Attention LA Readers: Tenacious D-rug Benefit

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On June 3, the Drug Policy Alliance is hosting an "Un-Cabaret Comedy Evening" benefit in Los Angeles to finance its efforts to bring "reason, compassion, and justice" to the nation's drug war.

Tickets start at $380 (most of which is tax-deductible) and the entry price includes booze, food, and appearances by the likes of Tenacious D, Bill Maher, Kevin Nealon, and others.

For more information, go here.

DPA is headed by Ethan Nadelmann, whom I called "perhaps the most eloquent spokesman for new drug laws that "hold people responsible for their actions, but don't punish them for what they put into their bodies" in my recent Washington Post review of Martin Torgoff's Can't Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000.

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  1. “Tickets start at $380 (most of which is tax-deductible) and the entry price includes registration on a special Homeland Security Department list, booze, food, and appearances by the likes of Tenacious D, Bill Maher, Kevin Nealon, and others.”

  2. Call me snake,
    I worked for years in the industrial construction industry. If drug testing is not universal in the industry, it is close. I witnessed many workers drinking in their trucks before work and throwing the empties into the parking lot. I think the significant percentage of construction workers (and those in many other occupations involving the operation of potentially dangerous equipment) who drink before work are a far greater risk than recreational drug users.

    As for the drug testing, a pipe welder once loaned me the book “Steal this Urine Test” by Abby Hoffmann. Some are deterred from using illegal drugs by the tests, but many are not. I have much more faith in the ability of the American construction worker to beat the tests than the testers’ ability to catch them (Chest swelling with pride in American ingenuity.).

    We conscientious objectors to the WOD are often also advocates of privatization. If mass transit were privatized and the government got out of the business of leaning on employers to conduct drug testing, I would be comfortable with whatever decisions the transit companies reached concerning testing. At least the companies would bear the costs of mistaken policies.

  3. KentinDC:

    You completely correct. When I was faced with a drug test for a job a few years ago, I went into GNC and asked if they had anything that could help.

    The guy behind the counter said sure, take this one, it’s what all the cops and firemen use right before their tests.

    I think testing should be the same as testing for alcohol is currently. If the person harms someone during the course of their job they should be tested, not before.

  4. Thanks a lot for the info and the article…who knew Mojo Nixon has a modified Golden Shower fantasy involving Mrs. Reagan?

    Titus and KentinDC: I was on an athletic team in college. Those who took performance enhancing drugs would have “oil jobs” before their tests:

    1) Store your own clean urine in fridge or freezer.

    2) Take Pre-med physics or biology to become friends with a student with medical school access.

    3) (The Hard Part) 30 minutes before your test, have your clean urine transported to your bladder via catheter.

    4) Pass the drug test!!!

    This insures you can stay on your cycle throughout any testing window.

    Perhaps a potential model for employee reaction to drug testing.

  5. Yeah Right,

    I’d rather be on a Homeland Security Department list than live in fear of getting on a Homeland Security Department list, and I would hate to think that anyone would follow your example and cower away from supporting what they believe for fear of Homeland Security.

  6. titus,
    I believe they have a test now for mj intoxication. It’s an oral test and measures the active chemicals in your saliva (that stick around after you smoke). If these become the standard for mj testing and they can get them in squad cars, it would probably help ease legalization since there would be a way to measure if you are DWH (baby steps).

  7. I suspect Nick knows that “Tenacious D” is the name of a band, a duo really, featuring Jack Black. Some people say they put on a good show. But from what I’ve heard, he ought to leave the music duo thing to Jack *White*.

  8. “Some people say they put on a good show. But from what I’ve heard, he ought to leave the music duo thing to Jack *White*.”

    I think they’re heee-larious, from the little bit I’ve heard. Check out Black’s interview on Fresh Air, where he sings a Tenacious D song called Tribute:

    http://freshair.npr.org/day_fa.jhtml?displayValue=day&todayDate=09/29/2003

    Click on “listen to actor Jack Black” and go to about 21:00 in the interview. That shit cracks me up every time I hear it.
    I also thought they were great on Saturday Night Live (I guess that was mainly Black, but the other guy made a brief appearance).

    “There shined a shiny demon”

  9. An honest question for the anti-drug war people i.e., I’m not trying to provoke, just receive opinions:

    Would a drug legalization platform support mandatory drug testing for certain high safety-standard careers, (i.e., subway train operators et al) or would these tests be an unacceptable violation of privacy?

  10. it might be a political necessity.

  11. Do they take breathalyzer tests now? If not, worrying about pot smoked a week ago is a bit wide of the transportation-safety mark.

    Certainly testing for any drug-use at all within the past 6 months (hair tests typically do this for pot) would be unacceptable, as I cannot see how it is anybody’s business, so long as they aren’t operating heavy machinery while stoned.

  12. If the tests could accurately detect level of inebriation while on the job, I would have no problem with it – so long as the mandatory part was decided on by the private company, not the government.

    However, no such test exist. Instead, tests will only detect marijuana consumption within the last few weeks. The worker getting tested could have been drunk, smoking crack, and shooting up on Friday and test negative on Monday.

    If the worker is inebriated on the job, you wouldn’t need a test to figure it out.

    Anyone who feels threatened by a train operator who likes to smoke pot after work is misguided – there is no evidence to suggest that a sober pot smoker is less capable than a sober drinker, or a sober sober person.

    The other problem with drug tests is that even positive results after poor performance is not always a causality. A few years ago a train in NYC got derailed. The operator tested positive for cocaine. It turned out that the cause was mechanical – the operator had nothing to do with the potentially tragic accident. If they just decided it was his fault and neglected to do a more thorough investigation, it would have happened again with potentially far worse consequences.

    So ultimately, privacy doesn’t even enter into it. Drug testing doesn’t make people safer. It makes us all less safe by diverting attention away from real means of improving safety. It also stigmatizes a group of people, and destroys the lives of people who choose to ingest politically unpopular substances.

  13. Call me snake:

    Issues surrounding on-the-job drug testing were
    discussed in a November 2002 story by Jacob Sullum. It’s called “Urine–or You’re Out” and is online here.

  14. It might be less painful to simply donate money than to put yourself through this event.

    Unless atendees get to throw pies (plates, knives, hand grenades) at Bill Maher.

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