Congress Considers Legislation To Ban Drug Test Aids

Washington, DC: Members of Congress introduced legislation this week to prohibit the manufacture and sale of commercial products intended to influence drug test results, such as diuretic teas and chemical adulterants.

House Bill 4910, the “Drug Testing Integrity Act,” calls on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to define these items as “banned hazardous products” under federal law. The bill now awaits action by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

House Bill 4910 is the second proposal to be introduced in Congress since members held hearings last May vowing to bar the sale of any commercial products designed to influence drug testing results.

Of the estimated 55 million drug tests performed annually, approximately 90 percent of those are urine tests, which may be influenced by dilution or adding an adulterant to the sample. To date, fourteen states have enacted laws prohibiting the commercial sale of such products.

While often referred to as an impairment test, urinalysis cannot detect the presence of parent drugs, and only indicates that a particular substance may have been previously consumed at some unspecified point in time. In the case of cannabis, non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites (compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body) may be detectable in urine for days or even weeks after past use. As a result, the US Department of Justice affirms that a positive urine test, even when confirmed, “does not indicate … recency, frequency, or amount of [drug] use; or impairment.”

Responding to the introduction of HB 4910, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said, “It’s ironic that Congress is trying to quash legitimate businesses that have successfully emerged in the free market — particularly when the market for this industry is a direct result of politicians’ zeal to intrusively search the bodily fluids of tens of millions of law abiding Americans without cause.”

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500.