and each job iv’e always gotten ‘outstanding’ evaluations. meanwhile, iv’e had to work with hungover, or still intoxicated fellow employees, who also btw drove to work that way! i’m tired of having to worry about the ‘law’ coming after me when i purchase it. wish the whole country would legalize it and revenue on the tax alone would get national debt eliminated.

  16. Guilty until proven innocent?

    Has anyone here had unfortunate experience of being accused of something you did not do. Especially something serious like theft or child abuse? because I have, that sinking feeling, this can’t be happening. “No sir I did not please sir”… Mr.Stroup and all of you here then consider well what the 4th amendment to constitution is about.

    [Editor’s note: Fourth Amendment only protects citizens from their government, not companies that prospective employees choose to work for.]

  17. “So if they can’t tell, what’s the problem” First of all I’m not talking about alcohol or pill use,or sleep deprivation,and who said anything about driving.I’m talking strickly about cannibus use. If there are no detectable signs of impairment, and if one is able to perform his or her duties effectively and safely, then, what is the problem? I agree one shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle under the influence,no way,but there are a myriad of jobs that cannibus can actually enhance job performance.I simply meant if there is no problem with job performance, don’t go looking for one that doesn’t exist.

    [Editor’s note: You can’t conveniently pick your chosen drug as not being at all consequential to public safety. Ever heard of short term memory loss associated with cannabis use?

    You OK with this scenario?

    Nuclear power plant operator: Did I push the open or shut valve?

    Cannabis is a drug. It has psychotropic effects. Some consumers may have little to no problem under its effects, others will be demonstrably impaired. Impairment testing (i.e., not testing for inert metabolites) which is what Stroup argues for if there is to be any ‘testing’ at all is not inherently a bad thing for public and workplace safety.

    there are a myriad of jobs that cannibus can actually enhance job performance.

    Good luck convincing elected policymakers any where in the US (or world) that cannabis can scientifically be proven to enhance job performance…there are myriad reasons why cannabis prohibition must end post haste, but cannabis causing enhanced job performance is not one of them.]

  18. Jimmy Potseed,
    I like the name. I’ve been a fan of the story Johnny Appleseed since my youth. The idea of planting and growing something that all may enjoy is awesome. The idea of marijuana being available to anyone that might like to enjoy it has economic constraints. We’re a society built on economics. What if someone was to take a pile of feminize seeds and go across country and plant in areas that have proper soil conditions and adequate rain fall. Oops they’ll just dig them up and burn them. Oh well here comes the oppression of our government again. We just want our freedom back. In Florida their going to allow low THC pot to be grown if you have 30 yrs. experience in a nursery business and 400,000 plantings of some sort. This is freedom? Maybe we should vote on it.

  19. Really Editor?

    I’m pretty sure customer service has been suffering greatly under Marijuana Prohibition. Have you ever had to deal with the “sober” brain dead idiots in Customer Service at any major Corporation is the last 20 years so??? When it doesn’t matter how drain dead someone is and all they have to do is pee clean, how can a company maintain any kind of employment standards????????

    Over the years this had eroded 100,000’s of good quality people from industry and now we’re left with clean pissing retards doing all the work and making decisions, which equal lower quality products and customer service while more jobs get moved over to China.

    [Editor’s note: Customer service is bad in America and jobs have moved to China because of largely pre-employment drug screens…OK…sure.


    You’re not going to prevail in advancing the notion here that no safety sensitive worker should ever be exposed to drug testing as a pre-agreed condition of employment. Social contracts and public safety are just as important to society as ending prohibition.]

  20. I don’t believe in zero tolerance or working any job while being impaired.The railroad allows workers to “mark off” if under the weather no questions asked.
    Testing must evolve beyond its current limitations as therapeutic use increases.

  21. This is such a dead point. Enforce the policies already in place. EVERY employer EVERYWHERE has some form of policy which addresses intoxication at the workplace.

  22. In the states that have medical marijuana, are they not hiring people because of marijuana in their system? I’m hoping and praying that my state will see the light so I can use medical marijuana and start working again. But if they aren’t hiring medical marijuana users, this definitely puts a damper on my plans.

  23. I have had potential employers tell me that the drug test is not because of safety, but to see if I am breaking the law. For example, they are testing us for marijuana because its illegal and therefor by having it in our system, we broke the law. Another example, I take a lortab or xanex and don’t have a prescription for it, I am breaking the law. But if I do have a prescription for it….It’s okay and I get the job even if I’m legally on drugs.

    So editor, I think that’s why a lot of people on here were questioning the validity of drug tests and the supposed need for them by companies to keep workplaces “safe”. I am sure many of them have experienced the same thing as me. Co-workers on all kinds of legal drugs, mucking things up all the time, or co-workers coming in hung over from alcohol or their legal prescription pills, mucking things up all the time.

    Or hell, even co-workers addicted to sticking their nose in their iPhone all day long instead of working or talking to anybody, mucking things up all the time.

    This whole drug test in the workplace stuff if absurd when you think about it. It is a violation of everyone’s privacy.

    [Editor’s note: I have had potential employers tell me that the drug test is not because of safety, but to see if I am breaking the law.

    A potential employer can engage in any number of ‘screens’ to determine if they want to extend an employment offer to a prospective worker. Many companies drug test not because they necessarily want to, but because their insurance companies charge them higher premiums or that they’ll not qualify for federal contracting work if the company does not comport with 1988 Drug Free Workplace Act.

    Some employers do pre-employment drug test to determine if someone is ‘on drugs’, but even then, what they’re more often than not looking for via pre-employment drug screens is to affirm that the person cares enough about getting the job not to show up in a physical condition to fail a drug screen (ie, if the person cares enough about getting a job at a particular company and has self control to prepare their body so as not provide a prime reason for employer not to extend an offer to work).

    There are many employers who use a pre-employment drug screen to largely determine ‘is the person a screw up from the get go because they knowingly came into a drug test for work, and still failed it’ and don’t ever issue another drug screen again (which is what most companies do…with any future testing triggered ‘for cause’ behavior or actions at the workplace).

    Stroup’s larger point, which is that despite cannabis legalization, drug testing still exists and that reformers in future need to create pro-reform legislation or ballot initiatives that treat cannabis and alcohol consumers the same…meaning, no drug testing in the workplace without cause.]

  24. I find myself oddly in agreement with “patient” about employer’s rights… but for the Love of God take the drug screening out of the hands of the USDA! If an employer wants to exercise their right to drug test me into submissive urination I have the right to tell them to f*$@ off.
    The real dilemma we are dealing with in the U.S. is turning prohibition into a government subsidized violation of the 4th amendment by allowing companies to get paid by our government to subjugate citizens to drug tests that can’t even determine WHEN someone smoked the marijuana, much less IF someone is hung-over or used harder drugs like Cocaine that exit the system with 72 hours or less.

  25. Unfortunately, there is and will continue to be discrimination in the workplace for cannabis users for some time. Even as cannabis becomes legalized/decriminalized/medicalized, it will still take a long time for people to really understand cannabis. The War on Drugs has produced some very powerful propaganda over the past 50 years or so. It is going to take a long time for people to get it out of their heads.

    [Editor’s note: True indeed regarding deep seated social biases against cannabis and its consumers, many long perpetuated by the government in efforts to dampen down public support for legalization. That government strategy appears no longer effective post the Internet era and a very diversified media landscape.

    What complicates matters greatly is that the legal status of a drug is not the final determinative factor these days. Case in point, numerous companies and government agencies do not extend employment offers to prospective employees who test positive or admit to using tobacco products. Tobacco is a legal and taxed product.

    In its traditional capacity representing consumer interests regarding cannabis, post cannabis legalization in the US because of the well established institutional biases against cannabis, groups like NORML will still be very active notably helping to establish fair and equitable ‘impairment’ testing in the workplace and roadsides.]

  26. I must agree with drug testing. not from breaking the law but, one of safety.{and because of increased backing and power from the insurance companies. employers DO have a right to know their employees are not impaired. it is the type of testing that is the problem. I consumed cannabis for 32 years and, would still be today if it were not for hair testing. I have worked for the same manufacturer for 36 years. I am a responsible adult who pays bills, taxes, loves my family and respects the law. in the early days,i have been known to go to work with a buzz. it did not take long to realize how stupid that was . not thru any accident but, the fact that depending on the situation, their could have been one. altho, I did find I was actually more focused and, productive, it was a danger. so, I stopped. it wasn’t but a few times but, no matter. that is when I learned about responsible use. I did not need to get that buzz to go to work. I could wait and enjoy that comfort AFTER work as those who want a beer or three would do. I felt much better about it.
    it is testing that must be changed….not eliminated! if I consume the nite before, I am clear and bright the next day. no cloudy shitty alcohol bla. now that good information is reaching important people about the benefits of cannabis, I hope that we will find a way to test for recent use rather than the fact that you did at all. we must find a method that will tell a number of hours since use {as in alcohol use} and find a safe time limit for employers because after all, we do work for THEM!….I am so ready for and enhanced frame of mind and , it can wait until AFTER work. it is very worth the wait! . thank you norml for continuing to find a way that benefits both sides.

  27. ( The fourth amendment only protects citizens from their government, not companies that prospective employees choose to work for.)

    Dear editor; the forth amendment was put in place in 1791 by a group of people known as anti federalists, and these common sense laws of fair play in the bill of rights were meant to protect the rights of individuals.

    So Sir; I suppose that if my employer ordered me to get down on my knees and lick dog shit off his shoes our nations high courts would uphold the employers right as a matter of workplace safety on the grounds that other employees might slip, and fall on the afore mentioned dog shit that my corporate master tracked in?

    I think that I would be making a good guess that the anti-federalists who framed the bill of rights were gentlemen, and that today’s corporate drug testers are not.

    These boots were made for walking, because I will. I don’ have to take abuse from anyone.

    Like the anti-federalists my voice is irreverently yours, thank you.

  28. Dear Editor:

    My brother in law has no HS Diploma. He is clean all the time, but is a complete muck up. I’m talking he’s just dumb. Why don’t we have IQ tests for pre employment? He has dropped a radiator on a fellow employers head, gotten 3 speeding tickets in 1 day in the company car, can’t ever make it to work on time because he tinkers with his car and it hardly ever runs.

    Yet, he can get virtually any job in his field just because he’s clean, which to me is a cop out. There are a whole lot more factors in getting a job than what you do at home on your own free time.

    Saying people who don’t want to get clean for a job means they don’t want to get a job is ludicrous. I don’t want to pass a drug test for somebody because that means if they actually think drug testing is a good testament to someone’s character, then that means there is a lot of other stuff we’re probably going to disagree about and I’m not going to want to work there because we would be constantly arguing about a myriad of topics.

    I say we go for more of a pre-employment character testing/IQ testing if you really want a good gauge on how a person acts. I have seen some of the most vile people also be the most sober people.

    And I’m still wondering why its okay to fail a drug test if you have a prescription? To me, that just makes it all null and void. It means they aren’t really testing for your safety or anything, they’re just wanting to be nosey, or as you said “seeing if people will get clean” but these people with prescriptions aren’t clean but they still get the job even if they failed the test because they had a prescription.

    [Editor’s note: Why don’t we have IQ tests for pre employment? Many employers do issue IQ/Aptitude tests before hiring (believe it or not, it is a requirement for law enforcement).

    And I’m still wondering why its okay to fail a drug test if you have a prescription? It is not OK in many companies and government agencies. Employees can be fired for taking lawful prescription drugs. Could a private employer fire an employee because they use coffee or bring it onto the property after being told not to? Yes. Welcome to employment in America circa 2014.

    Again, now and in future, the legal status of a particular substance is not the final determinator of whether or not the use of the substance creates a barrier to employment.

    In general, NORML only supports for cause testing (i.e., accident in the workplace) and impairment testing for safety sensitive positions…the organization does not believe that pre-employment drug screens are helpful for hiring competent employees or fostering a safe workplace. When employees provide full or part time labor to an employer, the organization does not support the notion (or legal fiction) that the employer necessarily controls the off-the-job behavior and activities of the workers. In principle, the exchange of labor for money should not lead to employers dictating the lives of their employees.]

  29. [Editor’s note: Customer service is bad in America and jobs have moved to China because of largely pre-employment drug screens…OK…sure. ???”

    Keeping the work place safe has not played a role in marijuana drug testing in this country. People here get fired for testing positive on a marijuana tests when all they took was ibuprofen. So tell me, how does that increase workplace safety???

    All it does is contribute to higher turnover and lower wages. You know who uses a lot of ibuprofen? Older, experienced folks. That also tend to be getting paid more than the recent higherees. And as medical marijuana comes to more and more places, older folks are also going to be discriminated against for medicating with marijuana?

    Corporations want to higher “yes people”, it doesn’t matter how bad an idea might, your job is to agree with it. Pothead are not people with this attitude at all. If we were, we would already be happy letting other people control our lives. Can you really not see how sidelining millions of creative, well balanced people from jobs in the government and industry has helped turn these areas of our society into cesspools of corruption???

    [Editor’s note: America has not been losing jobs to China (and India, and Bangladesh, and Philippines, and Mexico, and Brazil, etc…) for the last 40 years because of employees failing drug tests for Ibuprofen (or for any illegal drugs, including cannabis). You don’t think it could be something more compelling like globalism, world trade and macroeconomics rather corporate America employing a ‘let’s bleed America of its jobs by firing stoners and Ibuprofen takers!’ strategy?

    There are myriad valid reasons why businesses and govt agencies should stop performing largely pre-employment drug screens immediately, but, if corporate (and government agencies) stopped testing for cannabis today in America, that would have no impact on the US/China employment relationship.]

  30. Drug testing has overstepped its bounds. While I agree that certain jobs should maintain a zero tolerance towards use of certain drugs, I do not believe that a “drug free workplace” should extend past one’s hours of employment.

    Pervasive drug testing practices put me in a frustrating situation. I’ve had glaucoma and other vision problems since childhood and I use medical cannabis in CA. I only see in one eye, but the quality of vision is still considered “legally blind”. One pathetic man, Arnold Schwarzenegger, stood between me and the right to bypass a positive drug test for cannabis. Most employers would rather have me go completely blind than offer me a job.

    I have a college degree. I am intelligent, creative, and work hard when given a task. That means nothing because I can’t piss the way they want me to.

    People who are advocates for more drug testing are either making profits off cannabis prohibition… or adhere to the saying, “misery loves company”.

  31. “The fourth amendment only protects citizens from their government, not companies that prospective employees choose to work for.”
    No, wrong. This country has used Marijuana as the excuse of marijuana to illegal to void the Fourth Amendment.

    Thus when a skunk is lying dead near where police pulled you over, they can use the “skunk smell” as an excuse to illegally search a vehicle.

    It is about time we get our 4th Amendment back. Employers do have a right to make sure their workplace is safe; but it is balanced out by the employees rights as well. Main reason for marijuana testing in this country is for punishing people for activities that in no way shape or form put anyone at risk. If there is no public or private *need* for such “lets fire the potheads” type testing, then it too is another form of illegal discrimination.

  32. “Additionally,until they come up with an accurate sobriety test,there’s no way to tell if they smoked last week or thirty minutes ago” So if you can’t tell, what’s the problem? [Editor’s note: “So if you can’t tell, what’s the problem?” Really? One can’t readily tell if a driver is hungover, impaired on alcohol, high on pills or sleep deprived without a roadside test. Cannabis is no different. Impaired driving is a major problem in the US, regardless of the drug or it’s legality. Police should possess and employ accurate tests to determine both the presence of drugs and the likely impairment level of drivers who’ve demonstrated probable cause to receive a roadside ‘sobriety’ test.]

    So if there is no reason to suspect intoxication, there is no reason for a test. You just said it.

    “Probable cause” is, or at least should be, a bit higher than “nothing”. If “nothing” can be used as “probably cause” so can “everything”. Being Black and have bloodshot eyes is not “probable cause”. Not being able to speak clearly or focus your eyes is.

  33. I understand why he wrote this essay in a format of Right to Left, almost irrational (Sentence 1, paragraph 2) to rational (sentence 2, paragraph 7). It’s the way they teach you in the fifth grade to present an argument to an opposed party, but if this is the level of creative tact we can expect from our legal counsil, then I regret to say we are not in the best of circumstances. Please, save the write-by-numbers, corporate trade journal format for the next issue of, “The Tax Lawyer”. Don’t waste time writing articles like this, and write like your trying to forward the cause. Come on man.

  34. The term “workplace” is being used frequently to refer to what is more exactly “employmentplace”. In the presentday system, those drug-test “Jobs” are subhierarchical relationships, generally with a person who is legally and financially superior to you– and you agree to it when you reach for the money and “take the job”.

    1. Instead of that, how about developing a room in your house– maybe a cheap ugly basement one– to be a WORKSPACE where you decide what work to do for your family or for the planet or whatever. This might be what is referred to in today’s corporate-taught waste-based “economy” as “self-employment”, but I refer to it as low-budget semi-volunteer activism. You might take partners on a friendly teamwork basis, make some money recycling, but also make that workspace a Redemptive Reuse Transprocessing Center for thousands of kinds of things there’s no “recycling” market for yet.

    2. Take stuff your indoctrinated neighbors are throwing away and make new (including newly designed, newly invented) products out of it.

    3. A toke now and then (not H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide) benefits the inventorying/inventing parts of the brain, furthering this kind of work, whereas by contrast the nicotine tobacco (negotiating to back off, heh heh) promotes watching, waiting, wakefulness theater, detainment and or entertainment at best.

    4. PROJECT: If you refer to the third reply on this thread, you’ll see a link to a How-To article about making the Flexible Drawtube One-Hitter, for which there will be 44,444,444 customers in the USA within two years, replacing paper rollup monoxide $igarettes.

    5. Except for that, the most needed underdelivered product today is SHELVING for pantries, stockrooms, dwellings, resale shops, warehouses etc., fortunately the shelving needed can almost all be made out of salvaged scrap lumber and deadwood without paying any sawgoon to kill any living tree anywhere.

    6. Learn enough carpentry to give HANDS-ON SEMINARS in your neighborhood, maybe some youngster learning carpentry early in life will grow up to be the next Jesus Christ (and live 99 years, three times the value). Good luck everyone!

    But because you will be making less money for a while, you must learn to stop BUYING many waste-psycho products that the $corps may presently have you addicted to, a tough process for many. Not just the $igarettes you may be addicted to, but the $oap products that are used to clean up the me$$ and $tink after the $igarettes have been transformed into Butts. Junk foods you have an urge to eat a certain time interval after “smoking”, etc., etc. The mall, the advertising– the “modern world” is a minefield of $corporate $ponsored cues to make you “reach for” something they have you hooked on. Good luck!

  35. PS If you’re the President or just a resident,

    And you need a briefer,

    Reach for riefer

    And reforest our planet.

  36. On second thought, what we really need for more effective piss testing is to piss on demand for our employers, you know like dogs do after the Alpha male nearly kills them… Yeah, we should do the same to people at work. Day one on the job, just completely beat and humiliate the §€|+ out of a prospective worker deep into submission. Next, strip the worker naked to make sure theyre not hiding any ones warm piss in a flask in their underwear. Finally surround their naked bodies with a pack of hungry wolves until they pee freely on themselves with fear. From then on prohibitionists can keep getting paid with our tax dollars that will cover the government-employed wolf population that we can hire ranchers to capture, and employers can have a totally effective and subordinate employee for low wages! Its a win win for everyone! Unless, of course, youre a norml human being. Than this submissive urination by wolves would SUCK.

  37. @Keith-If marijuana were rescheduled at least off of schedule 1 status, then would an employer have any right to test for marijuana? And if so would they have the right to deny someone or fire someone based on a positive piss test?

    I think that our police and military would benefit from personal marijuana use (off the job) as it helps with PTSD and is a much safer alternative to alcohol. Not that I have anything against a nice cold beer, but sometimes I like to have options.

  38. I am (at the risk of sounding conceted), a reasonably smart guy who has worked in the nuclear power and the nuclear weapons realms. The primary issue in all of these blogs is the fact that current testing regimes (urine)detect usage in a citizen’s free time. I am a fervent believer in not allowing impairment on the job. It is my right as an employee to be reasonably assured that my coworkers can’t accidentally kill me by making a mistake due to intoxication. I understand the political expediency of calling out the nuclear industries. I would like to see NORML pursue an approach of changing the random urinalysis testing to something better suited to determining impairment on the job (like saliva testing). If you don’t have the discipline to pass a pre-employment test, or to not use within say 48 hours of work then you don’t deserve the job (in my opinion).

    By the way, Good Job NORML. I like the way things are trending.

    [Editor’s note: NORML’s model drug testing policy for the workplace is found here.

    Talk about good trending…great news in Sunday New York Times!]

  39. The reefer madness clowns sure come out on the moronic drug tests.

    Drug tests are used by retards to weed smart people out so they can hire equally retarded jackasses.
    Any company that drug tests deserves exactly what they will get, drooling compliant lemmings.

    Suck it up drug test clowns.

  40. If you legalize cannabis then its legal no matter what. You see, you have to take in consideration all the other things that people are under the influence of. Consider coffee. You can get a serious caffeine buzz. I work with people (on a ferry boat in an engine room) that are buzzing on caffeine all day. Or how about over the counter cold and allergy medicine. Some of that crap can get you going. Anti depressants is another. How about relationships. Those can make a productive worker un-productive in the worse way. I read somewhere that 90% of people driving on the highway are under some influence either it be drugs, alcohol, loud music, cell phone, or the kids yelling at you in the back seat. I could go on and on. Most people are under the influence of something or distracted ALL THE TIME! That’s the truth. Don’t be obtuse to this fact. So if you want cannabis legal then you better legalize it all the way or nothing. Being responsible is key to legalization. That’s what matters. If there’s restrictions then its not really legal. Anyway, how can you make a plant illegal? Maybe we should make banana trees illegal.

  41. Basically my thought is if you are too stupid to pass a drug test then the job either shouldn’t require it in the first place or you really are too stupid for the job.

    Everybody knows that you just buy fake urine and pass. Furthermore drug testing means testing for marijuana nothing else. Even if they test for everything cocaine, meth, all the big drug leave you system in hours or days while marijuana stay in your system for much longer.

    Driving under the influence shouldn’t be about a number on a machine. We all know the difference between a first time user who uses 20x the amount of edibles he should have and a responsible user that smokes every day for medical reasons. Test after test shows that this is not a safety risk.

    Drug testing is furthermore discriminatory so for you employers out there is just a few years that’s how we will be remembering you. Drug testing doesn’t work, it costs a fortune, and it’s discriminatory against users of the safest illegal drug in America.

  42. If you are going to fire people for marijuana use in free time and take away there kids than anybody that drinks ever should be fired and have their kids taken away too. The two drugs have similar intoxication properties marijuana always being the safer of the two both for the public and for ones self.

    Both drugs are active about the same length of time. I don’t think we need a better marijuana test we need a better test for meth and more serious drugs.

  43. Being I live in AZ am I to assume I would have legal recourse if I was in possession of a MMJ card and registered with the state and was terminated due to a positive test? Even if I provided my card as proof of being a registered patient? I haven’t gotten a card yet, but would like to know because these pain pills are really starting to tear me up. Any knowledge or insight to the law would be appreciated.

  44. Several state a test re: cannabis usage be more timely. That’s not possible. Alcohol passes thru ones body quickly. Cannabis doesn’t. However the effects do. So stop acting like your in 1950. If a person is lucid make your own call.

  45. No problem with employers wanting people sober at work. BUT, they have no right to dictate how I spend my off hours as long as I’m sober at work. They claim there is no test which show current impairment…tell that to your local police officer.

    Employers now discriminate against people. Personality profiles, background checks, drug screens (be honest they are checking for pot) and some how they think that is equal opportunity employment? Not on your life, it is age old NAZI super humanity project, looking for the superior employee…Employment should be based solely on ones work record. A good work history shows a good employee, a bad work history shows a bad employee. So why all the personality tests, background checks, and drug screens? Only one possible conclusion, to find the superior, the ultimate employee, unfortunately this is just a new unequal employment opportunity employer’s…these practices should be against the law. Employers who want to regulate a persons private life is a tyrant plain and simple.

  46. To quote, “Whether they smoked a joint over the weekend, or even the night before, has no impact on the workers’ ability to perform their jobs in a safe and responsible manner.”

    Complete rubbish. First, stop calling it a drug. Next, smoke a little grass tonight and tell me tomorrow you are still affected by it. If you are you’re lying. You can’t get a hangover from it, nor are you “high” the next day. Anything that was ever said by the “reefer madness” propaganda campaign, is, and still is…lies.

  47. Handcuffing the lives of Americans & abroad for Marijuana use is simply a satanic oppression which inhibits human rights & the progression of livelihoods & the economy in immeasurable ways. Drug testing for marijuana only benefits the drug testing companies themselves. It is an unrighteous discrimination which needs to be done away with immediately. Employers are only fooling themselves by thinking they are “weeding” out the worst of employees & incompetence. Many only clean up until after the test is over anyway. It’s a total farce affecting too many decent & talented individuals who would better their lives & others if this discrimination did not exist. Pharmaceuticals can offer no better medicinal resolution for so many & this is just another, along with the prison system, money making scam based evil politics!*

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