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Home / WLF TheySaid / Drug testing is a joke

  • 05/02/2016
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I recently have heard that a certain government agency has allowed for second chances for failed drug testing.  For those of you that are drug tested for pre-employment or for the “random” drug test there is apparently an option to get retested. All you need to do is leave the testing facility and you can be retested months later and be good to go, it would be like nothing ever happened. Don’t worry about being fired or put on leave with out pay because they will keep you employeed too. There is one catch though, you need to have certain individuals on the organizational chart supporting you. Good luck!

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20 Comments
  1. Sam
    May 5, 2016 Reply

    Drug testing IS not only a joke it’s a violation of personal rights. If a guy wants to smoke the herb while off the clock its ABSOLUTELY nobody’s business. The science is out there for all to read and all signs point to the simple FACT that weed is a much healthier choice than alcohol. Not only is it a better way for one to relax but it also has loads of health benefits. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, pain reliever and cancer cell destroyer. The nearly 100 years of business driven propaganda against marijuana is slowly beginning to diminish as the truth has been revealed. There will be a day when we all look back at our absurd drug laws, especially those regarding mj, and realize how ignorant and ridiculous things have been. Quick myth busters: mj does not kill brain cells, it does not make you dumb or forgetful, and it is not a “gateway drug”. All lies.

  2. Benji
    May 5, 2016 Reply

    Well everyone’s physiology is a bit different, but I seem to recall it making me rather forgetful, and one could argue the leading to harder stuff is a personal choice. I don’t think you can argue the fact that alcohol is generally out of your system in 8- 24 hrs, whereas mj as you like to call it Sam, stays in your fat cells for up to two weeks or more.
    Great to hear is don’t kill brain cells, guess I’m not as dumb as I thought I was, lol.

  3. Sam
    May 6, 2016 Reply

    Benji, well actually science has an answer for you. The chemical compound found in cannabis, aka mj or whatever you wanna call it, known as THC—is the element that alters one’s consciousness (aka allows them to feel “high”). That feeling or state is very short lasting, and depending on your use levels last from 1 hour to several hours. HOWEVER, drug tests (in the form of urine) do not actually detect “THC” they detect THC-COOH (carboxy delta-9) which is a metabolite of THC. This metabolite naturally occurs when the liver breaks down THC. As a result one can test positive for THC 3 weeks after his or her last “puff” or other method of usage. In NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM has that individual been “high” for 3 weeks—3 hours at most. By the way, one can snort a line of cocaine on their way to work, take a drug test that day……AND PASS. Why? Because the physiology of us all. ****Also my guess is your a forgetful person and yes indeed harder stuff is a personal choice and has nothing to do with mj (thus reaffirming making my original point). And lastly, answer me this: would you rather work with a guy who went out the night before and got hammered, and shows up to work jittery and half-drunk? Or a guy who smoked a little weed the night before, got good rest and is 100% fit for duty?????

  4. Sam
    May 6, 2016 Reply

    I had no intention of turning this post into a sidetrack rant, however, I find the issue of drug testing a serious civil liberties issue. I am a strong advocate for privacy rights. And drug testing is a disturbing and frustrating violation of one’s privacy which has somehow become accepted employer behavior. This is a recent phenomenon, only beginning in the 1980s (during the launch of the war on drugs)—a coincidence?—-I think not. Unfortunately those that can medicinally benefit from the powers of cannabis (which is ALL of us) have been screwed over by greed driven propoaganda. Beginning with the Hearst empire and continuing on with the pharmaceutical industry—all in cahoots with the federal gov. Believe what you want to believe, but you can never dispute the facts.

  5. The Dude
    May 7, 2016 Reply

    Imagine if the forest Service/Park Service Drug tested their seasonal employees. They would lose more than 3 quarters of their workforce, LOL.

    I also have no problem with folks smoking the herb. as long as it’s with moderation and you can show up the next day and be able to work.

  6. Aaron
    May 7, 2016 Reply

    As a medical doctor and emergency physician, I can confirm that cannabis appears to be essentially harmless, and I agree that drug testing is a huge violation of your privacy–why should employers be entitled to know anything about your health? In every other circumstance, your health conditions and laboratory results are protected by federal HIPPA statutes.

    The only commonly recognized medical consequence of cannabis use is something that physicians have been calling “cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.” In some chronic, all-day users, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. You really have to be using it constantly to be at risk for this, though. Other than the occasional visit to the emergency department for these symptoms, I really never see people in the emergency department for problems that can be traced primarily back to cannabis use. I see people EVERY DAY for alcohol and tobacco related problems, however. The argument that it is somehow a dangerous or addictive drug is ludicrous.

    Drug testing has always been a way to demonize certain otherwise safe substances, to discredit and marginalize social groups who use them, and find excuses to fire people rather than a way of determining whose performance might be impaired. There are far more health problems and impairment with alcohol and tobacco. They are the largest preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in our country. And they are legal. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

  7. Hutch
    May 8, 2016 Reply

    I agree that pot is not that big of a deal. But… I’m fairly certain that our FS drug tests are testing for much more than just MJ. I am not worried about weed, it’s the meth, and prescription drug abuse that has me worried.

    I have seen/hear A LOT of whining about or current drug testing policy and have heard ZERO solutions. So Sam, what is your solution?

  8. Bruce
    May 8, 2016 Reply

    30,000 pounds of rolling steel or a buggy with 10 souls onboard VS your mini van with wife and kids onboard. I am open to removing mj laws with some restrictions, however not for the professionals who are responsible for peoples lives.

  9. heliodoc
    May 8, 2016 Reply

    geezus

    violation of rights, etc??

    How about us folk in the in military and aviation
    industry that have to submit to drug tests.

    Tell us all how u FFTRs in Fed employment are somehow
    different than us holding “sensitive” positions?

    Then maybe we can all talk…

  10. Sam
    May 8, 2016 Reply

    Well Hutch and others, that’s just it drug testing is not a solution to anything–other than targeting those who choose to use cannabis. Hard drugs, such as meth and cocaine (along with a host of others)will not be detected in ones system just a day or two after use. Solution? No more drug tests. Period. For anyone. That is unless there is evidence of one using while at work or some gross neglect is seen as possibly being drug or alcohol induced. In those situations common sense allows for drug testing. But absolutely NO preemptive and/or random drug testing for anyone. I don’t care what their job is. And if your worried about coworkers who may use hard drugs, you may want to know that it would be pretty obvious of one who is a meth user or heroin doper. Those people tend to weed themselves out–no pun intended. Lastly, if safety is your concern I recommend you look at the study performed by the US Postal Service and their hiring of those who passed and failed drug tests.

  11. Todd
    May 8, 2016 Reply

    If you don’t like an agencies policy, then there are plenty of opportunities in the private sector that do not drug test. Why not go there?

  12. Mouth
    May 9, 2016 Reply

    I havent even heard of any of my FS coworkers being tested under this new random testing.
    Its lame to be tested for mj. Im with Sam. I would rather go home and have a puff or two of the hippy lettuce than “drink.” The hippy lettuce has way more to offer me, particularly with anxiety.

    But its not worth losing my job over, or being categorized as a dope smoker. Guess I will keep hitting my trusty kegerator until something changes….

  13. Smoke
    May 10, 2016 Reply

    Calfire and local government fire departments only do inital employment drug testing and that is it. Unless you get in a serious accident, no test, do what you want on your free time.

  14. The Boss
    May 11, 2016 Reply

    For marijuana at least this will all be a mute point when it is rescheduled by the DEA at the end of the month. With a valid prescription from any participating state no federal agency will be able to restrict employment due to a positive test. This will not apply to private contractors if the company still wants to screen employees though.

    1. Angel
      May 13, 2016 Reply

      Bad advice Boss. I was involved for years in the negotiations on the implementation of drug testing from the union side. The one consistent message that management asked us to share with employees was that federal law overrules state law and even if you have a prescription, if you test positive as a federal employee you face termination. It doesn’t matter if it’s rescheduled, until it’s legalized federally for recreational use you can’t use it, even on your own time. A few years back during an orientation a LEO asked the employees “who has a medical MJ card?” and five of them were stupid enough to raise their hands. Right then they could have been tested under reasonable suspicion. Only because a DRF interceded did they keep their jobs.

  15. The Boss
    May 14, 2016 Reply

    Angel,

    You are correct. Federal law will always trump state law. Every. Single. Time.

    But when the federal government reclassifies marijuana as a schedule 2 drug the federal government is not going to prescribe marijuana for those “in need”. That will come from the states (and only the states where it is legal to prescribe it). For example, if you are under the care of a doctor and she prescribes you hydrocodone and two days later you have to take a random test you will be fine because you have a legal prescription for it. The same for Xanax, OxyContin,etc. when marijuana becomes a schedule 2 drug the same rules will apply.

  16. Baco
    May 23, 2016 Reply

    If you don’t like the drug test find another job. I should have the right to work in a drug free ( and alcohol free) work place. If you want to smoke weed then get a job where it is allowed if you want to work here then stop smoking its that easy. Now back on to subject there doesn’t seem to be any standard on what happens when a person fails a test. One guy on the forest totaled a vehicle and failed a drug test only to get 2 weeks on the beach. That is a joke in my mind.

  17. Fruition
    May 27, 2016 Reply

    Don’t like it, don’t cash the check and stop your wining.

  18. Aaron
    June 6, 2016 Reply

    Baco your statement assumes that drug and alcohol use are inherently bad for society somehow, when most people are able to use substances responsibly. I can get hammered the night before my shift in the emergency department and be really off my game the next day, and I still work in a technically “drug and alcohol free environment.” I am a physician, and I have never once been tested for drug use in my entire career of >10 years, but nursing staff is ALWAYS tested–does that seem odd to you? So essentially I work at a job where drug use is tacitly tolerated. If an administrator asked me to submit to a drug test, I would quit and work at a different hospital, because I would consider it to be a useless violation of my personal privacy and a poorly disguised attempt at finding a reason to fire me. No, you do not just have to “cash the check and stop your wining [sp].” You should complain and stand up for your right to drink a beer or smoke responsibly if that is what you enjoy doing. You should not have to submit to invasions of your personal privacy. Long story short: drug testing does not lead to a “drug and alcohol free workplace,” just like the war on drugs never prevented the availability of any illicit drug. Here we are, decades after the start of the “war on drugs,” and US citizens remain one of the largest consumers of illicit drugs on the planet.

    1. stringtown
      July 3, 2016 Reply

      I have been making this argument for years, that heavy alcohol and prescription drug use are for more dangerous for firefighters than marijuana use. Both have major long term physical impacts that can most definitely affect performance even while not under the influence. Your body is being put under immense amounts of physical stress and you’re always pushing your body to the max on the fireline and I think many other types of substances pose far more a threat to physical/mental wellness than pot. I am a firm believer that what you do in your free time is none of your employers business, if you are abusing drugs or alcohol to the point of not functioning at your job then you will get fired for simply just not doing your job…last time I checked that’s a totally legit reason for firing someone.

      So they do test for things like opiates and benzodiazapenes that would pop up on a drug test, but what if those are prescribed? then what?…how do you prove the person is abusing them or under the influence while on the job. And we don’t even test for alcohol, in fact heavy drinking is widely accepted. Being dehydrated and hungover can create a serious medical emergency on the fireline. I’d be willing to bet all these people making comments about a “drug and alcohol free work environment: and “quit your wining (sp)” have no idea how many functioning, successful adults they’ve met throughout life who are also have used all kinds of illicit substances without it have any negative impacts on their life or job.

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