Firms Turn To Hair Test To Check for Drug Use

  Firms Turn To Hair Test To Check for Drug Use

Posted by CN Staff on December 15, 2003 at 21:51:20 PT
By Diane E. Lewis, Globe Staff 
Source: Boston Globe  

The Boston Police Department changed to hair testing a year ago. So did Illinois-based Kraft Foods. "We felt the hair test was a much better testing methodology," said Kraft Foods spokeswoman Kathy Kanuth.Even the federal government, which still relies heavily on urine tests, is considering changing its regulations and procedures to include hair and other testing methods. Final regulations are expected in about 18 months.
One reason for the switch is that employers are facing a new industry with an odd mandate: help workers beat urine tests.Sold mainly through the Internet and publications like High Times, the products touted by this cottage industry have names like Clear Choice, Urine Aid, and Urine Luck. The merchandise runs from additives that mask illegal substances to a fake phallus with a pouch to hold clean urine.But making the switch from urine to hair testing might not be easy. Labor unions, privacy advocates, and groups like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, would likely denounce a governmental switch because of potential privacy violations. NORML also argues that hair testing could discriminate against African-Americans and pregnant women, raising legal concerns.Others wonder whether there are enough labs to support widespread use of hair tests by government contractors."There are 50 to 60 certified laboratories that do nothing else but urine tests and there are thousands of sites to collect urine samples," said Dr. Robert Swotinsky, director of occupational health at Fallon Clinic in Worcester. There are now only two major laboratories that test hair, Swotinsky said.One of the labs is owned and operated by Cambridge-based Psychemedics Corp. It screens hair samples for cocaine, heroine, PCP's, Ecstasy, and marijuana.Typically, the hair is clipped at an occupational medical center, collection site, or the workplace by a trained individual. The hair is placed in a container, sealed, and shipped to Psychemedic's laboratory in California.There, technicians liquify it and test for metabolites, substances the body produces while processing drugs. In most cases, test results are returned within 48 hours.Psychemedics credits employer angst over beat-the-test strategies with boosting company sales to $16 million in 2002, up from $2 million a decade earlier."In 1987, when we were just getting started, we made nothing in the first few years," said Ray Kubacki, president and chief executive. "We were just trying to get our tests together. Now, we're adding between 250 and 270 clients per year. Over the last three years, we added 800 clients and the majority of them were employers who wanted to switch from urine to hair testing."Today, the company has 2,600 clients, up from 200 in 1991.Not all employers are switching -- or even drug testing. The sluggish economy and declines in hiring budgets caused firms that had no critical reason to test workers to curtail the practice. Today, 67 percent of US companies conduct drug tests, reports the American Management Association. Of those, 20 percent test both hair and urine and 30 percent test saliva. The remainder only test urine, said Laura Shelton, executive director of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association.The 1,100-member group has asked the US Department of Transportation to require hair testing as an alternative to the standard urine test. The organization, a vocal representative of the $4 billion drug testing industry, believes federal adoption of alternatives like hair screening would prompt private employers to do the same.Why bother? Shelton contends hair and saliva testing would put firms that help workers cheat out of business because it's harder to mask drugs in hair than it is in urine. Even a new crop of shampoos that offer to wash away signs of drug use by stripping the hair can't prevent labs from detecting illegal substances in the hair shaft, she said.The reason: Drugs are absorbed into the hair follicle and shampoos only touch the outer layer of the hair strand. From the follicle, drug traces are deposited into the center of each hair strand, forming a history of usage that can remain in hair from months to years, depending on hair length."The longer the piece of hair, the longer the history of drug use," said Dick Etter, vice president of Northwest Toxicology, a urine and hair testing firm. "Deposits of drugs in hair can go through the entire length of hair, possibly for years. But, for practical purposes, the hair sample is collected from close to the scalp and that will show drug use from three to six months."What happens if the worker is bald? "You can collect hair from other parts of the body, including chest hair, underarm hair, even leg hair," said Shelton. "If you have no body hair, then you do not get a hair test. You are switched to a saliva test instead."By contrast, urine tests offer a shorter history of drug use because the illegal substance remains in the system for approximately three days. And urine test results can be "beaten" by abstaining from drug use for several days or drinking large quantities of water, said Dr. Brian Linder, corporate medical director at Houston-based Marathon Oil Co.At Gillette Co. in Boston, hair tests that come back positive are retested using an even more sophisticated technique to confirm the initial analysis, said. Dr. J. Brooks Watt, director of corporate medical services. He said Gillette switched to hair testing because the screen hones in on "consistent, routine, and significant drug use." That troubles Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the NORML Foundation. He said workers who have turned their lives around could be penalized for activity they are no longer engaged in because prior usage showed up in hair tests. St. Pierre also agrued that the tests could garner misleading results from African-Americans, graying adults, and pregnant women."With race, there is a difference in the type of oils and sheens that are naturally produced in the hair of different ethnic groups," said St. Pierre. "African-American hair, for example, could produce minerals that are not common in Caucasions, especially very white people with thin hair. The workers' hair type could cause a drug to remain in the hair significantly longer or for shorter periods of time.NORML also contends that a pregnant woman could test positive even though she has never used drugs. "When a woman conceives, her body generates a whole series of different enzymes that could impact the results of a hair test," said St. Pierre. Entrepreneur Dennis Catalano, cofounder of Puck Technology, said he has privacy concerns. Catalano's California-based company sells a $150 prosthetic penis that comes with a pouch to hold clean urine and tubing to dispense it. The device is strapped around the waist with a belt. Called The Whizzinator, it was "designed to keep your bodily fluids out of the hands of people who should not have it and preserve privacy as much as we can today," he said in a phone interview."There are hundreds of things besides drugs that can be deduced from hair testing information, including genetic information, health information, or any use of psychotropic drugs for mental illness," Catlano said.Northwest Toxicology's Etter said both labs and employers are barred from collecting and dispensing private medical information about workers. Under federal law, he said, labs cannot use hair, urine, or saliva samples to collect genetic or medical information. As for St. Pierre's argument that hair tests are potentially discriminatory, Shelton said: "The texture of your hair has no bearing on the test. . . . Also, the enzymes in pregnant women wouldn't be a factor because the tests are only looking for specific enzymes that are formed when the body metabolizes drugs."Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author:  Diane E. Lewis, Globe StaffPublished: December 15, 2003Copyright: 2003 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: Drug Testing Archives

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Comment #38 posted by westnyc on December 17, 2003 at 13:13:48 PT
"Drug testing is also a cottage industry"
PS - I also disagree with the statement that "beating the urine test" businesses are a cottage industry. To me, the actual drug testing clinics with their mock medical environments are actually the "cottage industry."
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Comment #37 posted by westnyc on December 17, 2003 at 11:38:49 PT
Jose Melendez
Personally, I am subjected to random drug testing; and, I hate it because if a person's urine isn't protected by the fourth amendment - what in the world is! Most everyone I talk to at work agree that they find it violating too. I'm trying to be as clear as I can when I say I oppose drug testing of any kind; however, I am not opposed to impairment testing of any substance including fatigue, which is the number one cause of workplace accidents. I believe that whatever one does in their own time especially in their own home is nobody elses business; and, if I understand saliva testing correctly - it only measures impairment and I think for safety sensitive positions that this is reasonable in the same way that alcohol testing is measured. I have to tell you that what actually brought my attention to drugs and the drug testing issue is that once while working I had a slight disagreement with an older coworker on the issue of marijuana prohibition. Later that day, I was called-in for a random testing because my older colleagues reported me to a manager for possible drug abuse. Of course, I passed; but, I am still angered to this day that I was forced to submit to a random drug test - not due to any any violation of my duties; but rather, because I had a differert opinion than somebody else.
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Comment #36 posted by jose melendez on December 17, 2003 at 10:14:36 PT
here's a cartoon
high school clicks
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Comment #35 posted by FoM on December 17, 2003 at 10:11:33 PT
That's ok ron
It didn't work for me and because of it being too long I removed it. Please don't worry about it. It happens.
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Comment #34 posted by ron on December 17, 2003 at 10:07:35 PT

Sorry about the URL on my comment # 32
The link was to a cartoon showing a pepsi manager firing a worker because he tested positive for coke.Probably an old joke, but it seemed relevant.
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Comment #33 posted by CorvallisEric on December 17, 2003 at 04:58:48 PT

minor clarification to comment 31
About mercury, I meant dental fillings and fish with some partial exceptions - don't know enough about the smokestack issue to form an opinion yet.
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Comment #31 posted by CorvallisEric on December 17, 2003 at 04:48:19 PT

westnyc (and some general squawks)
Welcome from a past and probably future cannabis consumer.You said (comment 24) If you shave all your body hair it will be considered a "refusal to test." - Interesting and disturbing thought. I wonder if there are historical analogies from which one could predict such a policy. I can imagine the need for medical certification to prove a condition that would cause involuntary lack of hair. Another whole class of people (like cancer patients) whose privacy and maybe even livelihood is wrecked by the War.In addition to non-users, I also wish we had more critics and skeptics and even Republicans. As for my own disagreements with what seem to be prevailing views here, I would include skepticism about the following: 1) most of "alternative" medicine. 2) the dangers of mercury and fluoride to most people in the normal American environment (not talking about lead paint, or arsenic in some water supplies). 3) every kind of parapsychology and the occult. 4) most "conspiracy" thinking (in part because the chance of real discovery is drowned out by all the noise). 5) organic food as a health issue except maybe strawberries (as opposed to philosophical, environmental or economic issues).I'm also bothered by claims that cannabis is totally harmless, sometimes related to its being "natural." The issue is freedom - even to be stupid as Jesse Ventura so eloquently stated, not medical or philosophical minutiae. And, no, I'm not a Republican.
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Comment #30 posted by jose melendez on December 17, 2003 at 03:54:20 PT

fairest drug testing?what's fair about it drug testing?
curious . . .
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Comment #29 posted by jose melendez on December 17, 2003 at 03:50:09 PT

nice one: the opposition is willing to seek the metabolites, but turn a blind eye to mercury, arsenic, DynCorp, Monsanto, poison is legal, just not pot!
treason EXPOSED
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Comment #28 posted by jose melendez on December 17, 2003 at 03:47:27 PT

yippieRevolutionary:Re: sponsor?I'm close to a breakthrough now. Already, I've received much more response than I expected. The Drug War Crimes Act has legs, and they are growing!About the above title, that's just a license plate number I saw recently . . .
treason: Prohibitionists aid and comfort enemy, profiteer by manufacturing crime
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 17:13:13 PT

Not offended at all. I'm glad you are saying how you feel. 
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Comment #26 posted by westnyc on December 16, 2003 at 17:07:49 PT

One more thing!
PS - I hope that people here are not offended by the fact that someone who doesn't smoke marijuana occasionally stops by to offer their opinions on this important issue. I have learned so much from this outstanding website and I have also learned to question so many things going on in today's world. Before cannabisnews - I used to get my news from Fox and MSNBC; unfortunately, I would base my opinions and ideals about "how I think the world should be" by what I saw on them.
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Comment #25 posted by westnyc on December 16, 2003 at 17:01:11 PT

One more thing
Personally, I don't smoke marijuana - I tried it a few times fifteen years ago when I was a young college student and I simply didn't like it. However, marijuana prohibition to me is an overwhelming constitutional question; and, an appaling disregard of Constitutional Rights. I am so sick of our non partisan US Supreme Court ruling that the Bill of Rights does not pertain to the workplace; and, I have to ask the question - Drug testing now - what's next? 
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Comment #24 posted by westnyc on December 16, 2003 at 16:49:12 PT

"This is an OUTRAGE!!!!"
"If you have no body hair, then you do not get a hair test. You are switched to a saliva test instead."As if! I can tell you right now that this scenario will not happen. If you shave all your body hair it will be considered a "refusal to test." Therefore you will be required to grow at least one little patch of hair on your body; or, you will be guilty of being a drug abuser. Thus, you will be immediately fired from your job and become another one of the millions of working class americans permanently disenfranchised from earning a living.Personally, I am not opposed to saliva testing per se. I think it is the safest, fairest, and cheapest form of drug testing. I work in a safety sensitve field (DOT) and I don't want anyone performing critical safety operations while under the influence of any substance; however, urine and especially hair testing doesn't measure impairment and certainly isn't a safer alternative to saliva which does, indeed, measure impairment.
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Comment #23 posted by afterburner on December 16, 2003 at 16:08:18 PT:

This sounds bogus: more 'use is abuse' propaganda
These metabolites found in hair are residues, like those in urine tests, indicating not an illegal intoxication, but only possible use in the past. Ask Dr. Russo. As for the mercury problem and dental amalgam fillings (Remove Heavy Metals & Boost Immune System): Top > Health > Alternative > Non-Toxic Living > Mercury and Amalgams have heard of people having their mercury amalgam fillings removed in order to improve their health, some famous people. Since mercury damages the immune system and many of the diseases that respond to medical cannabis are diseases of the auto-immune system, this is important information. 
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 16:08:11 PT

I wish I could answer you but I just don't know about these things.
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Comment #21 posted by sukoi on December 16, 2003 at 15:51:10 PT

You're quite welcome. I'll do whatever I can to help, and my previous offer still stands. Surely someone out there can figure out a way to get it set-up while protecting everyone, maybe some sort of a charity fund account? I don't know, but if it happens, I'll sign on the dotted line!
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 15:20:40 PT

Thanks for understanding. I really try not to miss giving credit to someone who brings something of this importance to my attention. Thanks again.
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Comment #19 posted by sukoi on December 16, 2003 at 15:12:33 PT

Response to FoM (comment #15)
FoM, there is no need to apologize for anything. You are providing a great service and the important thing is that you got it and you posted it. Who found it is irrelevant!
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Comment #18 posted by yippierevolutionary on December 16, 2003 at 11:32:29 PT

are there any sponsors of the drug war crimes act?
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Comment #17 posted by jose melendez on December 16, 2003 at 09:15:23 PT

" . . . concepts like widespread neurotoxins poisoning society were way over this women's head. She got mad and said "It all comes down to the fact that drugs are illegal"Oh, so it's not about health, eh? Just laws? (oxymoron intended)
illegal actions
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Comment #16 posted by The GCW on December 16, 2003 at 08:58:39 PT

Realize, KUCINICH ends cannabis prohibition!
And for anyone who is just dropping by,& haven't heard: Democratic Presidential nominee, Dennis Kucinich, put in writing that as PRESIDENT He WILL: 
"DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA" -"in favor of a drug policy that sets reasonable boundaries for marijuana use by establishing guidelines similar to those already in place for alcohol." (POSTED ON His website!) Let's make sure citizens know this landmark issue and register to vote as a Democrat, in their primaries for to be able to vote for Kucinich.

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Comment #15 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 08:26:23 PT

Thank you! I got it posted now! I forgot to name you Newshawk in my rush. I'm sorry.
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Comment #14 posted by sukoi on December 16, 2003 at 08:07:48 PT

FoM, the MSNBC Ventura transcript
is supposedly available at
I can't access it from where I am, so I don't know if this is a good link or not!
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Comment #13 posted by Yippierevolutionary on December 16, 2003 at 08:06:52 PT

Industrial Toxins
I remember sitting in the nurses office reading the anti-drug literature filled with demonstrable lies. I tried telling the nurse "why are you so paranoid? Why do you see a great crisis with marijuana when THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT" She started blabbering on about how a young girl would come in and tell her she smoked, and next week she came in and she did acid and blah blah blah never understanding that young people are more complicated than Drug Free = good kid with no emotional problems. But this lady was a registered nurse, maybe I could make a health argument. "I'm talking about grasping at straws when the real problem you dont even talk about, when you drive home today your going to be spewing MTBE out of your gas tank which is lowering the aggregate IQ of this nation, we can't even eat fish anymore" But concepts like widespread neurotoxins poisoning society were way over this women's head. She got mad and said "It all comes down to the fact that drugs are illegal"
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Comment #12 posted by yippierevolutionary on December 16, 2003 at 07:57:17 PT

Drug testing at my Alma Matter
I recently graduated from a catholic high school with an extremely petty administration. Around the last month of my senior year myself and about 15 of my friends (1/3 the male population of my class) were called down to the office where the vice principal declared war on us. "You are using drugs before, during, and after school and I've known for years theres one month left and I'm gonna get you guys no more pussyfooting around THIS IS WAR" What he said was not true smoking before school made me extremely paranoid and was not enjoyable, but after school everyday we would meet at a friends house that we could walk to from school. We called it Stoner HeadQuarters and we would smoke and talk and whatever while the other kids were being yelled at by coaches and forced to do things they didnt want to by authority. It was a laid back alternative afterschool activity. I made many jokes about the War in classes which filtered back to the VP and I'm sure it pissed him off that we ridiculed him. We won the 30 day War on graduation day by not losing. He searched our lockers watched us in the parking lot but we never brought any pot to school, and as long as we did that we were fine. There were rules and if you played by them and weren't stupid you were ok. There were boundaries  Which is why I was really pissed off when I found out that my old nemesis has instituted SCHOOLWIDE RANDOMIZED DRUG TESTING. The old rules are gone, you can no longer stay within certain boundaries and be safe, it was an escalation of conflict like Nixon spreading the war to cambodia. I am glad I am out of that prison, but as my alma mater I feel solidarity with the current students. Something needed to be done we needed Kent State style resistance without anyone getting shot. But after thinking about it the logistics will never work. Drug tests cost $25 per test, with 400 people in order to actually prevent drug use (read pot) they would have to test around 100 people per month thats $2500 half a tuition! My school was always complaining about not having enough money and having to do fundraisers. So nothing needs to be done, just sit back and watch their failed policy collapse on its own bloated self. I think that this may be the final escalation (infringement on student rights) after they see that people are still toking (maybe less) but binge drinking and amphetamine use (ADD meds are widely available) they will look back and see that The Drug War is a lost cause.PS I stopped smoking marijuana and discovered Green Tea and Yoga
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on December 16, 2003 at 07:35:33 PT

Mercury: Bush at work
Here's the latest affront to humanity, from today's paper: notice that the AP is very conservative on this issue as well, after reading the article, it seems like the headline should be "Bush sabotages plans to cut mercury pollution". America wake up! You're cringing in fear of your kids turning hippie and smoking weed, meanwhile, Bush has generously offered to let them eat mercury until 2018.......Bush offers plan to cut mercury pollutionPower facilities would get 15 years to trim emissionsBy John Heilprin, Associated Press, 12/16/2003WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration yesterday proposed giving power plants up to 15 years to install new technology aimed solely at reducing mercury pollution, a week after science advisers said the government should be issuing stronger mercury warnings to pregnant women.The Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever proposed controls on mercury pollution from power plants would be less than the limits envisioned by the Clinton administration, letting owners in some cases delay meeting requirements until 2018. They would let industry meet the first six years' goals by using pollution controls already installed to stem smog and acid rain."These actions represent the largest air reductions of any kind not specifically mandated by Congress," said Mike Leavitt, the new EPA administrator. "We are calling for the largest single industry investment in any clean air program in US history."The EPA also proposed a measure for power plants to cut smog- and soot-forming chemicals from their smokestacks. Together, the programs are estimated to cost $5 billion or more to implement.But while the EPA said it was concerned about mercury, the Food and Drug Administration was told last week by a scientific advisory panel that it should provide clearer advice to pregnant women and young children on the risks from mercury in their diet.The panel told the FDA that it could do a better job of spreading word on which fish have too much mercury, particularly that white tuna has nearly three times as much mercury as "light" tuna.Bush's EPA had been following a Clinton administration plan to require each power plant to use the best technology available to cut mercury emissions and other toxic pollutants by 90 percent within four years.But the White House and Leavitt now want to allow utilities to rely for the first six years on mercury pollution controls already installed to stem other pollutants that cause smog and acid rain.That approach, the EPA says, would eliminate about 14 tons a year of mercury emissions from the currently unregulated 48 tons a year generated by coal-fired power plants. Such plants account for about 40 percent of the nation's mercury pollution.After that, the proposal would cut an additional 19 tons a year of mercury emissions, the EPA says.Environmentalists who oppose the Bush plans say the reduction would be only about a third of the more ambitious cuts the Clinton administration considered in 2000 that would have required each plant to install the best mercury controls by 2008. The Clinton administration had listed mercury as a "hazardous air pollutant." The Bush administration would undo that by placing mercury -- which can damage growing brains of fetuses and young children at high enough concentrations -- under a less stringent category of the Clean Air Act, so it can be regulated using a program allowing companies to buy pollution credits from other plants.Proponents frequently point to the acid rain reduction program begun in 1990 as the model for that approach, which uses market forces to reward companies that exceed their pollution reduction targets. But it would mean that the toughest requirements of the new mercury control plan would not take effect until 2018.
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Comment #10 posted by ron on December 16, 2003 at 07:22:47 PT

"explaining another reason why the government wants to pave over and develop every square inch of land they possibly can."According to some cynical developers, land value rises in direct proportion to the amount of cement it holds. 
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on December 16, 2003 at 05:52:04 PT

drug "prohibition" is a huge travesty, but it's dwarfed by the environmental catastrophe we're imposing on ourselves. The mercury damage is done. It is now unsafe to eat swordfish, tuna, and most other ocean fish, as well as trout from the streams & rivers of the Northeast.  Another advisory just came out for pregnant women last month. Edward Abbey recognized the link between fascism and environmental degredation long ago. Total control will be realized once people can no longer take their sustinence from the lands and waters - we'll be dependent on genetically engineered, pesticide-ridden vegetables and factory farm meat. Abbey pointed out that most guerrilla movements and revolutions are always fought from the wilderness areas of countries - explaining another reason why the government wants to pave over and develop every square inch of land they possibly can.

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Comment #8 posted by Virgil on December 15, 2003 at 23:32:03 PT

Here is the big deal
I have said this before, but so what. It is Groundhog Day.First, money is life to some and this bullshit about testing everyone in a school is stupid. They are after money.Second, if I were a principal of a school with a budget for testing substances in people's bodies, I would test specifically for mercury using volunteers. If there was enough money, I would expand it to heavy metals. And if I could I would want a few tested for the variety of man-made chemicals that are known to be in the environment. The government does not want the important test to be done. They might figure out the asthma epidemic or even Alzeheimer's. Every school should at least test a few kids for heavy metals. The drug testing is bullshit. There are millions of children that need treatment now and many more adults. All that lead in gasoline for decades had some effect. What was the effect? Only the people that bring us silence would know.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 15, 2003 at 23:21:16 PT

Thanks Virgil
I appreciate your comment. So many things can harm us in the modern world.
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Comment #6 posted by Virgil on December 15, 2003 at 23:08:57 PT

FoM, yes and they still do
It is in a compound that is so inert that is deemed harmless because the body cannot absorb it. Many people that get sick have them removed also. A young person is still developing their nervous system and even miniscule amounts of mercury can be quit damaging to them. If I wanted to do someone in, I would do it with mercury.That is what makes all this talk of increasing allowable mercury pollution so terrible. There is no question that mercury will adversely affect the health of many Americans. The human body cannot deal with mercury and that is why legislation had previously targeted it. Now they say to hell with it. Do what you want and scare people into buying insurance or working cheap to get insurance and we will sell them some pills and see that they die penniless so there is a new generation of poor people to plunder. The new laws will all but be legalized murder and mutilation.I guess I will site this as relevant because it agian shows that the media sucks.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 15, 2003 at 22:40:04 PT

You say Mercury is really bad. Isn't that what they used in tooth fillings years ago? 
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Comment #4 posted by SystemGoneDown on December 15, 2003 at 22:36:40 PT:

The government would rather you contrict your lungs with tobacco than dialate it with weed...(400,000 deaths a year)
They'd rather you consume alcohol and become violent and kill your liver, than find the peaceful content of pot.
They'd rather you take viagra to get it up than become sexually enhanced by weed.
They'd rather you take tylenol or advil than relieve back pain with weed.Stop being a slave to this bullshit democracy!!!
Think on your own.
Don't believe the bullcrap on O'reilly.
Tell Bush to eat it...
Stand up for yourselves and your country, push for legalization... This will expose our country for what it's become and only then will we be free...Vote Kucinich!!!
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on December 15, 2003 at 22:33:28 PT

In comment1, I should have been more clear. If a child would eat a flake of paint the size of a corn flake that had lead as a flattener in it, it would cause severe and permanent damage. Mercury is worse than arsenic ever thought about being.
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Comment #2 posted by SystemGoneDown on December 15, 2003 at 22:27:21 PT:

"marijuana epidemic"...dont trust gov't

John Walters is doing 1 of 2 things if not both. He must really think the public is stupid, or he himself must be stupid. The 2nd one is most likely true, but the first is very likely to. He's spitting all these facts that show the growing problem of marijuana(to him it's a problem) and it's increasing street value.......or the REAL problem, marijuana prohibition. I find it obviously clear that all these numbers and statistics are contradicting his precious drug war. There would be no Mexican drug cartels ran in our own land if pot were legal. This would eliminate the violence associated with these guarded weed fields. Legalization would bring down prices so you and I could stop busting our pockets for our stash. These "criminals" are doing a public service, morally right or not. That's what's flawed with this clown Walters and his DEA dictators, weed will always be here, legal or not. Viewing it as an epidemic is the most blatant way the U.S. is dealing with marijuana. 
DOES ANYONE LISTEN TO SYSTEM OF A DOWN?The U.S. drug war sums up everything you need to know about our government. They KNOW the truth. They know marijuana should be legal... but what do they do? I'll tell you...Coservatives have been spitting BS for so long, that they themselves believe their own BS, while liberals are intimidated by conservatives and are afraid to do the right thing(legalization)... so they decide to 'Play Ball'.Alchol Companies, Petroleum, paper, medicine, and other energy companies will flat out go bankrupt if hemp became the #1 source for energy, medicinal, and recreational needs. If you combine all these major company stocks, you got alot of power. And that's when our System of Democracy falls. When corporations become so rich and powerful that they influence laws(such as marijuana legalization), it will lead to unconstitutional and fascist ways of enforcing laws, including; federal gov't overrulling state, censored facts and media, and cover-ups left and right.The JFK assasination is very similar to the War on marijuana... it's a conspiracy to protect and enhance major corporate gains... all this in a System where Democracy has reached ultimate emperial glory, to a point where MONEY RULES ALL, by any means necessary... I'm not a communist by any means, but this System has proven to become exploited. It is our responsibility as Americans, as stated by our Founding Fathers, that we maintain the gov't reserved FOR THE PEOPLE. 

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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on December 15, 2003 at 22:23:29 PT

Dancing with urine
It is all song and dance. A dog and pony show. It is just teaching people how to play games and get into addictive use because laughing grass is so testing friendly.The Reich is moving on hoping to get that ANWAR oil figuring that the media is lying about the polls and not reporting that people without telephones and people away from home on a 65 hour work week are not included in the distortions the media calls polls. I think the real players figure out that if Bush did not win last time, he really does not have a prayer this time and go ahead and rape and pillage all things possible. So here is my point.The war on drugs has nothing to do with protecting people's health. The drugs themselves are hard to demonize because in pure form with a known dose people could live long lives with opium, heroin, cocaine- much less coca, and laughing grass might even extend their life. It is all bullshit and they rely on attributing the harms of a painful prohibition to the problem of drugs.But my point is the issue of mercury. Mercury is one of the inert metals just like lead and there are not any substances in nature to combine with them much less the body having means to bond with them and flush them out. If you wanted to destroy a childs life it would only take a flake about the size of a corn flake in a bowl of cereal to absolutely ruin a young childs life. That would be forever. Well, mercury is even worse and here we have the federal government saying go ahead and increase the mercury levels from the coal-fired plants. Not keep them the same or lower them, but increase the allowable pollution and to hell with the people.So testing is just part of a game where the goal is illusional, and the ends never come, and the means are not justified. And then the government has real and undeniable demons thrown into the air and to be breathed by everyone without choice, only to be absorbed into the groundwater where they can now drink it. They remove all means to reduce emissions when the ends are very attainable and overly justified. They are singing and dancing, and playing games and they want the children to learn how to deceive and play games also.It is all fucked up. Do your own testing. If your result is not positive, you better get another test.
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