Take This Leak and Shove It


Reader Ari Spanier points to a story about how the blood, sweat, and tears (forget the toil) of federal workers may soon be subject to more stringent drug-testing procedures. Consider it a full-employment program for those in what might be called the effluvia industry.

Gov't Workers May Face Drug Test Changes


Saliva testing, done using a swab that looks much like a toothbrush but with a pad instead of bristles, is best at detecting drug use within the past one or two days.

Hair testing, in which a sample about the thickness of a shoelace is clipped at the root from the back of the head, allows detection of many drugs used as far back as 3 months.

Sweat testing, in which workers are fitted with a patch that is worn for two weeks, is used to screen people who have returned to work after drug treatment.

Last year, Reason's Jacob Sullum looked at the way in which the federal government sets the pace for private workplace drug testing--and how the relevance of such tests to job performance is sketchy at best. Read all about it here.

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  1. Just pissin in the wind and it's blowin on all my friends.
    From the ballad by Jerry Jeff Walker (1979)
    "Pissin in the Wind"
    Beats hell outta Mojo.

  2. I`ve got a few dingle berries that they can taste test.

  3. I think that a lot of the drive for drug testing in the private sector comes from liability concerns. Businesses are afraid that if an accident occurs they will be held liable if they didn't test for drugs, even if drugs weren't directly involved. Failure to test would be portrayed as a sign of carelessness.

    I wonder how long it will be before people start having themselves tested, like they currently have themselves bonded, to improve their chances of getting a job? Individuals testing themselves would solve the problem of privacy invasion.

  4. Shannon-
    If individuals had themselves tested the results probably wouldn't count.

  5. So when do they start randomly testing Congressmen for drugs? I think that would be a good one.

  6. How about federal legislation requiring that anyone who requires others to be drug tested must himself be tested? I'm not for testing (aside from the easy cases such as active military; barge, plane, and train operators; and similar life-or-death professions where a real need for safety can be justified), but surely a high school principal who insists on a drug-free school should have to put his piss where his mouth is.

    Or something like that.

  7. jon,
    Not just the principal. At that school, every teacher. Every district administrator and every member of the school board (plus their spouses, just to be safe). If the principal wants to start a witch hunt, do it right. The goal is to make every person that has decision making power to get upset.

    Oh, plus what yo said. Nancy Pelosi has to be on drugs if she hasn't decided to stop getting facelifts yet. 🙂

  8. Hair for sale.
    Hair for sale.

  9. I would DO Nancy Pelosi.
    Again and again.
    Is this wrong?

  10. I know that I am supposed to be upset about this and I am. But I do get a certain satisfaction with government employees pissing into a cup rather than pissing my money away.

  11. Mike A,

    That pissing in a cup is costing you $25 for the cup and the test.

  12. "I would DO Nancy Pelosi.
    Again and again.
    Is this wrong?"

    Only if you don't mind being sloppy seconds to Ted Kennedy.

    Whatever that means.

  13. Then you can start off an interview with "hey, my piss is good, call these guys for verification".

    Yeah, you know, unless they're looking for that kind of thing, I'd think you'd be best to not call attention to it. If you KNOW that that company is going to require drug testing, and it's mandatory, it gonna happen anyway, ok, sure. But imagine a company who wasn't planning on it, wasn't even thinking about whether you're on drugs or not. You walk in and proclaim "yeah, BOYEE, I'm drizzug-frizzee, suckaz!" All of a sudden, they're wondering why in gods name you would feel the need to prove this to them. They're thinking, "we assumed so...but if he/she feels the need to prove that they're clean, then what kind of worker is this?" See what I'm saying? It's like if you walked into an interview and said "I've never raped a small child. Check out my police jacket! You'll see!" They never would have thought about whether you raped small children, but now, by feeling the need to prove that you don't, you have arisen questions. Not the best idea, unless you know it's coming anyway.

  14. What is the Occam's razor of this?

  15. You know, I should stop being so damn vauge and just let my paranoid delusions out.

  16. Oops. 'Vague' I meant. And my paranoid delusions are about the Christianists taking over the government and society.

  17. "I would DO Nancy Pelosi.
    Again and again.
    Is this wrong?"

    Coo coo ca choo. S'all I'm saying.

  18. OT, this pisses me off! What a waste of FBI resources ... (war on porn, while we are supposedly at war on terrorism!)


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