Drug Testing

'Why should you have to take a drug test for freaking marijuana in 2016?'

The "demeaning" persistence and diminishing returns of workplace drug testing, explained on Red Eye


On last night's Red Eye w/ Tom Shillue, which had been pre-empted the previous evening by a plane crash, the genial host intro'd a story about employers being disappointed to discover that they can't find workers willing or able to pass a drug test. "Matt: Say something libertarian here," Shillue said. And so I did:

Jacob Sullum wrote about the puzzling persistence of pee tests six months ago. My account of being drug-tested by the L.A. Times here.

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  1. “which had been pre-empted the previous evening by a plane crash”

    Why does Reason refuse to say what things really are? I think you mean it had been pre-empted the previous evening by a heinous attack on our freedoms by radical islamic terrorism.


    1. What is the cost of blaming radical Islam and then being wrong? I wonder about this.

      1. Remind us when it is wrong…

  2. ‘Why should you have to take a drug test for freaking marijuana in 2016?’

    Because it’s still illegal under federal law, and employers will get totally fucked if pot-smoking employee does something to injure/kill/damage something, even if it’s completely unrelated to the drug use? Just a guess…

  3. Because the sheeple have accepted this bullshit and control freaks will just keep on pushing. I mean a private company can ask you to take a drug test and you can just refuse and not work there. The problem is, you won’t be able to find a place to work without doing this, it’s that pervasive now. People are not only willing to give up any rights to privacy, they will shove the person in front of them right out of the sheep line so they can get to the slaughterhouse sooner.

    It’s like this because a dumbed down society has fully accepted it. Oh and government force came after that, of course.

  4. If employers want it, great. If insurers want it, great. If the federal government is the only part of the equation requiring it, then not great.

  5. If you read those articles, it is about insurance. Private business caring about risk and liability and the expenses of covering those things when they hire people? Sounds like the system (capitalism) is working.

    1. Legalize it and see what insurance companies do. Then we can see what the market does. I’d be a lot more worried about a hung over employee than one who smoked a joint last night. But you don’t see a lot of insurance companies insisting that companies forbid their employees from ever getting drunk.

    2. Ray Gaster, who owns Gaster Lumber and Hardware, says it is always short of drivers “and drug testing is part of it.” But the company’s drug-free certification saves it more in workers’ compensation payments than it costs to administer.

      Because capitalism means rent seeking.

  6. 1) Insurance requires it.
    2) It’s really hard to fire people these days, this is one more tool to use for that purpose.

  7. My sister-in-law works in human resources in CA. She says when people test positive for MJ they simply ignore it.

    In my profession (construction), the bigger companies will typically test field people for safety reasons, and this is largely driven by insurance (as several others have noted).

    I work on the consulting end, and didn’t even get tested at all, since I have no field duties.

    Legalize, and give the insurance a few years to realize the lack of correlation between MJ use and safety concerns, and I’ll bet they stop being concerned and only test for opiates, cocaine, and the like.

    1. But then positives will be so rare, they’ll stop testing entirely.

    2. Yeah- when I got probation after a DUI 10 yrs ago, they gave me a drug test.

      All the Gov’t cared about was oxy and meth… (I smoked so much, I think I peed green with purple highlights.)

  8. It’s my business and I don’t like pot smokers?

    1. You might change your mind when you have to keep passing on qualified candidates. Or you can stick with it as is your right. But you’d probably be shooting yourself in the foot.

  9. If there were no drug test then I couldn’t post smug , butt-hurt memes about not testing welfare recipients who steal the money that I have to get tested to earn. I guess I could concentrate on them buying snack foods or pop or sommat.

  10. Hey everybody! Don’t you know it’s the Current Year?

  11. RE: ‘Why should you have to take a drug test for freaking marijuana in 2016?’

    Because this is Amerika.
    You’re guilty until proven innocent.
    Where have you been?

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