Pass or Fail? 

  Pass or Fail? 

Posted by FoM on January 27, 2001 at 08:09:03 PT
By Shannon Lynch, Savannah Morning News  
Source: Savannah Morning News 

The days of just sending out a resume, having an interview and starting a new job are fading. For many, there's another requirement: passing a drug test. These days, you'll likely face one if you apply for work, especially at a big company or a government agency.For example, about 4,800 Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. employees had to pass pre-employment drug tests. So did 400 Savannah Morning News employees.
Many employers test workers randomly and after workplace accidents. They also test after worker behavior triggers suspicion that they're using illegal substances.It's all part of a national trend that has drawn complaints about invasion of privacy, a concern that most employers think is trumped by the promise of safer, more productive workplaces.The trend dates to 1986, when President Ronald Reagan ordered federal agencies to urine test employees. Since then, more and more private and public institutions have used some form of drug testing. Last year, more than 60 percent of major American companies did so, the American Management Society reported.Widespread testing has been a boon to companies such as Health Awareness Enterprises, which collects specimens for drug testing. The Garden City firm has seen its business grow exponentially in the last 10 years, manager Jim Connett said. Though the lab is doing more testing, fewer tests are coming back positive, he said.How They Do It:Most companies use urinalysis, but use of hair samples is increasing, Connett said. While some businesses, such as Kennickell Print and Communications, test employees on-site, most send workers to companies such as Health Awareness Enterprises to have urine, hair or blood collected and tested.Tests typically target marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates and cocaine, said Dr. Robert Balsley, who has practiced occupational medicine for the past 15 years. Some employers, such as Memorial Health University Medical Center, also require applicants to consent to testing for barbiturates, methadone, methaqualone, benzodiazepines, propoxyphene and phencyclidine.Although it's more expensive, testing hair rather than urine can detect illegal substances much longer after they're used.That's one reason why every applicant at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort must pass a hair test for amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine and marijuana, said Eric Witcher, human resources director."If you do cocaine Friday, by Monday it has leached out of your system, and there is no residue" in urine, Witcher said. "However, it's still recorded in your hair. It's kind of like rings on a tree. There's more opportunity to see what a person's trend of living is like."Employer curiosity about a person's "trend of living" worries some workers and groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. And other problems with testing hair make urinalysis a safer bet, Balsley said.Examples: Cocaine shows up in higher concentrations in female than in male hair and darker hair than in light hair. And, of course, someone with no hair can't be tested.Also, people with long hair who test positive and complete treatment programs still could fail two months later even if they're clean. That's not fair, Balsley said."It's a lawsuit waiting to happen," he said. "It's just not as clean as doing urinalysis."Drugs Don't Work:Though productivity and safety are the main reasons employers say they drug test workers, Georgia offers another powerful incentive: money.Eight years ago, Georgia began a program called Drugs Don't Work. Companies that participate get a 7.5 percent discount on their workers' compensation insurance premiums.To get a workers' compensation insurance discount, a business must:* Have a substance abuse policy.* Conduct drug tests.* Complete two hours of employee education each year.* Complete two hours of supervisor training a year.* Have an employee assistance program for drug problems or maintain a list of counseling centers workers can use.In Savannah, only 72 of 2,000 businesses that belong to the Chamber of Commerce participate in the program. Statewide, 3,333 companies are certified, according to the Department of Labor. Many other companies may drug test without meeting state requirements to get an insurance reduction."As more companies find out about the reduction in their liability rates for becoming a drug-free workplace, it's a good motivation to participate," Connett said.Drug testing must be done before a person is hired, after accidents, on reasonable suspicion and post-treatment if applicable. Random drug testing isn't required, but many participating companies do it anyway.But is the program ethical?"It's a strange thing to me, insurance companies imposing a policy by offering a discount," said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the Atlanta ACLU. "It's certainly questionable whether drug testing would reduce workplace accidents. There are better ways to test whether someone can operate safely."Chuck Wade, who runs the Drugs Don't Work program through the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, doesn't think businesses should drug test employees just to get the insurance discount. He says they should do it to stop this country from going the way of the Roman Empire -- destruction from within."But if you will not do it for love of country, please do it to save money," Wade urged business owners at a recent chamber meeting in Savannah.Studies show that 77 percent of drug users are employed, Wade said, and denying them jobs is the best way to attack the drug problem. Drug testing also increases productivity, slashes medical costs by 300 percent, boosts morale, and curbs theft, tardiness and absenteeism, Wade said.Al Kennickell, who owns Kennickell Print and Communications, also told chamber members how testing his 100 employees has helped his business. The workers' compensation discount saves him money on insurance premiums, he said, and drug-free workers are better workers."We learned the hard way that if people have a drug problem, they also typically have a cash problem," Kennickell said. "People will steal from you, arrange to work overtime and even create work to work overtime. It drives everything they do."The Cost of Testing:But the ACLU argues that the costs of drug testing are too high. In its 1999 report "Drug Testing: A Bad Investment," the ACLU challenges studies that claim drug users costs businesses billions of dollars.It actually costs a company $77,000 to find one drug user, the ACLU reported, and someone who uses drugs moderately on his own time is no less productive than someone who drinks alcohol moderately after work.Area employers who drug test say the cost of drug testing is worth it. The actual test usually costs $20 to $40."We think it pays for itself in the long run, with our safety record and insurance premiums," Westin's Witcher said. "We only had one time where we lost time for an accident last year, and it was only a couple of days."The Westin spends $35 each to test its 250 or so applicants a year, he said, at a cost of nearly $9,000.Ray Gaster, owner of Gaster Lumber and Hardware, said he spends about $1,500 a year to test 90 employees. But that saves him almost $4,000 because of the workers' compensation discount. He thinks drug-free workers are more productive."Drug testing is a must for any business person," Gaster said. "Some people tell me if they drug test they won't get any employees. I say, 'OK, if you want a bunch of potheads working for you, that's what you're going to get.' "No definitive studies have weighed the cost of drug testing against improved productivity, said Leslie Hough, executive director of the W.J. Usery Center for the Workplace at Georgia State University, which studies workplace issues. But many managers who notice a dropoff in productivity are quick to point to drug use as the cause, Hough said."There are strong advocates of drug testing who posit it's worth it whatever it costs, but I'm not aware of statistical information either way for that conclusion," Hough said. "I think generally drug testing is almost an ideological issue, with widely divergent attitudes toward it."In some respects, drug testing could cost businesses money, Hough said."There are significant indications that the disadvantages to employee morale might outweigh the advantages of a drug-testing regime in cases where public safety is not paramount," Hough said. "It also makes it more difficult to recruit. Many workers are off-put, whether drug users or not, by a drug-testing regime, so recruitment and retention may be impaired."Though most businesses absorb the costs of drug testing, those that make employees pay for them also could have trouble attracting and retaining workers, Hough said. And some workers might avoid companies they think invade privacy.Privacy Rights:The ACLU opposes drug testing as a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches."As politicians fight a war on drugs, we as a nation are willing to do almost anything to protect ourselves from the big picture of drug use -- a picture that's probably wildly exaggerated," Seagraves said. "Drug testing is invasive, unethical, immoral and unconstitutional."Some local businesses support their employees' right to privacy."I think that's a personal choice if someone wants to do drugs, as long as it doesn't interfere with their work," said Jerry Duke, who owns printing company Jade Business Forms. "I think drug testing is an invasion of privacy."Also, many tests enable employers to find out a lot more about applicants than whether they're on drugs, such as whether they're pregnant or whether they smoke, Balsley said. A person taking Ritalin for Attention Deficit Disorder might test positive for amphetamines, he said -- not necessarily something you want to share with a potential employer."It should all be kept confidential, but you have to be careful," Balsley said. "Whether someone is taking medication is their business and their doctor's. The employer needs to watch out how they do those screens."But Wade doesn't think workers have any civil rights in the workplace, he said."I hear folks moaning and groaning all the time about their civil rights -- 'You violated my right to privacy,' " he said. "Well, what about my rights? Don't I have the right to work in a safe, drug-free environment?"But Seagraves says the two aren't mutually exclusive."We live in a country with freedom and it's always a balancing act -- how much of your freedom are you willing to give up to feel safe?" she said. "Is it always someone else's freedom you're willing to give up? Blanket drug testing is a poor way to determine someone's ability to work."Kennickell, however, says it is the best way, and he has no concern for his employees' right to privacy in regards to drug testing."Business is business -- I don't need to handicap myself with people who are a danger to themselves or others," he said. "I'm not the least concerned about their rights. I'm paying them money and they have the right not to work here."The Law:Kennickell runs a private company and can set his own drug-testing policy. But there are some laws that govern who must be drug tested, how and when.The U.S. Department of Transportation requires 8 million transportation workers with safety sensitive jobs to be tested for drugs and alcohol. Last year, 0.3 percent of DOT employees randomly tested were positive. That's 22 out of 7,833 employees, the agency reported.Many whose jobs fall under those requirements say they understand the need for drug testing and don't mind it because they don't use drugs.Jerry Nesmith has been driving trucks for four and a half years, and he has been drug tested three times."It doesn't bother me; I pretty much expect it," Nesmith said. "They have to make sure you're clean before you get behind the wheel to cover the company's butt if you get in an accident."The Savannah Airport Commission tests many of its employees under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, said Dan Coe, assistant executive director."The airport is always looking at the most innovative ways to increase safety to the flying public," Coe said. "Everything we do centers around safety and security, and our employees come to work trained to think that way."Though the Savannah police and firefighters are exempt from federal drug-testing laws, they're still tested randomly because they asked to be, said Chris Wilburn, coordinator of the city's Employee Assistance Program.Most other city employees also don't fall under federal drug-testing requirements, but they're tested anyway. All employees have to pass a pre-employment drug test. Anyone thought to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be tested under reasonable cause testing.The city does five to 10 of these a year, Wilburn said. Most turn out to be alcohol-related problems.City employees in safety-sensitive jobs also are tested randomly. Last year, the city did about 700 of those tests, at a cost of around $14,000, Wilburn said. That was up from 1999, when the city did 570 random drug tests, 21 of which were positive. Because the city is self-insured, there is no workers' compensation discount.Most city employees accept being drug tested as part of life, Wilburn said."Who's going to tell you they like being drug tested?" he said. "But it's a necessary evil."At least some city employees don't object.Michelle Brown has worked for the city for almost three years and had to get a drug test before she was hired. Her job isn't safety sensitive -- it involves data entry."It wasn't bad," Brown said of the test. "The nurse stood outside the door, so I was in the bathroom by myself. I just couldn't wash my hands until after I got out."But employees in other cities have resisted. In Seattle last year, eight people sued to stop drug testing for all municipal employees. In October, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled the city's random urine testing was an unjustified invasion of personal privacy, since it was not tailored to meet safety needs.ACLU Atlanta staff attorney Robert Tsai said he thinks Savannah city employees might have grounds to file a similar challenge."The government can only drug test where there is significant risk of danger, like if you're driving a school bus or operating a crane," Tsai said. "In general, people enjoy protection from searches and seizures in the absence of evidence they have committed some wrong. With blanket or random drug testing, that's the antithesis of having specific information."Each business must decide for itself whether the cost -- actual and potential -- of testing employees is worth it."My approach is that drug testing should be driven by the requirements of the job," Hough said. "Drug abuse is a rather common situation in this society, but it certainly isn't the cause of all low productivity or other problems in the workplace."Economy reporter Shannon Lynch can be reached at 652-0462.Who Does It:Major Savannah-area employers that drug-test employees:* Memorial Health University Medical Center: 3,500 employees* St. Joseph's Candler Health System's: 3,600 employees* The city of Savannah: 2,000 employees* Savannah Airport Commission: 105 workersNote: Businesses increasingly require urine samples for employment.Source: Savannah Morning News (GA)Author: Shannon Lynch, Savannah Morning NewsPublished: January 27, 2001 Address: P.O. Box 1088, Savannah, Ga., 31402 Copyright: 2001 Savannah Morning News Fax: (912) 234-6522 Contact: letted Website: A.C.L.U. Drug Testing Archives

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Comment #11 posted by m segesta on January 28, 2001 at 11:03:50 PT:
they lie so much i stop noting their errors.......
there are so many falsehoods, hysterical errors, and outright deliberate misrepresentations in this piece of prohibitionist propaganda that i initially missed a mistake that is so obvious anyone with half their brain tied behind their back should have caught it.i am, of course, talking about the assertion, in this piece drug warrior tripe, that drug testing "slashes medical costs by 300 percent." i think others who commented on this fact may have also missed the mistake because it is but one of so, so many in works like this one.think about can costs go down anymore than 100%? if medical costs were reduced by a mere 100%, they would be zero, but these folks claim that testing can actually reduce the costs by 300%. does this mean the medical insurer pays a "reverse premium" to the employer, or does the poor urine-depleted employee get the three fold rebate on the premium costs?what really makes me mad is that this mistake goes unnoticed because it is surrounded by a sea of factual inaccuracy. and i get even madder when the prohibitionists don't worry about this kind of hyperbole because any such particular detail would be impossible to even detect amidst their flood of counterfactual assertions...........trying to simma' down, and wishing you guys well,m segesta
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Comment #10 posted by kaptinemo on January 28, 2001 at 07:35:43 PT:
The Bottom always.
'"We live in a country with freedom and it's always a balancing act -- how much of your freedom are you willing to give up to feel safe?" she said. "Is it always someone else's freedom you're willing to give up? Blanket drug testing is a poor way to determine someone's ability to work."Kennickell, however, says it is the best way, and he has no concern for his employees' right to privacy in regards to drug testing."Business is business -- I don't need to handicap myself with people who are a danger to themselves or others," he said. *"I'm not the least concerned about their rights.* (Emphasis mine.) I'm paying them money and they have the right not to work here."There it is, the bottom line. Nothing has really changed for the working class. The boss still wants to f******g OWN you.Which is why you must seek out employment where they don't test.I work for people who don't. They know *precisely* what would happen if they tried to; immediate walk out by at least half their employees. And, at the risk of giving myself 'airs', the half that would leave would be the truly dedicated ones, the one's who 'bust their ass' everyday to keep things going, stay late, don't make a fuss, use their intitiative and go the extra mile. (So much for the anti prattle about the hardly-ever-mentioned-anymore 'amotivational syndrome'.)People like Mr. Kennickell believe themselves to be in the cat-bird seat. They believe that the anti epoch will never end; that to paraphrase an old saying, "The sun never sets on the Anti Empire'.Well, just like the Empire that this saying from jingoistically spawned from, the Anti Empire is showing signs of coming apart at the seams and collapsing. (Which is why antis are really pushing for Ashcroft and against removing the ONDCP from the Cabinet; they smell defeat and need a strong demagogue to try to silence the voices of reason through even greater intimidation of reformers by using the instruments of the State in even greater brutality.) Just as those who first stormed the Berlin Wall with hammers and pickaxes and damn' little else were joined by those with better equipment, we are being joined by the likes of the Three Wise Men and others who are of like mind. And the effect has been startling: the antis have been suffering some major setbacks in the PR department; with last years' PBS and History Channel shows about the DrugWar, their jihad has been held up to secular scrutiny...and been found wanting. So, for people like Mr. Kennickell, who believe themselves safe from the inevitable backlash that will come with their cavalier attitude in trampling civil rights, I've got one thing to say:Get a criminal law lawyer on retainer ASAP, bub; your gonna need one the day MMJ becomes a national issue rather than a regional one. Because every person whose rights you subborn will be thinking the same thing.
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Comment #9 posted by Dan B on January 27, 2001 at 21:26:01 PT:
"for love of country"?
"'But if you will not do it for love of country, please do it to save money,' Wade urged business owners at a recent chamber meeting in Savannah.""For love of country"? "For LOVE of COUNTRY"?!!!! Any sane person would realize that the best thing an employer can do "for love of country" is to speak out against such bigoted, invasive, unconstitutional testing practices.By the way, Tim Stone, thanks for the commentary. What you have called "ranting" I call good, insightful commentary.Dan B
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Comment #8 posted by Tim Stone on January 27, 2001 at 18:43:51 PT
Sorry for ranting on like this, but the in-your-face evil of drug testing is a real hot button for me. Please permit one further comment.Since alcohol breathalyzers test for real time use and impairment, the following is a "What if..." thought experiment:Imagine a bio-test for alcohol that could determine if you had drunk any alcohol in, say, the past three weeks. But that's _all_ the test could determine. It couldn't tell if you were drunk when you took the test, or whether you had a glass of wine with dinner last Thursday. It's all the same to the test: positive, or as they say in the trade, "dirty." (Interesting language use, apparently sort of like "dirty" pictures.)Imagine if, solely on the basis of such a test, regardless of your observed job record and with no corroborating evidence it was assumed that the positive test meant that you were drunk on the job. And you were therefore summarily fired. Would Americans stand for that for so much as one instant? That loud, cacaphonous noise you hear is lawyers tripping over each other in their collective haste to start filing civil damage suits which they would almost certainly win.I hope this little thought experiment gives you a better understanding of how outrageous drug testing actually is.Better days, Tim Stone
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Comment #7 posted by Tim Stone on January 27, 2001 at 18:13:34 PT
And another thing, hrumph-rumph
A Canadian appellate court three or four months back made a ruling to the effect that specifically _random_ d.t. violated the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Constitution specifically because drug testing does _not_ test for actual impairment or on-job drug use. The same court ruling did allow for random alcohol testing, because alcohol tests _do_ test for realtime use and impairment. Inotherwords, the Canadian court decided that as a nation, Canada did not want to use drug testing to ferret out imagined social pariahs and condemn them en masse. Instead, they will only allow "safety" testing where the actual science shows that there is a threat to begin with, and that a particular technology actually deals with the threat.Compare and contrast this with U.S. courts, which from the earliest drug testing court cases in the early 80s have assumed as a given, with minimal and bogus "evidence" of the exact same sort that the Canadian court rejected, that the Evil Crazed Druggie threat in the workplace was real, and that drug testing, even though it doesn't test for impairment or on-job use, is still a legitimate way to deal with the mythical threat. Impairment testing technology does exist - testing timing, hand-eye coordination, sort of like a computer video game. The U.S. gov't looked at this testing back in the 80s and rejected it. While impairment testing appears to have some reliability in determining who might be a safety threat right now, in real time, it won't tell you why - fatigue, stress, hangover, stoned, etc. Inotherwords, it won't tell you who the evil druggies are. Drug testing on the other hand, since it does not test for impairment or on-job drug use, tells _nothing_ about who is a safety threat right now, but _does_ tell who the evil druggies are. The U.S. gov't decided to go with whiz quizes rather than impairment testing of course. That should tell you something about the _real_ reason for drug testing. Namely, dear hearts, it ain't about safety or productivity. Better days,Tim Stone
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Comment #6 posted by Tim Stone on January 27, 2001 at 17:03:38 PT
Just imagine...
Just imagine if some scientist decided to do a "study" contrasting the work records of alcohol "users" vs. teetotalers. In his study, an alcohol "user" is defined as anyone who uses any alcohol of any kind at any time in, say, the past three months. Inotherwords, no distinction is made between someone who has an occasional glass of wine with dinner and someone who drinks three bottles of wine a day. The study regards them all as being in the same class of alcohol "users." Such a study would very likely show that alcohol users have higher absentee rates, accident/workmen's comp claim rates, and so on. Of course, such a study would never be trumpeted as justification for firing all alcohol users. First, the study would be ROTFLMAO laughed out of peer review for the elementary error of lumping all users together, not making any distinctions between users and actual abusers, who are most likely to cause the accidents, call in sick with a hangover, etc. By lumping all users together in the same class, the study ignores the verifiable fact that around 90% of alcohol drinkers use alcohol responsibly, off duty, in a manner that does not affect their work. Therefore to fire all alcohol drinkers would be not only stupid and not cost-effective, it would be regarded as downright immoral. You don't punish everyone because of the offenses of the few.The situation with workplace drug testing is clearly _exactly_ the same as I describe above in the hypothetical alcohol user study. And yet these elementary and fatal study errors are ignored where illicit "drugs" are concerned. With "drugs," it's ok to lump all users together (and all drugs together) because "drugs" are illegal, and because of eight decades of drug war mythology that claim in effect that all drugs and druggies are alike. And of course, drug tests don't test for real-time use or impairment, whereas alcohol breathalyzers do. That these errors are ignored is a dead-on tipoff that "safety" and "productivity" are total red herrings where drug testing is concerned. Other than making money for the drug testing companies, the _sole_ purpose of drug testing is to identify members of a despised scapegoat class who can then be ritually punished solely for their membership in the class, rather than for their actual observed behavior. And that, dear friends, is precisely what the Nazis did to the Jews, what the Inquisition did to "witches," and so on. And that is why drug testing, far more than a mere annoyance or civil rights wrong, is pure Evil, in its very nature. Condemn all the members of a diverse and complex class merely because of their membership in the class, rather than because of any actual harmful or threatening actions.To close, and in the interests of avoiding profanity, let me just paraphrase what someone early in American history once said of John Jay: Darn drug testing! Darn anyone who won't darn drug testing! Darn anyone who won't light a candle in the window and stay up all night saying, "Darn drug testing!"Better days, Tim Stone
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Comment #5 posted by Lehder on January 27, 2001 at 10:37:34 PT
I agree, J. R. Bob Dobbs
A lot of politicians are using drugs. State Representative Douglas Dean of Georgia is just the latest: wonder why politicians are not subject to mandatory drug test?Because they live by rules that are different from the ones they impose.
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Comment #4 posted by aocp on January 27, 2001 at 10:35:40 PT:
You got it, Dobbs
>Studies show that 77 percent of drug users are employed, Wade said, and denying them jobs is the best way to attack the drug problem.Lemme get this straight. You're saying that 77% of drug users are doing a good enough job to stay employed? That means the drug use isn't impacting their performance or their managers are morons. Either way, how does a drug test that might mean *losing* their job improve their lot in life? That's like the denial of federal funds for college students ... it affects the people that these guys say they're trying to help the harshest. Way to go.>Drug testing also increases productivity,Nice soundbite, but could you perhaps make something a bit more tangible out of that, please?>slashes medical costs by 300 percent,Who is gaining from this slashing? The workers or the insurance companies?>boosts morale,You have GOT to be kidding. I'm sure that's what you'd like to believe, but there is no way in hell peeing/sweating/shaving away your rights boosts any morale short of the fearmongers.>and curbs theft,Oops! A direct result of prohibition!>tardinessI don't believe that is true, but it shouldn't matter, anyway. I don't care if you're intoxicated or not, tardiness is tardiness.>and absenteeism.See above.As Dobbs said, Congress should test themselves to put out an example. They're on record as saying that it's embarrassing and unnecessary. Apparently, the nobility doesn't practice what they preach. Big surprise.
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Comment #3 posted by observer on January 27, 2001 at 10:26:05 PT
Marijuana (Political) Testing, Blackballing
Tests typically target marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates and cocaine, said Dr. Robert Balsley, who has practiced occupational medicine for the past 15 years. Some employers, such as Memorial Health University Medical Center, also require applicants to consent to testing for barbiturates, methadone, methaqualone, benzodiazepines, propoxyphene and phencyclidine.Hmmmm. Isn't PCP just an abbreviation for phencyclidine? Certainly a scientifically informed reporter there...I'm sure PCP abuse is rife amongst Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and Savannah Morning News employees, so testing for PCP seems an important buttress in the Maginot Line of the "War on Drugs."Let's face it: this propaganda piece is an attempt to make seem normal an intrusive police state tactic, the chemical examination of our piss to punish otherwise satisfactory employees. Those other drugs are out of one's system in a few days, and are mentioned to obscure the fact that such drug tests are tests for marijuana. ''The law identifies drug users through their blood. Also through their excreta... All that matters is a person's blood and excreta. All that matters is the makeup of a person's physical body. Drug law does not care if an illicit user is a beloved schoolteacher who improves a community or a vicious psychopath who tortures victims to death. Criminality is determined solely by the offender's physical body. Drug law mimics Hitler. "Unlike other anti-Semites, Hitler made no distinction between German and foreign, rich and poor, liberal, conservative, socialist, or Zionist, religious or non-religious, baptised or unbaptised Jews. In his eyes there was only 'the Jew.' . . . 'The Jew' represented evil incarnate, performing for Hitler much the same function as the Devil does for many Christians."47The law does not care if tests used to detect illicit drug users fail to demonstrate that users are impaired. The law does not care if users behave in ordinary ways. A statute creating a status crime targets ordinary people. That is its purpose. If illicit drug users acted in ways that distinguished them from nonusers, a status crime statute would be unnecessary.''Richard L Miller, Drug Warriors and their Prey, 1996, pg.9 Blackballing people for no other reason than their politics was an ugly fact of McCarthyism in the 1950's. Another ugly freedom-robbing tactic adopted with great gusto by prohibitionists.Chemical McCarthyism 
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Comment #2 posted by Stripey on January 27, 2001 at 10:18:55 PT
I think that he proved several times how ignorant he is, that's kind of just icing. . . I certainly got a kick out of how drug testing increases productivity, but certainly not $9000 worth. Granted, if someone is frequently coming to work stoned, that's a problem. But settling down for a smoke on the weekends is just like going to a bar to tip a few beers. You don't want a person under the influence running equipment, but by monday morning, they're fine.
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Comment #1 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on January 27, 2001 at 09:39:54 PT
Congress should have to pee in a cup too!
>>Studies show that 77 percent of drug users are employed, Wade said, and denying them jobs is the best way to attack the drug problem.  WHAT studies say THAT? Do you really think someone who's using drugs can benefit from losing their job? How's this supposed to work??
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