The American Way 

  The American Way 

Posted by FoM on August 12, 2001 at 09:50:54 PT
By Marianne Costantinou 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle  

So, you're looking for a job, one of the zillion workers who got the pink slip in recent months since the boom went bust. Or you're a recent graduate, about to get a full-time job for the first time. Or you're sick of your old job - the place has gotten too corporate, management is starting job evaluations or some other type of torture, you feel unappreciated and underpaid - and you just want out. So, you get your resume polished, hustle up some references and head out into the proverbial job market with your proverbial hat in hand. Better save the other hand for forking over an all-too-real cup of urine. Yours. 
Drug testing. It's here and it's big. "Drug testing is by far the norm," says a proponent, Mark A. de Bernardo, head of the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit coalition of 120 major employers from across the country, and a director of San Francisco's Littler Mendelson, an employment law firm that claims to be the nation's biggest. "Anybody getting out of high school and college or switching jobs should expect to be drug tested." "Many workers now do it without thinking twice," says Ethan Nadelmann, head of the Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation in New York City, which advocates for drug policy reform, including an end to drug testing. "In some respects, drug testing is rapidly becoming as much a national tradition as mom and apple pie." And if you don't pass the drug test - no matter how smart you are, how hard- working, how experienced, how fab your references, how downright likable you are - you won't get the job. That's true even here in so-called Mellow California and the liberal Bay Area, historically in the vanguard when it comes to drug experimentation and tolerance, both culturally and legally. If anything, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that reaffirmed the illegality of pot - even the medicinal marijuana that was championed in the state's Proposition 215 - shows how strong the anti-drug sentiment still is in the country. Little wonder, then, that drug testing has become part of the typical job application, with millions of wannabe workers tested each year. Most often it's a urine test, but even strands of hair, a few drops of saliva, a vial of blood or a week's worth of sweat on a skin patch are being demanded to check for drugs in your system, from pot to the hard stuff. The trend, now in its 15th year, has spawned a $5.9 -billion industry in drug-testing labs, a burgeoning underground economy in guerrilla counter-labs and mom-and- pop Web sites that peddle products that swear to fake-out the tests, some two-dozen state laws, and a slew of court cases challenging the drug-test habit on privacy and Fourth Amendment issues. What happened? One Cup at a TimeAt first, only the military did drug testing, and civilians were pretty much spared the need to pee in a cup to impress the boss. But then along came President Ronald Reagan and all that 1980s chatter to "Just Say No." Middle America was snorting coke up the ying-yang, drug hysteria was in full swing and the War on Drugs was turning into another Vietnam. Enter Reagan's Executive Order 12564, which made drug abstinence - on and off-duty - a condition of federal employment. Reagan's rule set guidelines for drug-testing programs. The Pandora's Box was now officially open. The war on drugs was gonna be fought on the home front, in corporate bathrooms, one pee cup at a time. It wasn't long before everyone was jumping on the bandwagon. In 1988, Congress passed the Drug Free Workplace Act, which said that any company that wanted a lucrative federal contract had better test its workers for drugs. States dangled similar carrots. A few years later, in 1991, Congress got into the drug-testing act again, requiring drug tests - including random tests - for anybody in safety-sensitive positions, like airline pilots, truck drivers, train and bus conductors. Meanwhile, the drug-testing craze spread into other sectors. School athletes, welfare recipients, folks on probation or parole - the kinds of people authority figures wanted to keep tabs on - were suddenly being ordered to take drug tests to maintain their privileges. But by far, the widest spread was in the private work sector, especially as a condition of getting hired. In the first decade since Reagan's order, drug testing was up 277 percent, says the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the practice. Though top executives typically get to bypass that step in the job interview, companies that require drug testing usually require it of everyone else who wants to work there, according to experts, whether blue- collar or white-collar. That means assembly-line workers and secretaries. Computer analysts and bankers. Salesclerks and even the guy bagging groceries at the neighborhood supermarket. These days, companies that test for drugs are a who's who of big business in every industry. General Motors tests for drugs. So does Bank of America, at least sometimes. Intel. Wal-Mart. Anheuser-Busch. Safeway. The San Francisco Chronicle. Home Depot and Ikea even have signs on their doors trumpeting that they have a drug-free workplace. At first, drug testing caused a stir, with civil rights advocates and labor unions and editorials lambasting the perceived invasion of privacy. Lawsuits led to court cases and, in some states, some legislative curbs. In California, the State Supreme Court has frowned on drug testing on current employees, either as random tests or as requirements for job promotions. In 1986, San Francisco became the nation's first city to ban random testing outright. But across the state, including San Francisco, workers in safety-sensitive jobs like transportation are still subjected to the random testing required in the federal Department of Transportation guidelines. And there's no statewide or city ban on testing prospective hires, the belief being that the applicant has the freedom to choose not to apply for the job. But even with some legal curbs, drug testing has still quietly mushroomed. All told, 67 percent of the nation's largest companies test their employees or applicants for drugs, according to a 2001 survey by the American Management Association, a New York consulting firm that claims to have 7,000 corporate clients representing one-fourth of the U.S. workforce. And though the percentage of companies who test is down from its peak - 81 percent in 1996 - it still means that each year, millions of workers are giving more than just their best effort to the job. Poppy Bagels Not an Excuse The result is that drug testing is big business. Just one drug-testing company, SmithKline Beecham, now called GlaxoSmithKline, did 24 million drug tests in a decade, from 1988 to 1998, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Though one of the nation's largest labs, they're hardly alone in what Standard & Poor's values as a $5.9 billion industry. The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), based in Washington D.C., has 1,100 members, including drug labs, collection facilities and equipment makers. And its membership roster, says its executive director, Laura Norfolk, "is just the tip of the iceberg." Two firms - PharmChem, a giant urine-testing lab which was based in Menlo Park until June, when it relocated to Texas, and Psychemedics, the nation's leading hair-testing facility, based in Culver City (Los Angeles County) - alone do $60 million in business. Urine tests, the most popular, cost an average of $20 to $25 per sample. Hair, the latest fad because it can track a longer history of drug use, costs about $50. Even drug-test opponents admit that the technology these days makes a false positive reading rare. Gone are the days when a test positive for heroin, for example, could theoretically be blamed on eating a couple of poppy seed bagels. At the minimum, each sample is tested for what is called the Big Five: pot, cocaine (including crack), methamphetamines (including its cousins, amphetamines and Ecstasy), PCP (also known as angel dust), and opiates (like heroin and morphine). Employers don't usually ask for the sample to be tested for prescription drugs, drug labs say. They also don't typically screen for alcohol or cigarette use, since they are legal. A urine test can detect the residue, called metabolites, of hard-core drugs up to about 72 hours after use, but heavy pot users are usually tagged with the telltale THC chemical in their system for as much as three to four weeks. That means pot users are more likely to get caught than hard-core heroin or cocaine addicts. With hair tests, drug labs claim that the hair shafts of a 60-strand, 1.5- inch sample that's snipped close to the scalp can trace drug use going back three months. And in case the job applicant is bald or decides to get a crew cut before the drug test, the hair can be snipped from another part of the body. And that doesn't mean your knuckles. Because false positives can't be counted on, wannabe workers who do drugs try to outfox the tests. The most common way is to quit the drugs cold turkey as soon as they know they're facing a drug test, and then drink gallons and gallons of water for days before the test, hoping to flush the metabolites from their system. But many turn to a slew of companies they find advertised in High Times magazine or on the Internet. Each company claims to sell just the right product that will come to the rescue and help land that job. With hilarious names and Web sites - www., www.testingclean. com,, - these companies sell adulterants such as nitrites and bleach, diuretics, synthetic urine, chemically treated shampoos, herbal concoctions and a slew of other products. Naturally, drug testing labs pooh-pooh the saboteurs' claims. But that still doesn't stop them from checking out High Times and scouring the Internet, and buying the products to test them out in their labs - just in case. "You look at High Times when you want to know what the other side's thinking," says Ray Kelly, an Oakland forensic toxicologist who for seven years ran the urine and hair testing lab at Associate Pathologists Laboratories in Las Vegas. "In the chess game of drug testing, when they make a move, we have to respond to a move." "We change and improve our formulas every six to 12 months to stay ahead of the labs," says Kevin Pressler, marketing manager of Cincinnati's urineluck. com, whose 10 products each sell for $32. "It's an inevitable cat-and-mouse game." Counter-labs like have to keep changing their secret ingredients because once the drug labs spot them, they test for the new chemicals. Alas for the worker wannabe if adulterants or any sign of tampering is found in the sample: Drug labs say they automatically mark the sample as coming up positive for drugs - even if the only evidence is the attempted camouflage. Good for America Against this backdrop, two surveys suggest it's all much ado about nothing. For starters, the National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1994, after a three-year study, that there was no scientific evidence that drug tests ensure safety and productivity on the job. Secondly, companies who test for drugs seem to be going on blind faith that the tests live up to their goals. In 1996, the American Management Association, a pro-employer group, asked if companies had any "statistical evidence" that drug tests had an effect on accidents, illness, disability claims, theft or violence. Only 8 percent of the companies with drug-testing programs had done any cost-benefit analysis to see if their own programs worked. One Silicon Valley company that did follow up was Hewlett-Packard. The Palo Alto computer and office equipment company tested applicants for a decade, from 1990 till last year, says Randy Lane, a spokesman. But so few applicants tested positive, he says, that the company dropped the policy as not being worth the cost. Hewlett-Packard started drug testing because, says Lane, "Essentially, all of our competitors were doing it." That's a big reason companies do adopt drug testing policies, says de Bernardo, and why they should. Companies don't want drug abuser rejects, he says, who couldn't get jobs elsewhere. It's no surprise that the folks whose business is drug testing claim that drug testing is good for companies, good for workers, good for America. "Employers have the single most effective weapon in the war on drugs: the paycheck," says de Bernardo. "It's a ripple effect. It's a success story as far as the community is concerned . We want a drug-free society." But improving society is not the major corporate agenda behind drug testing, proponents admit. It's money. They claim that employee drug use costs companies big money, in loss of productivity and safety, in absenteeism, and in health and insurance costs, even when the drug use is marijuana at home on the weekends. The danger of marijuana use is that it's a gateway to harder drugs, says de Bernardo. Though most pot users don't graduate to harder drugs, he says, folks don't usually do heroin and cocaine without first doing pot. "Some people don't go through that gate, some do. ...For some people, it will progress from Saturday night to midweek to more serious drugs," he says. What's more, he and others add, even marijuana use is illegal, and companies have the right to know if an applicant or employee is engaged in illegal activity. "Any illegal drug use is illegal" says Bill Thistle, general counsel for Psychemedics. "I think an employer has the right to expect you not to engage in felony behavior (even) on the weekend." Actually, marijuana use is a misdemeanor. And in San Francisco, District Terence Hallinan has said repeatedly over the years that his office wouldn't prosecute anyone for smoking pot. Big Business as Big Brother On the flip side, drug testing has sent groups involved in civil rights and drug policy reform into a tizzy. To them, drug testing smacks of Big Business posing as Big Brother poking around in private lives. "There's no end to that, the employer being a policeman," says Cliff Palefsky, a San Francisco civil rights and employment lawyer who wrote the city's ordinance banning random testing. "It's the most intrusive search, to literally penetrate your body fluids, search your chemistry, and determine what you have ingested." If someone shows up at work clearly stoned, then test that one person, he and other drug-test opponents say. But don't suspect everyone by making everyone get tested. That's like having cops search everyone's home just in case there's a criminal - which goes to the heart of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches, albeit by government. "Privacy is an important issue. To us, it's fundamental," says Lewis Maltby, head of the National Workrights Institute, a research and advocacy group on workplace issues based in Princeton, N.J., and the former director of the ACLU National Task Force on Civil Liberties in the Workplace. "You don't search someone's body and personal life unless you have some grounds to think they've done something wrong" . "Has anyone ever heard of reference checks? Wouldn't that tell you more about their work habits than having them pee in a bottle?" What's more, opponents add, drug tests don't distinguish between the occasional and the habitual user. A drug test shows only the residue of drugs that have been taken in the past three days to a month, not which drugs are actively in the person's system at the time of the test. So if companies are worried about safety and productivity, says Palefsky, they should be giving impairment tests - simple computer video games that gauge such things as eye- hand coordination, reflexes and concentration - each day they show up for work, not drug tests before they get hired. "Drug tests for public safety is a fallacy," he says. "Impairment tests test for safety." Besides, drug test opponents add, other personal problems can explain poor worker performance: fatigue, marital woes, shaky finances, watching "I Love Lucy" reruns at 3 a.m. - and hangovers from drinking. If employers can check if workers are using drugs after hours, civil rights advocates say, what other areas of personal lives can they investigate? Rules and Procedures Even toxicologists and others involved in drug testing voice concern. Janet Weiss, a medical toxicologist at the University of California at San Francisco who does drug-testing consultations for companies, the courts and government agencies, says she's opposed to drug testing in the workplace because "They don't do what they're supposed to do." Studies haven't shown that testing improves productivity or saves employers money, she says. And she finds drug testing "demeaning." "What it patently means is that the employer doesn't want `the wrong element' contaminating his/her workplace," she says, in an e-mail, "and you have to 'prove' you are innocent of using drugs." Carolina Da Valle spent several years at a San Francisco medical clinic where job applicants would go to give urine samples. Her job was to set up the procedures for them to follow. "I found it dehumanizing and humiliating to witness individuals having to urinate in a cup - knowing a nurse was standing an inch outside the door and listening to every drop of urine fall into the cup..." she says in an e-mail. "The guilty ones were easy to spot: very nervous, in a hurry, usually with an almost ready-to-burst bladder due to excessive water drinking in the hopes of passing a surely positive drug screen off as a negative one." The procedures at medical clinics and other collection facilities usually follow the strict guidelines set up by the federal Department of Transportation. Halle Weingarten, a forensic toxicologist who is one of the owners of Independent Toxicology Services in San Jose, spent 19 years as the chief forensic toxicologist at the Santa Clara crime lab. She says there are more rules and paperwork involved in handling a cup of urine than just about any evidence that came through her old police crime lab. In drug testing, the big concern is called Chain of Custody, she says, meaning that, "You want to make sure the sample that's tested is the sample that came from John Doe." As soon as the worker comes into her clinic, she checks their photo ID. A form is filled out with five multicarbon copies, with the worker's name, address, Social Security number, date, time and the name of the lab technician, known officially as the Collector. The worker is asked to remove his outer garments like jackets and coats, and leave his bags outside the bathroom. He then follows her in, and washes his hands in front of her. She next prepares the bathroom: she removes the soap so it can't be added to the urine to adulterate it; she tapes shut the water faucets and adds a blue chemical to the toilet bowl so water can't be added to the urine to dilute it. She then picks up a plastic opaque cup with a rim that's 3 inches wide. The cup is sealed with a lid. She opens it in front of the worker, hands him the cup, and warns him not to turn on the faucet or flush the toilet until she gives him permission. The worker then goes into the bathroom. She stands outside the door. As soon as he comes back out with the cup, now filled with urine, she checks the faucets and toilet to make sure they haven't been used. She then checks the outside of the cup. There is a thermometer strip on it that goes from 90 to 100 degrees. The urine in the cup must be body temperature. If it is, the thermometer strip has a brightly colored spot. She checks for the spot, and notes it on the paperwork. Then, as the worker bears witness, she transfers the urine into two vials of about an ounce each. She adds a tamper- proof seal to each vial, initials them, dates them and asks the worker to sign each one. The vials then go in a sealed pouch, with the paperwork attached in an outside pocket in case of spillage. The worker is now allowed to go back in the bathroom to wash up and flush the toilet. Signed and sealed, the package of vials need to be delivered overnight to a drug testing lab like PharmChem or Psychemedics. The whole process takes about 15 minutes. Most who come in seem resigned to it, she says. "It's a fact of life," she says. "It's the way things are." A Matter of Principle Still, though resigned, workers aren't exactly turning cartwheels about drug tests. Drug users are understandably reluctant to take a drug test and risk losing out on a job, especially in these days of massive layoffs and hiring freezes. But even those who claim not to do drugs say they're opposed to the test on principle. Lowell Moorcroft, an Oakland man who is in his 50s, says he was stunned recently when asked to sign a document agreeing to be tested for drugs when he applied for a data analyst job at a major HMO. It was the first time he's been asked in 30 years of work. He refused to sign, he says, because he was offended. "It has nothing to do with the job, which is intellectual, professional and sedentary," he says in an e-mail. "It is invasive, demeaning, inegalitarian (i. e., are executives tested?)." James Weissman, 44, a computer programmer who lives in Mountain View, has been asked to take a drug test only once in some 20-plus years and some 15 jobs. The request was in 1991, for a small data analysis company. He was out of work at the time and wanted the job, but he squawked when the drug test requirement was sprung on him at the end of the job interview. It was, he recalls, "Oh, one more thing," resume is great, you're great, we just need you to pee in a cup. "I said `You've got to be kidding. I'm not operating heavy equipment here. I'm operating a computer,' " Weissman told the job interviewer. To Weissman, asking him to pee in a cup was like the company telling him it didn't trust him - even though he says he gave his word that he didn't do drugs. Weissman demanded to speak to the human resources director, hoping he could reason with him. What he found most maddening about the conversation, he says, was the director's inability to explain why the drug test was required other than the fact that it was company policy. To Weissman, it was like a parent telling a kid he had to do something "Because." "This was very anti-worker," he says. "It was `We're going to impose an arbitrary rule on you. And we're not going to take your word for it.' If one person could justify it to me, no problem. But `Well, it's our policy. `Well, look, it's written down here' is not enough of an explanation. Why not bowel cavity inspections? You have to draw the line. You do not intrude, period." Still, Weissman needed the job. He took the test, and the job. "When push came to shove, I conceded," he says. Drug Free in a HurryBut for those who do drugs, it's more than principle that's at stake. With a drug test looming, it's a crash course to get clean. Jason Everley, 30, a San Francisco computer consultant, says in an e-mail he can't count how many drug tests he's passed, given 72 hours' notice. His secret: "Drink lots of water and eat like a bird for three days. You'll end up pissing every relevant, detectable chemical out of your system." But for others, a drug test means panic. With a urine test, metabolites for anything but pot will usually flush out of the system within a few days of abstinence, drug labs say. But with hair testing - the latest fad, with Psychemedics claiming 2,000 clients - drug use is harder to hide. Hair testing is controversial, with opponents claiming the dark, coarse hair of African Americans and many ethnic groups gives disproportionately high readings. Many who face a drug test turn to companies who pledge get-clean-quick products. not only sells Bake N Shake (at the test, pee in a plastic bag, shake it up, pour it in the cup, leaving the telltale drug toxins behind) and Urine Luck (a urine adulterant which zaps the drugs in the cup), but offers a chat room for folks to gripe and ask anxious questions. Other Web sites post what they say are testimonials from working stiffs who owe their jobs to the company's products. High Times has a hot line, started in 1989, that claims it's given 150,000 callers, at $1.95 a minute, recorded advice on how to pass drug tests. Even Yippie activist Abbie Hoffman got into the act, in his book titled "Steal This Urine Test," with instructions on how to smuggle a plastic bag into the testing bathroom to substitute "clean" urine. Hoffman's trick sounds a lot like The Whizzinator by Puck Technology, whose Web site claims it was founded by ex-'60s types. Perhaps the most famous of the guerrilla tactics, it's a $150 undergarment with a "bladder," heat pack and dehydrated synthetic urine. To get the fake piss in the cup, there's a handy-dandy, 3.5 inch prosthetic penis that's worn, the Web site says, "in front of your standard-issue" one and that comes in your choice of white, Latino, black, tan or brown. For women, the penis can be worn on the side to avoid the telltale bulge. Despite the humor of such products, many Web sites profess sincerity. The folks at describe themselves as "freedom fighters" who believe in "people's rights to privacy" and that alternative lifestyles have "little or nothing to do with contributions you can make to work and society." To test their products - which include the $169.99 Bi-Cleanse Complete hair- cleansing shampoo that claims to get rid of toxins in hair shafts - the company says it flies staff members to Amsterdam every five months to visit the smoke shops, known as coffee shops, and get hard-core users to volunteer to test the products. The products absolutely work, they assure customers. But unlike other Web sites, won't give refunds. If you fail your test, the site says, you obviously weren't following the instructions and it's your own fault. The company did not reply to an e-mail query. The drug labs love to mock the products - even as they keep tabs on them. "We purchase these products to see what they are," says Thistle of Psychemedics. "It's just nothing. Plain shampoo. Repackaged shampoo. Prell. Water. Most of them are just rip-offs. "Who's going to complain? `Yeah, I was trying to beat the test and they ripped me off.' ... We just get a chuckle out of it." Companies Are BashfulCuriously, companies in the corporate mainstream act as if they're being asked to pee in public when queried about their testing policy. Hired mouthpieces get all bashful, citing the indelicacy of discussing their human resources policies with total strangers. It's just too private. Apple, the computer company whose advertising campaign dares folks to Think Different, declined to discuss the thinking behind their drug testing policy - or even whether they had one. "In general, we just don't, you know, talk publicly about our human resources policy. Publicly we talk about our products," Tamara Weil-Hearon, a spokeswoman for the Cupertino company, says on a voice mail message. "Unfortunately, we're not going to participate in the story." Chiron, the biotech giant that's quick to trumpet any success in its research labs, was also demure about whether it turned the urine or hair of prospective hires into lab experiments. "We don't comment on our human resources policies," says John Gallagher, the media relations manager at the Emeryville facility. "That's our answer." Martin Forrest, his boss at Chiron, didn't return a call seeking additional comment. Neither did Debra Lambert, national spokeswoman for Safeway food stores, which is headquartered in Pleasanton. A woman answering her phone - who identified herself as "just the messenger" - relayed that yes, Safeway did do drug tests but that no, beyond that, any explanation was nobody's business but Safeway's. Meanwhile, EBay, Oracle, Genentech, Advanced Micro Devices, Yahoo and Applied Materials, to name the biggies, blew off the calls. Only Cisco (doesn't test), Sun Microsystems (doesn't test), Intel (does test), The San Francisco Chronicle (does test), Wells Fargo (doesn't test in Bay Area, does in other cities), Bank of America (does test, but only sometimes) and Hewlett- Packard (did test but stopped last year) responded. Cisco just says it doesn't but didn't go into it in a voice mail message from Steve Langdon, one of a flotilla of flaks at the San Jose networking company. Sun Microsystems doesn't test, says spokeswoman Diane Carlini, because it wouldn't jibe with the culture and self-image of the Silicon Valley computer company. No such self-image worries at Intel. Tracy Koon, director of corporate affairs for the Santa Clara chipmaker, says in an e-mail: "Yes we do pre-employment drug testing. The goal of the program is to bar the habitual abuser of illegal drugs from the workplace. This is part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining a drug-free workplace. We began our program in 1992, in strict adherence to the fairness standards set forth by the Department of Transportation." Maintaining a drug-free workplace is the thinking behind its testing of applicants, says Adrianne Cabanatuan, the recruitment manager for The San Francisco Chronicle, which has been testing most prospective hires for at least a decade, and began testing wannabe reporters and editors in June 1996. "We try to preserve a drug-free workplace," she says, "so that's one step toward it." Meanwhile, Wells Fargo bank feels it's able to maintain its goal of a drug- free workplace without pre-employment testing in the Bay Area and most of the rest of its realm. "For the most part, we don't have any problems," says spokeswoman Donna Uchida. "If we do, we deal with it on an individual basis." The company does test, however, in Milwaukee and in Oregon, she says, where it's the norm among major employers. Its competitor, Bank of America, also tests selectively. The company "reserves the right to drug test but I'd hate to say we do it across the board," says spokeswoman Juliet Don. The decision on whether to drug test the prospective hire is subjective, based on, she says,"the role and responsibility of the associate." Note: The drug-testing industry is a multibillion dollar profit center. And a giant weapon in the War on Drugs. So don't be surprised if you have to pony up prior to your next job interview. Marianne Costantinou is a Magazine staff writer. Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Marianne CostantinouPublished: Sunday, August 12, 2001 Copyright: 2001 San Francisco Chronicle - Page 12 Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:TLC - DPF Drug Test Results Often Challenged Workers Challenge Drug Test Results Drug Testing Archives 

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help

Comment #10 posted by dddd on August 14, 2001 at 02:11:18 PT
Good to see you.Good stuff!I appreciate and enjoy yourwell spoken posts.....May JAH continue to shine on you brother.sincerely....dddd
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Lehder on August 14, 2001 at 01:21:02 PT
Today, August 14, is the day precisely antipodal to St. Valentine's Day and I would like to express my sentiments to the U.S. federal government: I am a pacifist observer of your decline and coming fall. I believe that I can hasten the end of your war, and save innocent lives from destruction, by reporting on my observations of you and on examples from history which parallel your treasonable unwisdom - knowledge is power, so I have heard. So, power to the people. You are about to discover that millions of lives cannot be callously destroyed through malicious propaganda and naked force without consequence to you. Your efforts to brutally enforce a "drug-free" world have been as hatefully-conceived as Hitler's campaign for a Jewless world, and they will be punished appropriately. Each day the challenge from your own oppressed countrymen grows louder; you cannot silence and ignore it much longer. Your policy meetings and your confirmation sessions have taken the tone of secret Klan rituals, held in the dark of night wearing masks with only the racists of your own kind invited. Each day you grow more isolated and smaller in number as country after country and government after government free themselves from the unpalatable burden of your war and your lie. The lesson of intolerance which the Nazis learned in WWII and at Nuremberg is about to be taught to you. Probably, during breaks from bombing and spraying niggers all over the world, you have come to this board to take names and kick ass in your great American way, and in your imagined invincibility have laughed derisively at me when I called for war crimes trials. But I would bet that recently, still unspoken but in stray moments there in the backs of your minds, you have wondered: Could it be true? It can't happen here! Think about it, drug warriors. Call me - whatever you like, but it's your war and they are your prisons that you are about to enter. Because this war will not be over until we can say, "Never Again."Vine aqui porque estoy enojado. Vine aqui luchar.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Few on August 13, 2001 at 20:37:29 PT
Can people read?
Drug Free Workplace Act, which said that any company that wanted a lucrative federal contract had better test its workers for drugs.  HmmmmmExtortion1 : the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property; especially : the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice2 : something extorted; especially : a gross overchargeExtort: to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power : WRING; also : to gain especially by ingenuity or compelling argument
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by krutch on August 13, 2001 at 15:03:32 PT:
Drug Free Society?
This is funny:"Employers have the single most effective weapon in the war on drugs: the paycheck," says de Bernardo. "It's a ripple effect. It's a success story as far as the community is concerned . We want a drug-free society." What community is this guy talking about? The Mormons?The USA has never in its history been a drug free society. Now is no exception. Booze is legal, and drug companies peddle their wares on TV and radio commercials saying "Ask your doctor if > is right for you. They don't even tell you what the drug does. Drug free society my  ss.I think that a person who is off on Zanex, Codeine, or OxyContin is a far bigger threat to workplace safety than a person who smoked a joint last weekend. Drug testing is Unamerican. I suggest refusing any drug test. Find one of the 43% of companies that don't drug test and get a job there.Employees have the single most effective weapon in the War On The War On Drugs: Their labor. Refuse to take drug tests. When you pee in the cup you support these Nazis. Just Say No.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Sudaca on August 13, 2001 at 09:05:13 PT
cheap shot
"drugs users can't hold jobs because employers won't employ drug users therefore drug use leads to joblessness"and so its proven that all use is harmful to society.This has been done to second class citizens before
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by legalizeit on August 12, 2001 at 22:36:09 PT
bunch of cowards
I found it interesting that those big companies got all hot and bothered when asked to elaborate on their piss testing policies.What do they have to hide - the fact that they are participating in the most intrusive practice ever to hit the employment world?You would think that if they were so proud about their misguided efforts to create a "drug-free workplace" (read: marijuana-free employee's home), they would come out and brag about it. Why all the hush-hush?>If anything, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that reaffirmed the illegality of pot - even the medicinal marijuana that was championed in the state's Proposition 215 - shows how strong the anti-drug sentiment still is in the country. It shows nothing of the sort! A group of crusty conservative justices don't reflect the will of "the people" one bit. More often than not, they go against it. The fact that Dubya is in office, even though Gore got the popular vote, underscores this.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by cosmic on August 12, 2001 at 21:45:44 PT
I agree robby, Proabition is the Real Gateway to harder drugs. I know many people that have played the system of getting drug tested by moving onto cocaine because it was out of there system in 3 days and they could play the system a bit. Now they are out there fucking addicted to the shit and throwing there lives away. Not everyone is like that and it may have happened regardless the circumstances. But I think if they where able to smoke there pot freely then they may still be allright. Bottom line drug testeing is unfair and it Rapes us of our privacy.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 12, 2001 at 16:41:35 PT
Hi Anonymous,If you don't mind please post your comment again. This was a very hard article to set up. It had lots of mistakes and I'm slowly fixing them. I think I got them all now but what happened is you posted at the same time as I was editing so we lost your comment. I'm really sorry. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by Robbie on August 12, 2001 at 11:43:45 PT

Who's guarding the drug-testing lab?
Great article here...Even drug-test opponents admit that the technology these days makes a false positive reading rare. Gone are the days when a test positive for heroin, for example, could theoretically be blamed on eating a couple of poppy seed bagels.If SO accurate and inscrutable, why ban hemp seeds and hemp products? Certainly they can tell the difference between someone smoking or ingesting cannabis as a drug as opposed to coming from a food source. No? Guess the technology is NOT quite as good as they would have you believe.folks don't usually do heroin and cocaine without first doing pot.You're absolutely right! Pot is the gateway. Everybody gets their first taste of heroin or cocaine from their pot dealer. Hmm...started with pot, black-market regulation-free arena places harder drugs in the hands of those already selling the illicit marijuana... So prohibition IS the gateway drug after all!!"Any illegal drug use is illegal " E,"(sic) says Bill Thistle, general counsel for Psychemedics. "I think an employer has the right to expect you not to engage in felony behavior (even) on the weekend."In 1921, everybody was committing a felony drinking their alcohol. Should the penalty change now that the law is no longer against the use? Why did you prohibitionist types ban alcohol in the first place? Why would your current moral stance against drugs not include the substance that you got banned through Constitutional changes?!?!"When push came to shove, I conceded," he says.Can't blame the testee...gotta eat, y'know?"It has nothing to do with the job, which is intellectual, professional and sedentary," he says in an e-mail. "It is invasive, demeaning, inegalitarian (i. e., are executives tested?)"Absoulutely! If every member of the US Government were tested and their specific results posted for everyone to see, then they could justify their creation of these drug-test laws. But I think we'd learn, truly, how many members of our currently self-righteous government actually believe in what they preach, when they say, "Now...HO! Hold on a minute here! Drug-testing is fine for the common folk, but we should be above that kind of reproach!" Uhhh, no Senator, you are already below it.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by aocp on August 12, 2001 at 11:13:16 PT

the flipside
That means pot users are more likely to get caught than hard-core heroin or cocaine addicts.Let's look at this from another angle. As a result of this highly unfortunate side of cannabis, anyone who wishes to catch a buzz, for whatever reason, is ENCOURAGED by cannabis testing to turn to nastier and harder substances. These include tobacco and booze.Antis just say, well, they could just be high on life, so too bad. I say, yea? Ignore it all you want, antis, but your policies (read: not mine) are encouraging this behavior. I'm amazed these people can sleep at night. I bet most of them think they're going to some "heaven" after their bodies quit on them, too. What a laugh.
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment