Fake-piss-dispenser inventors busted

The makers of the Whizzinator, a fake penis that dispenses fake, drug free piss so that you can beat workplace urinalysis tests, have been convicted of "conspiracy." They'll be sentenced on Friday. The BBC calls their operation a "fake penis scam," but I think the real scam is employers who think your piss is their business. I don't take drugs or drink, but I think that the right to choose what state of mind you want to be in when you're off the clock is fundamental, and no one's business but your own.
The device was sold with a heating element and fake urine to help people test negative for illegal substances.

They could face up to eight years in prison and a $500,000 (£334,000) fine.

Men guilty over fake penis scam (Thanks, Fee!)


  1. I will say this, while I don’t care if you do drugs or drink while you are working at say Target, I work for a company that transports and handles hazardous wastes. We test for drugs and alcohol. Quite frankly, for certain highly sensitive or dangerous jobs, i.e. CDL truck drivers, police, fire fighters, I think you should be tested. Your personal decisions off the clock can effect my safety when you are on the clock. It’s sad but true that we have fired people who have showed up to work with drugs or alcohol in their system.

    But again, if you are working in retail or food services or doing an office job, what you you on your time off is your own business.

  2. from The Telegraph:

    “Mr Catalano and Mr Wills pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to defraud the United States government.”

    Ummm..last time I checked a fake penis, even one with a heater and a bag of fake urine, is not drug paraphernalia. Granted, I don’t do drugs, so maybe they are. But that sure seems unlikely.

    And how was the government defrauded? Will they use this same logic to go after the makers of radar detectors? Or those sprays and things you can put on your license plate so that is unphotographable by redlight/speeding cameras?


  3. Withnail: At some point or another I want to stop and get hold of a child.

    I: What do you want a child for?

    Withnail: To tutor it in the ways of righteousness and procure some uncontaminated urine.

    [He takes out the bottle and instructions provided by Danny.]

    Withnail: This is a device enabling the drunken driver to operate in absolute safety. You fill this with piss, take this pipe down the trouser and sellotape this valve to the end of the old chap. Then you get horrible drunk and they can’t fucking touch you. According to these instructions, you refuse everything except a urine sample. You undo your valve, give them a dose of unadulterated child’s piss and they have to give you your keys back. Danny’s a genius. I’m going to have a doze.

  4. I heard this on the radio this morning on the way to the office. I’ve been through a couple of drug tests myself (and worked for several companies that had a drug testing policy that never seemed to get implemented) but as a business owner, I feel that as long as an employee shows up on time, sober, and does their job properly without endangering anyone, I have absolutely no right to tell them what they can or can’t do in their spare time.

    I have absolutely no intention of ever implementing a drug testing program. I pay people to do work for me, not so I can enforce my own moral code on them. I would have a very, very low tolerance for anyone doing anything safety-critical while impaired, but that still doesn’t mean I get to control someone’s life outside of work.

  5. #2: Indeed, I think the psychological benefits to those kinds of workers in terms of stress reduction and improved mental well-being caused by off-the-clock substance use could very well effect your safety.

  6. What got them in trouble: selling this device as a means to circumvent drug testing.

    What they should have done: sold this device as a “marital aid” for the Golden Shower and the Gender Play crowds. Let “unofficial” word of mouth get around that it can also be used (contrary to manufacturer’s intentions, of course) to circumvent drug testing. I’m pretty sure sales wouldn’t be harmed that much.

  7. you know, normally when somebody is charged with “conspiracy”, there’s an actual crime attached to that term. “conspiracy to commit murder” for example.

    charging them with “conspiracy” says, to me, that they don’t know how this is illegal, but are pretty sure that it is.

  8. “I don’t take drugs or drink, but I think that the right to choose what state of mind you want to be in when you’re off the clock is fundamental, and no one’s business but your own.”

    I drink…a lot…and I feel that if I want to have my own libertarian values about what I put into my body being my own choice, I feel an employer should have the right to make any arbitrary rule they want as well.

    It is always funny how the loudest of the civil libertarians always want rights for themselves without the ability for others to have the same sorts of rights. For instance, I like the fact that the local hospital across the street from me bans employees from smoking anywhere near the hospital, even if they go across the street, they have to remove anything that is logo’d by the hospital when they do so. Smoking isn’t against the law, but the employer should be able make any rule that they find is appropriate for there setting.

    I could care less about what someone does in the privacy of their own home, but I should be able to check up on anyone I want to employee and if contractually they agree to get piss tested, then if someone is making a device purely to bypass these things, they should be busted.

  9. In other news, the USA was convicted of fraudulently claiming to be a free country.

    Selling plastic penis. 8 years in jail. WTF, America?

  10. It is always funny how the loudest of the civil libertarians always want rights for themselves without the ability for others to have the same sorts of rights…

    I could care less about what someone does in the privacy of their own home, but I should be able to check up on anyone I want to employee and if contractually they agree to get piss tested, then if someone is making a device purely to bypass these things, they should be busted.


    The person making the device has not contractually interacted with you in any way. The employees, maybe so, but the makers of the device broke no contract.

    Your wants of employment have no bearing on the rights of other to make stuff. A fake penis is not illegal, see the very large adult-toy industry.

  11. I should be able to check up on anyone I want to employee and if contractually they agree to get piss tested, then if someone is making a device purely to bypass these things, they should be busted.

    For what, exactly? The manufacturer is not party to any contract with you.

  12. This is one of the most violating, unjust, humiliating torments that modern workers are forced to endure, and this is saying a lot. There is no justification for it whatsoever.

    People will just say that I’m a feckless whiner, no doubt. What is surrendering your urine after all against all of the other serial injustices that the modern worker has been conditioned to accept? This is what you must think because you are powerless. What you cannot prevent you must accept, so I am a whiner. All the nonsense about public safety makes a great deal of sense even though no one knows what the evidence is to support this.

    Someone smart reader of this post may say, “Yes there is evidence, and here it is!” Are you also factoring in the monumental cost of the program itself though? That is, all of the money used to implement and enforce the urine testing industry could also be regarded as a drain on resources that could otherwise go to boost corporate productivity, or even save lives.

    How many lives are saved every year by drug testing? How much is productivity improved? Who are the sources for this information? We just accept this unquestioningly.

    If we are to assume that there is something to the public safety argument, in order to preserve our rights, let’s make all drugs legal. Since their usage is presumed to cost lives, whenever they are purchased, a certain amount of the price should go to what I may term an altered state off-set. That is, the lives that you may endanger in the first world can be counterbalanced by dis-imperiling a life in the third world at a much reduced cost, by the way.

    This is already accepted practice, by the way in the polluting energy business.

    The State nor its corporate proxies should have any claim to your body. All bodily fluids should be as inviolable as your arm, your brain, or your fetus.

    Where exactly do our rights begin? What if there were a popular drug that could only be traced in one’s spinal fluid. Under the pretext of public safety should we also so willingly grant access to this bodily fluid?

    What about the fact that alcohol is not easily detected (unless the person has been very recently been drinking?). IN the interest of public safety shouldn’t we also ban alcohol? Why does it deserve such a place of privilege?

    I could go on, slave.

  13. I don’t use drugs so this doesn’t affect me, but if it did, I wouldn’t put the burden on my corporation to not inconvenience my drug usage. I would take the responsibility to find a corporation that fit my lifestyle – one that doesn’t drug test.

    Corporations have any number of accountabilities – to their employees, customers, board of directors, stockholders, and so forth. They should be free to take reasonable precautions. It strikes me as hysterical to say that screening people for illegal drug usage is unreasonable.

    For one thing, it’s not a binary system. If someone’s positive for pot, the company might choose to ignore them. For another thing, it’s not an argument to say that corporations can’t control for factors like mental defect or laziness. They do – that’s what performance appraisals and such are for – but that’s not even the point.

    The point is that if there’s a clear warning sign that an employee might behave in a way that’s a threat to the corporation, it would be imprudent to not act on that sign. Illegal drugs are such a sign. It’s up to the corporation to respond reasonably to it.

  14. Incidentally, I think it’s malarky that the company that makes Whizzinator has been sanctioned by the government. That feels like the government meddling in the private matters of business. If businesses are concerned about substitute urine samples, they should figure out a way of protecting against that.

  15. urine tests reveal other things. Your medical condition and prescription drug use. Businesses could use urine tests to identify and fire employees that might become expensive in health terms. They could also sell your information to insurance companies – or give it away – or lose it. Or maybe just keep wrong information on you, now that they have a file.

  16. JFlex, that’s a fairly comfortable point of view.

    Not everyone can choose their employer. And who says the illegality of a drug is an indicator of threat to the corporation? Is alcohol any different? (the answer is no).

  17. A Solution:

    Require businesses that drug test staff to have complete health and rehabilitation programs for staff. Watch them fall over themselves running away from that.

    Drug tests are more proof workers are seen as machines,property, serfs, animals, chattels. Stand up for your personal dignity, rights and freedoms.

  18. I think someone’s job is a significant investment of their precious time and personal resources. I think workers have an absolute right to know that those running the company they depend on for their living are straight and sober when making decisions. You don’t have to be a share-holder to be a stakeholder. There is plenty of legal basis for the management/ownership of a business having a real obligation to those that are encouraged to rely on that business for their very lives.

    Piss-test the CEO! Any executive that refuses public urine testing is obviously acting in bad faith.

  19. Drug tests are more proof workers are seen as machines,property, serfs, animals, chattels. Stand up for your personal dignity, rights and freedoms.

    The clue is in the name: Human RESOURCES

    We are not resources, we are people.

  20. Simple rule: Don’t come to work drunk or high. If you do, you get fired. I don’t care what you do off the clock, so long as you’re sober and ready to work when you come to work.

    KT1981, this is even true of the case you mentioned. As long as they’re sober when they get to work, what they may have done on the weekend actually does not affect your safety.

    I care more if someone is smoking crack or shooting heroin than if they smoke weed, because it seems like they’d more likely to be a hardcore addict with dangerous behaviors (although I can’t prove this off the top of my head). But urine tests will pick up cannabis more easily than the harder drugs.

    (I drink alcohol, but do not and have never done any drugs, for the record.)

    I know of one retail store around here that doesn’t drug test its employees. It’s part of a company culture that treats its employees as people rather than as labor-dispensing robots, which results in very good customer service. They were still able to fire the jackass who showed up to work high as a kite — no pee test needed.

  21. JFlex, that’s a fairly comfortable point of view.

    Not everyone can choose their employer

    If that’s the case for someone, I would suggest he stops his drug usage until his situation changes.

    And who says the illegality of a drug is an indicator of threat to the corporation? Is alcohol any different? (the answer is no).

    This is a fair point. I’m not armed with a study to cite. And I’m 100% with you on the point that alcohol and many drugs are equally dangerous (or not).

    My argument is constructed within the assumption that illegal drugs are not wanted by businesses for rational reasons. Is there a chance that businesses would invest in these costly programs because they’re completely insane? Perhaps.

    Is it more likely that the corporate world has amassed enough data through research and risk analysis? I would think so.

  22. So if I’m stuck in a crappy job, I have no right to spend the little money I have set aside for entertainment, on a bit of weed to make it remotely bearable?

    Only comfortable people get to enjoy leisure time of their own choosing?

  23. As bad as invasive employer-sanctioned drug tests are, I think this device in particular was more likely targeted toward PAROLEES.

    I had to pass a drug test to get a job once, but they never actually watched me pull out my penis and fill up the cup (at least, not to my knowledge). That level of creepy surveillance is usually reserved for people who have actually been convicted of something and have to prove they’re staying clean.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say most companies can’t ask to see your naughty bits as a condition of your employment (for now). Your parole officer, however, is a different story.

  24. quite so. It is unseemly for the lower masses to frivolously spend their scant time when they should be either at worship or resting so they may better serve their masters on the morrow.

  25. “KT1981, this is even true of the case you mentioned. As long as they’re sober when they get to work, what they may have done on the weekend actually does not affect your safety.”

    I agree completely. You should be sober when you come to work. If you are going to party on Friday night and know you will be clean Monday morning, do whatever you want.

    Incidently, our president and many other managers are in our drug testing pool. We test randomly in accordance with DOT regulations and under reasonable suspicion.

  26. One of the most uncomfortable, humiliating moments in my employment history–both for myself and especially for the other person–was when I worked at a counseling agency that did drug screenings for paroled/probationary drug offenders, which included verifying that the urine was not coming from one of these devices. The gentleman in question had a shy bladder. (It was worse for the female staff members and clients.)

  27. I didn’t hear about anyone getting busted for a female version of the whizzinator…seems like a good biz opportunity;
    The Vagiwhizzer
    The Piss Puss
    The Tinkle Cookie

  28. …I worked at a counseling agency that did drug screenings for paroled/probationary drug offenders, which included verifying that the urine was not coming from one of these devices.=

    OK, I amend my earlier statement to include employers who are working with drug offenders on parole. I’m not saying it’s fair to them either, just that most employers can’t go that far. Yet.

  29. you mean people become parole officers so they can look at penises?

    Hell if I know. I can’t think of any other reason someone would take such a difficult and unrewarding job.

  30. so if you happen to be an exhibitionist who gets erect when watched,you automatically get a bye on the drug test? Hmmm, anyone tried to beat the test with Viagra? Though I suppose the more enthusiastic parole officer types would see trying to catch the arching stream as “fun”.

  31. arkizzle said: “And who says the illegality of a drug is an indicator of threat to the corporation?”

    It’s an indicator of the employee’s willingness to do illegal things.

    Most companies that do pre-hire drug screening don’t screen for alcohol because it is a legal drug. Some jobs (as pointed out) where even legal alcohol use could be a safety issue will do so.

    I’m with Clif. In the US, most states are “right to work” states. Meaning I can quit when I want, have no legal reason to do anything for the company when I quit, and can go work for the competition. Yes, there are non-compete contracts, but they are incredibly hard to enforce unless you’re talking about trade secrets, customer lists, etc. (which aren’t really non-compete issues, but company property issues anyway). Anyway…

    On the flip side, a company can fire you for any reason outside those related to protected class status; gender, age, race, religion, disability, etc. I once knew a guy who was fired from a sales job because he didn’t (and wouldn’t) play golf, and many of his boss’ clients were golfers and that’s where they did a lot of business. No golf, no ass kissing, no job. He tried to sue them, but his lawyer basically told him he had no case.

    Companies need to be held accountable for what they make and do and say. Within those bounds, they have (as pointed out) many of the same rights that individuals have.

    How’d you feel if your employer told you you *had* to do something illegal? Not so good. You shouldn’t do it, eh? It’s illegal for an employer to ask you to do illegal stuff. Same token, it’s not unreasonable for a company to ask you to prove you’re not currently breaking laws. Your behavior can cost them money, good will, the regard of other employees, etc.

  32. AndyHavens:

    It’s an indicator of the employee’s willingness to do illegal things.

    Are upper management as (provably) bound to this kind of question?

  33. We could make a beautiful world if we wanted to–one free of state and corporate tyranny–free of their control–free of their piss-tests, electrocutions, tazings, torturings and various other insults and injuries.

    I’m certainly willing to give up some personal liberty for the commonweal. I don’t view taxation as necessarily a bad think, and of course you shouldn’t be allowed to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, that sort of thing.

    Being required to surrender bodily fluids on an ongoing basis completely at the discretion of corporate whim is going way, way to far.

    Because the balance of power between individuals and corporations rests overwhelmingly on the side of corporations and other business entities, drug testing amounts to a form of coercion. Refusal of these gross impositions is tantamount to homelessness and starvation and relinquishment of social status–hardly an attractive trade-off, but this is what must be sacrificed, in most cases, if one wants to exercise their freedom of choice in this matter. This is simply unjust.

    Perhaps I wouldn’t be so strident on the issue if there were some evidence that any good ever came of these drug tests. So far though no one has bothered to produced any evidence that this is the case. Has drug testing made the workplace safer (after factoring in the monumental costs of the testing?). Has it slowed down the use of drug usage? If we are consenting to these invasions because lives are being saved, or productivity is being greatly improved, that is one thing. I mean, these are the only arguments that one in favor of such testing could advance, but so far they haven’t been. Of course, again, the benefits of testing should outweigh the costs too, right? If the costs do not outweigh the benefits, why, among its supporters, is it done?

    I don’t know the exact history of drug testing, but I seemed to recall that it was an initiative that originated not with corporate America, but with the American government.

    In other words, at some point, any company that wanted to belly up to the trough of federal dollars, had to implement a drug testing program as a pre-condition. Over time, other companies unconnected to federal dollars simply adopted these programs for whatever reason including just because they could.

    In any case, the initial initiative was a clever way to prosecute the war on drugs. Some bright person at some point imagined that if employment were tied to always being in a drug-free state, then drug use would plummet. What right thinking person would sacrifice their livelihood for a momentary state of drug-induced ecstasy.

    One can understand the reasoning. I mean, most drugs are consumed by regular people who lead productive lives. You may smoke a joint on the weekend now and again, or do a few lines of coke every once-in-awhile. Work place drug testing was meant to target these users–the ones, who, in the aggregate, are doing the most drugs.

    Except as yet another tyranny that we must endure, it has failed spectacularly.

    People still do drugs just as they have ever since human beings have been human. This will change as soon as we stop having sex or maybe stop eating. We can’t stop doing drugs. The notion is beyond absurd. It really is. If state control became so vast and overpowering that it could stop people from doing drugs, it would be a society that no sane person would want to live in. It would be the kin of society in which people probably wouldn’t feel like making love or eating.

    So, drug testing has no effect whatsoever on overall drug consumption, its intended goal. This we know. Given that we have completely dismantled agencies like OSHA we can’t really pretend to be that concerned about workplace safety.

    What drug testing has done is promulgated the false notion that drug usage is a public safety issue (which it is not). (IT seems like everyone agrees on this point though, for or against!) I personally don’t cede the public safety argument though. I want to see evidence. In any case, since the use of currently illegal drugs is now firmly established as a matter of public safety in the collective mind, we may descry the government’s most important success in the drug war because if we are thought to be endangering the lives of others by doing drugs, then we have a legitimate reason not to do them.

    To debate whether we should allow or not allow piss-testing is to some degree to accept the illegality of drugs. I mean, who should care whether there is piss testing if drugs should be legal in the first place. But the government has largely won this battle by framing the debate the way it has. One may dare to question required pissing, but one dare not question the basis upon which pissing is done.

    The other victory that this represents for the government such that it is is that it has ratcheted up our acceptance of a very high degree of control, and this control comes at no cost to the government! What a coup.

    The bottom line is that drugs should be legal in a free state. If harm can be proven, then an off-set tax should be imposed as is the case with cigarettes–something we know to be lethal.

    Try not to let the government switch the topic on you, slave.

  34. #44 ANDYHAVENS

    “It’s an indicator of the employee’s willingness to do illegal things.”

    Exactly– not only an indicator of an employee doing illegal things, but of an employee associating with others doing illegal things– such as drug dealers. And possible addictions to drugs which can lead to theft from the company to pay for said drugs. (Even if drugs were made legal, they would still cost SOMETHING, and addicts that had little money would still resort to crime to get the money to pay for them).

    Another thing– if I were an employer, I wouldn’t hire drug users because it would show them to be people of poor character and poor judgment. Drug effects aren’t an “altered consciousness”– drug effects are a poisoned brain malfunctioning. Anyone who is enough of a FOOL to do something like that to themselves isn’t someone worth trusting or employing.

  35. I think it’s funny to see people trying to validate employee drug testing. It’s as ridiculous as if an employer were to require all employees to not eat red meat or high fat foods. No employer has any right to dictate what you do when you’re off the clock. When and only when you are working should your employer be able to control your behavior and activities.

  36. if people wish to surrender their basic human rights as individuals,let them. They are not allowed, however, to surrender mine.

  37. Drug testing is not rationally connected to job performance so long as weed shows traces in urine weeks after use.
    Drug testing therefore is an insult to liberty.
    That is, so long as weed remains illegal.
    Once weed is legal, drug testing will become a largely useless “business” expense – alcohol/speed/coke flush out way too quick.
    Drug testing is a high-cost “privatized” anti-weed strategy.
    Gov don’t need to violate yer Rights so long as Corps will do it for them.
    Govern yerselves accordingly.

  38. AndyHavens @44, first, that’s not what a “right to work” state means. “Right to work” states are states that prohibit closed shops, which are shops where a union can demand that every employee be a union member as a condition of employment.

    Second, only 22 of the 50 United States are “right to work” states; that’s less than half, not “most”.

    I think you’re confusing “right to work” with “at-will employment”. Only most states have some kind of exceptions to the at-will rule as well.

  39. @Arkizzle: Yes. First of all, every company I’ve worked at that asked for drug screening asks for it from all levels of employees. Second, the further up you get in management, the more scrutiny there is. You will rarely see a line-level employee let go for legal, off-work behavior that is (let’s say) in poor judgement or taste. I have seen, though, folks in upper management roles who were fired because they couldn’t maintain a reasonably, er… “calm”… social demeanor.

    @Hollywoodbob: “No employer has any right to dictate what you do when you’re off the clock. When and only when you are working should your employer be able to control your behavior and activities.”

    Wrong. You have the absolute right to do what you want (assuming it’s legal), and to take the consequences. If you want to behave badly (defined any way your emmployer chooses), you have that right. And they have the right to fire your silly a**.

    It isn’t smart for companies to fire people for dumb reasons, and most don’t. Partly because it’s bad business, and partly because it’s bad humanity. And, contrary to popular belief, most companies are run by people. But if you consistently do stuff on your own time that can negatively impact your employer’s business… they’ll let you go.

    One great example… Many years ago I knew a guy who was unhappy with certain aspects of his gig. He went back to a college reunion and was bad mouthing the company left and right during various home coming events. One of the people he yapped at was a recruiter who did some work for the company. He actually identified himself and told this guy, “You may want to cut down on the negative chatter. Your company does a lot of recruiting here on campus.”

    His response? “Screw them. If they can’t keep their people happy, these kids deserve to know about it.”

    When it got back to his boss, they put him on notice. When he did it again, they fired him.

    You have every legal right to brutally disrespect your employer in public. And they have every legal right to shift your compalints into the “disgruntled former employee” column.

  40. Q: How did they get busted?

    A: The fake penis was available in only one color, and that color was a bit too long to be real :-)

  41. Andy, not just drug testing.

    You said “illegal things”. Are they vetted for propensity to do illegal things?

    That’s a lot of ground.

  42. @#50 Darren Garrison says ‘Drug effects aren’t an “altered consciousness”– drug effects are a poisoned brain malfunctioning.’

    So how do you describe the effects of Prozac? That’s just a naive sweeping generalisation, and Big Pharma says you’re wrong.

    The entity that you call “I” is a stream of sensory input filtered through an intricately complex web of assumptions and beliefs that are so rigidly and fundamentally part of your being they are invisible. Some of us choose to seek an understanding beyond this veneer, and some illegal drugs are among the tools of choice.

    I don’t want the pilot on my 747 doing crack, and I sure as hell don’t encourage drug use, but it is not intrinsically immoral and stupid either.

  43. @Arkizzle

    Heh heh, yeah exactly. In fact I’d be a little concerned if the pilot was on Prozac.

    The documented cases of commerical airline pilots flying while under alcohol intoxication begs the question: Are these drug testing regimes really protecting the general public? Or are they just keeping the cube farms fearful and productive.

  44. Firstly I’ll start by saying I’m a regular ‘drug user’. I smoke pot pretty much every day. Enjoy the odd other thing on the occasional weekend. If my employer decided to start drug testing I’d quit the next day. That said, I work in an office where at the worst I’ll be a bit less productive the following day but probably no less productive than any of my colleagues who regularly drink themselves to a stupor and come into work quite hung over.

    However, I have a good and old friend that doesn’t take drugs, he’s tried a few but went off them years ago. He works a very different job to mine and gets drug tested regularly. He see’s it as a very good thing. There’s a reason.

    This friend of mine once witnessed a colleague get crushed to death by a very large earth moving vehicle. The night before this incident he had witnessed the driver of said vehicle partying and putting stuff up his nose. All “off the clock”.

    The driver wasn’t high when he did crushed his friend to death, however he was certainly affected by the previous nights activities.

    My friend says a lot of his colleagues still take drugs, its just they are smart enough to take them on their week off (3 weeks on, 1 week off workplace). Then remain sober on their weeks on. He, like myself thinks this is both the smart and fair thing to do. If you do decide to indulge during the week ‘off the clock’ and then get tested and fired well frankly you deserve it because in jobs like that you are putting other people’s safety at risk. They’re working 10 hour days, with heavy machinery and should be resting and sleeping between shifts.

  45. I used to work with someone who had passed the mandated drug test in order to get the job–several years ago–but who routinely came to work drunk and/or high on prescription pain meds. Those drug screens obviously do SUCH a good job of weeding out the abusers.

    It really shows my age that I’m old enough to remember when you didn’t have to pee in a cup to get a job.

  46. I’m with HollywoodBob. Your employer pays for your labour, not your body. Mandatory drug tests for employees not using heavy machinery or radioactive materials are intrusive and unwarranted.

    Darren Garrison, while drug use may be an indicator of possible poor judgement and life skills, surely there are other ways to judge someone’s employability (like, you know, their education, work history, and references, as well as when you actually meet them and interview them) that don’t involve violating their civil liberties. Plus, as Ugly Canuck pointed out, a positive drug test can indicate a single joint smoked on a whim or a life-long habit. If you’re trying to weed out irresponsible drug addicts this way, your net is too fine.

  47. If we’re going to start drug-testing people, can we at least start with ones that can do real damage by being brain-addled on the job?

    Like government employees…

    We can begin with Congressmen, Senators, Supreme Court Judges and The President, then work our way down the taxpayer-funded payroll.

    The results would be edifying.

  48. in other words, common sense.

    Yes common sense for those of us that have it. However after meeting some of my friends workmates I can assure you it’s not something in complete abundance in his industry. The person driving the vehicle obviously lacking even the smallest amount, it’s just a pity he wasn’t tested that morning and fired on the spot.

  49. I work at an agency where we deal with a lot of recently released felons who were under the influence of any number of drugs when they committed their crime, or committed it in order to obtain some. They have to abstain from drugs while on supervision or probation (I consider them has having forfeited their right to drink when they killed somebody while drunk), and they use things like the Whizzinator to avoid detection while using or drinking.

    I’m not arguing one way or another, but employee drug tests are far from the only application for something like this, so the suit may have actually originated in something a little more meaningful than someone wanting to smoke a little pot in his spare time while working at some office job.

  50. Now if only there were a test to distinguish whether you use heroin (illegal) or oxycodone (legal with prescription)

    Judging someone who uses drugs as “irresponsible” from an entire society of caffeine addicts is ridiculous!

  51. In the UK there is a corporate manslaughter charge, so a CEO can go to jail if, due his negligance, people die because of the actions of his company. There is an argument that CEO’s must therefore drug test those who are would be a significant danger if they are high. Train drivers, fork-lift truck drivers, doctors….

    There’s going to be a lot more drug testing, certainly in the UK, in the years to come.

  52. Darren Garrison @50 Anyone who is enough of a FOOL to do something like that to themselves isn’t someone worth trusting or employing.

    How about two very legal drugs: ethanol (alcohol) and nicotine? Both are very damaging. In fact, the World Health Organization reports tobacco use to be the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. The nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive and other compounds in tobacco are carcinogenic. See health effects of tobacco for more information.

    Then there’s alcohol, which is a central nervous system depressant with psychoactive effects. Over time, alcoholism can lead to liver disease, some types of cancer, immune disorders, and brain damage. (See http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/alcohol.htm for more information.)

    Anyone who chooses to do THAT to themselves is also a fool, and debatably not worth trusting or employing. Alcohol and tobacco are not necessarily any less harmful than illegal drugs, and may actually be more harmful than some. Legal does not equal safe. If drug testing is really about ensuring safety, why don’t employers test for alcohol and tobacco use?

  53. My advice: whenever possible, eat poppyseed bagels, hamentaschen, and other pastries. With a little effort, we can run up the incidence of false positives for opiate use to the point where that part of the test will be useless.

    Clif Marsiglio @14:

    It is always funny how the loudest of the civil libertarians always want rights for themselves without the ability for others to have the same sorts of rights.

    “I pay you to do certain work for me, during certain hours, to a certain standard of quality.” That’s the employer’s side of it. I don’t see how that means they’ve bought my off-hours. Do you want to explain how continuing to own something I haven’t sold amounts to claiming a right I don’t grant to others?

    … the employer should be able make any rule that they find is appropriate for there setting.

    No kidding? I see you’ve never been required to wear nylons, high heels, and makeup to a non-public-contact job.

    I object to laws giving employers these inappropriate rights because I know about some of the things employers have historically required of their employees. I take it you’d have no objection if the terms of your employement required you to attend church, or forbade you to attend political meetings or lectures, or stipulated who your family members could and couldn’t work for, or required you to get your employer’s permission to get married?

    JFlex @23:

    I would take the responsibility to find a corporation that fit my lifestyle.

    I take it you live in an area, and work in an industry, where it’s easy to change jobs.

  54. @Avram. Crap… you’re right, my error… I meant “at-will employment.” Bad brain, bad, bad brain.

    @Arkizzle. Many jobs require a basic background check and education check as well as the drug screen. You come up positive on the crime thing, and you may have a chance at entry-level, but not a management position.

    I’m not sure what your point is, though. Are you saying that if everyone should undergo drug testing in order to show adherence to drug laws, upper management should undergo ______ testing to show adherence to ___________ laws? Testing positive for illegal drugs proves you’ve broken the law, even if you haven’t been to court, tried, etc. If you can think of a test that employers could give to see if possible management hirees cheat on their taxes, beat their kids, engage in insider trading, etc… I think you could make a mint.

  55. Andy, my point was “broken a law” =/= “threat to the company”.

    You were drawing a conclusion between having-used-drugs and being-a-threat-to-the-company, due to having broken a law. My point was that lots of laws are broken every day, on all sorts of levels of importance, but somehow its ok to decide (arbitrarily) that because someone makes private life choices on their own time, we should say they are unworthy of a job.

    To illustrate this a little further, is not a parking violation or speeding ticket “willingness to break a law”? I think so. Is it indicative of a persons ability to perform their job? Probably not (disregarding the very limited circumstance where it might be, eg. a professionally driver etc.)

    Also, are you suggesting that someone who “beats their kids” isn’t allowed to have a job either? I don’t see the connection, but it feels like more private-life invasion.

  56. Arkizzle: OK. I’m clearer on your point now. Here’s what I think: given the choice between two similarly qualified employees for a job where private, illegal drug use wouldn’t have an explicit effect on job performance, an employer would still be wise to choose someone who didn’t use illegal drugs over one who did. On a case-by-case basis, you could argue that Person A, drug user, is a better, smarter, stronger, faster, etc. worker than Person B, non-user. Similarly, you could argue that keeping/breaking other laws might be even more germane to the job than drug use. But employment rules, especially at larger companies, deal in generalisms (word?) because, over a large number of hiring decisions, some issues provide a decent, measurable, relatively inexpensive metric.

    Hiring and training someone is an expense for a company. It can take months to recoup the expense of a new hire in terms of productivity, even for an ideal employee. My assumption (and it is only that) is that there’s enough of a correlation between illegal drug use and negative job impact that it makes sense to weed out those who test positive.

    It is certainly not a given that somebody that uses illegal narcotics is going to buy or sell or store them at work. It is, however, much less likely that someone who doesn’t use them will do so.

  57. Wait, your point isn’t even about job worthiness? It’s about the possibility of people maybe bringing their drugs to work.. o.. k..

    How often do you catch someone with a hip flask or a binge-stash in their desk?

    You make some practical points (mostly the things people tend to not like about large corporations, people-as-generalisms, policies based on dollar-returns alone, etc), but I still question the validity of drug-test vs the-right-candidate-for-a-job.

    An useless metric that is inexpensive, is still useless. I’d like to see comprehensive studies that back up these notions.

  58. human resource departments are one of the biggest mistakes of the past century. All they do now is cover the ass of the HR staff by insisting people have paper credentials and are craven enough to pee on command. “Why did we hire this idiot?” “Can’t blame me, I checked his papers.” Never mind he’s a git AND incompetent to boot. Drug “screening” (which is a lot like airport security theater in actual practice) is more to do with people keeping their useless jobs than it is to do with the actual worker.

  59. The market for these is not men wanting to beat a drug-test related to employment. Those drug tests rarely if ever require someone to witness the act of urination, and so there is no need for a fake penis to dispense the clean urine.

    The market for these is men on probation or parole who have to pass drug tests as part of their supervision. In this circumstance, the act of urination is usually required to be witnessed by the supervising officer.

    And that’s why the federal government got involved. Conspiring to help someone beat an employment-related drug test is not a federal crime. Conspiring to help someone on federal probation to beat a drug test is.

  60. Andy, there are lots of things an employer might conceivably like to know about a prospective employee. Does that mean they’re entitled to know it? It does not.

    To pick some blunt ones: Does/doesn’t put out. Is/isn’t desperate to get this job. Has/doesn’t have ambitions beyond this job. Sure, they might want to know; but it’s still none of their business.

  61. how so they make a “conspiracy” link with something sold mail order? Did the vendor sit down with the the parolee and conspire? More bullshit, probably on the order of how they screwed Tommy Chong by threatening his wife. DEA scumbags.

  62. Hope I’m not too late or irrelevant to chime in:

    Without getting into specifics, I work a fairly high-clearance job that I feel very lucky to have got right at this moment in history. (From what I’ve been told, they did not lay off anyone from my division during the Great Depression, & those few they did lay off during the ’70’s recession were rehired once it ended.) But even if external economic forces didn’t dictate that I should try to keep my job, the job itself is self evident as one which ought not be made any more difficult by intoxication of any sort while on the clock.

    Once out of that environment, off the payroll and not serving as a representative of my employer in any way, there is not a goddamn thing about my lifestyle they have any affair in, be it illegal or not, short of arrest. Thankfully, my employer does not piss test, which is amusing since I once needed to piss test for a copy editing job.

    Certainly, under current law as it is enforced or not, any employer has the right to do so, but only because any employee who refuses is seen as tacitly admitting to wrongdoing; it’s the corporate equivalent of that Bush-era value, “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.” What is less commonly understood is that this is an overt violation of the 5th Amendment; short of a subpoena, which would require evidence to be evaluated by a judge, a hassle even when there is just cause, there’s no legal way to compel the body’s testimony, which makes these “piss or walk” threats BLACKMAIL. So who is the bigger criminal: the employee who might toke a bit after work or the employer who circumvents constitutional law?

  63. Now that I’ve taken a look at the information (the document that sets out the charges in the case), the charge of conspiracy is primarily related to federally-administered drug tests in the transportation sector, although it also cites tests administered as a condition of probation.

    Interesting that someone above brings up Tommy Chong: Mary Beth Buchanan, the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted this case, is the same U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Tommy Chong. She was also allegedly involved in the scandal over the firing of seven U.S. Attorneys in 2006.

    The only good thing a civil libertarian could say about Buchanan is that she will be out of a job early next year.

    Nevertheless, my point holds that this case is not about evading drug tests by private employers, which is not a federal crime.

  64. @Arkizzle: You and I may just have to disagree. I’ve hired a couple dozen people over the years and interviewed, probably, more than 100. You get a resume, maybe a reference or two, and 1-2 hours to evaluate someone for a job. Usually there are quite a few people whose paper qualifications all match the requirements. You narrow it down to, maybe, 5-10 that you interview, and you go with both the quality of their work and how well they seem to fit with your crew, what you need, temperament, etc. A good new hire can be a huge asset, and a bad choice can ruin the vibe of a team that was doing well before.

    You use what information you can get within the bounds of the law and your employer’s policies and try to make a good decision. I don’t find the use of pre-hire drug testing or background, education and reference checks at all offensive or inappropriate. It’s one more set of data that can help differentiate candidates.

    @ Teresa: Would I ever ask anyone, “Do you put out?” or “Are you desperate to get this job?” etc. No. Those are entirely inappropriate questions. Any organization I’ve worked at would fire me if I asked those questions, and rightly so.

    Other things you don’t get to ask about: family status, religion, age, politics, race, health. Your argument doesn’t make sense to me. Because there are some things it’s inappropriate for me to know about a potential employee, therefore it’s inappropriate for me to know *anything* about them? What about checking references, job history and education qualifications? Is it a violation of their privacy to try to find out if they lied about previous employment? Lying isn’t against the law, usually. It’s free speech. But I’m not going to hire somebody who says they have 10 years experience and it turns out they don’t.

    @Takuan: please don’t generalize an entire class of workers. Very few HR people make the actual hiring decisions. They do their part of the process. The hiring manager makes the decision. Also, most of the HR folks I’ve known do much more to help protect workers and improve the workplace than just doing the “keeping the bad apple out” part of the job. They counsel people, provide information and assistance, train folks on good process, get involved with career development, etc. If you’ve had a bad experience with the department, I’m sorry. I haven’t.

    1. A big part of the problem is this fantasy of making the perfect hire. Which only exists because managers are unwilling or uneducated at how to fire someone without getting themselves into a lawsuit or a battle with the union. It’s actually easier to fire a worker in a union environment because the appropriate steps to manage someone out will be specified in writing. But most managers simply don’t have the training to have the confidence to do it. So they try to create a situation where they’ll never have to fire or discipline anyone. It doesn’t work. All it does is make the hiring process hostile and antagonistic. It’s pretty similar to zero tolerance policies in schools. In the absence of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, there are lots of unbreakable rules. It’s a crappy way to run a business.

      1. And…the human resources departments are frequently the biggest problem. It’s pretty much the norm now for businesses to farm out their hiring to HR companies. HR firms may charge per head or a set an annual fee based on the size of the business. In either case, their bottom line is dependent on minimizing transactions. It’s no different than receiving generic health care because insurance companies pay per head. It’s just a cattle call.

  65. Andy @93, you’re not the only person in this conversation who’s hired and fired employees. I’ve done it too. It’s hard work, but when you’re management it’s part of the job.

    Here’s a question for you: how do you figure that “Do you put out” or “Are you desperate for this job” are things it’s inappropriate for you to know about an employee, but “What do you do in your off-hours” is? You say that as though the distinction is self-evident, but it’s not evident to me, or to a lot of other people in this conversation. So: where’s the line, and why is it drawn there?

    By the way: you list “health” as a subject that’s inappropriate for you to know. If someone tests positive for barbiturates or benzodiazepines, does that mean they like to get stoned on downers, or are they managing anxiety or a seizure disorder? Your test can’t tell the difference. The only way to find out is to ask them for information they ought not have to give.

    I wouldn’t dream of asking a potential employee to give me a urine sample unless the job required them to be on-call 24 hours a day, operating heavy machinery or making split-second decisions, or unless they were doing something like solo long-distance trucking, where I could neither see them work nor evaluate their minute-to-minute performance. But you know, most jobs aren’t like that.

    I laughed when License Farm @87 mentioned having to take a piss test for a job as a copyeditor. I’ve employed lots of copyeditors. The only relevant piss test in their case is whether they can refrain from pissing on very bad manuscripts. Given a choice between a copyeditor who thinks The Elements of Style is an authoritative book on style but who tests clean for drug use, and one who can distinguish between the first and second editions of Fowler but tests positive for THC, I’d take the latter in a split second. (In fact, I did take the latter. He was great.)

    I can give you one theoretical reason and several practical reasons why I think it’s a bad idea. Here’s the theoretical reason, applicable to all: their off-hours don’t belong to me. I’m not paying for that time, so I don’t own it. I’m also not paying for their private lives. All I’ve got a claim on is the work they do during office hours. If what they’re doing in their off-hours is affecting their performance, that is my concern; but what concerns me is that something’s affecting their work, not what’s causing it. (Unless it’s some privileged thing like illness or having a baby, of course.)

    Sure, I’ve seen employees who turn up in impaired condition often enough for it to affect their overall work. Most often, it was because they were habitually not getting enough sleep. That can be caused by partying too hard too often, but it can also be caused by taking on outside freelancing, or putting in way too many hours organizing their parish’s open-air weekend retreats, or by disorderly habits plus a mulish refusal to admit that they’re no longer nineteen and can’t pull all-nighters whenever they feel like it. The point isn’t what causes it. The point is that they’re letting their off-hours activities affect their job performance.

    In the meantime, an employee whose drug use is hitting troublesome levels is going to have plenty of other problems in their life. If someone is working for me, I’m not going to need a drug test to tell me they’re spiraling down into chaos. I’d lots rather have a test that warns me that they’ve become a problem gambler.

    As Antinous says, there’s no such thing as the perfect hire. I’ll add that there’s no such thing as a trouble-free employee, whether freelance or in-house. They all require handholding and tinkering and lots of attention.

    So here’s the completely non-theoretical reason I don’t like drug testing: I’ve seen lots of hirings and some firings, and a lot of work getting done in between. Testing people’s urine for drugs might have precluded some great hires, but it wouldn’t have done a thing to protect us from the real headaches and problem cases.

    As I said earlier, I’d much rather have a test that would tell me that someone’s got a gambling problem. While I’m wishing, I’d also like a test that would tell me whether an applicant is a Borderline Personality Disorder case, how habitual it is for them to tell the truth, what strategies they use for conflict resolution, how they characteristically screw up (and what their favorite excuses are when they do it), how much thinking they do about the work patterns of people whose jobs touch on theirs, and whether they automatically assume it’s someone else’s responsibility to help tidy up the shared conference room after meetings.

    Come to think of it, wouldn’t we all?

  66. how many employers insist on regular medical screening of staff to make sure their jobs aren’t hurting their health?

  67. Takuan, one of the bits I started then cut out of my last comment here was asking how often employers fret that their working conditions are screwing up their employees’ ability to do stuff during their off hours.

  68. @Teresa: Couple things. First, I never said I was the only person on this string who’s had to hire/fire people, and I’m in no way complaining about that aspect of my job. It is hard, as you say, and can be both frustrating and rewarding, as most hard work is.

    I can’t argue your theoretical objection: if you believe that nothing a person does outside of work should have a bearing on a hiring decision, we will just have to disagree. I place a high value on privacy rights, too. But testing for illegal behavior that can, in an actuarial sense, predict negative consequences doesn’t ring my “privacy violation” alert bell.

    One study I found:


    Synopsis: in a long-term study, postal workers who tested positive for illegal drug use before being hired had higher absenteeism (1.5x for pot and >4x for cocaine), a 77% higher rate of involuntary turnover (after 3.3 years), were 2.7x more likely to have an EAP referral and filed 51% more health care claims. Calculating for absenteeism and turnover alone, the cost savings for not hiring a drug user was $19,900 over 10 years.

    Is this conclusive? No. Does it mean that any individual hire might be a better choice than an other? No. If you gave me the choice between someone who smoked pot on the weekend vs. someone who (as you say) had a gambling problem or who drank a six-pack every night, I’d personally choose the weekend pot smoker, even though the other behaviors are legal.

    And while a company can make hiring decisions based on all kinds of reasons having nothing to do with the law (bad fit, temper, personality, tenure, etc.), the intersection of illegal drug use being always illegal (by definition), a sometimes predictor of work-related problems, and fairly easily testable leads me to believe it’s not unreasonable for a company to test.

    I’m also not saying it’s wrong for you, or any company, to make the decision *not* to test. If you think that the invasion of privacy, the possible morale issues, the possible false-positives, etc. outweigh the benefits of testing, that’s fine. As long as you’re not legally discriminating against people, I think companies’ various hiring and employment policies are signs of healthy competition for workers.

    As to a company’s concern over the general health and welfare of employees, well that’s going to vary by company as much as any individual’s productivity. I’ve worked at places that made no effort to conceal their wish to squeeze every last drop of work from you with no concern for health, welfare or personal life. I don’t work there anymore. My current employer, though, has shown both systematic and specific concerns for employee welfare, to the point where tenure there is incredibly high. They are reaping the rewards of an (I feel) incredibly humane, wise and wide-ranging concern for the overall lives of their people. It shows, it is tangible, and it has clear benefits for both employees and the company. If you work someplace that doesn’t provide you with a level of care and concern you feel you (or anyone) deserves… look elsewhere, or make the case to your employer that you have ideas for positive changes.

  69. the individuals rights under the law of the land should always trump synthetic person’s rights (like corporations). Who is society for? Pay attention or one day you may find yourself indentured to an AI.

  70. @Takuan: I agree. Problem is, most corporations are made up of people who decide what is best for all of them with respect to the corporation.

    A corporation doesn’t have the right to take away any of your rights, except as they apply to your employment with them. They can’t stop you from exercising freedom of speech, assembly, religion, etc… except at work.

    We give up all kinds of rights in all kinds of places in order to benefit from shared conveniences, goals and benefits. My right to free speech is (in most cases) severely abridged by my desire to see a movie in a public theater.

    You have (again, in most cases) the absolute right to stop working somewhere you find objectionable. If you think a company’s rules (not laws, mind you) are excessive for your tastes, you can quit. By the same token, if you don’t follow their rules, they have no legal rights other than to fire you (unless, obviously, you broke the law, too).

  71. Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  72. or the United Nations:
    Article 12
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

  73. I think I do.

    My 4th Amendment rights don’t include voluntary actions on my part made in order to obtain access to non-legally guaranteed privileges.

    I have no right, legal or constitutional, to work for any particular company. Any employment agreement is, essentially, a contractual matter. A legal contract cannot ask me to break the law, but it can require adherence to certain behaviors that are legal but not, in a constitutional sense, required by law. For example, nothing in the law or the constitution says that I have to show up at work on time. I have the absolute *right* to sleep late. But if that violates an employment contract, I get fired.

    You’re implying, I think, that a drug test is an unreasonable search or interference with privacy. As long as the test is undertaken voluntarily, it is a contract issue, not a criminal or constitutional one. No rights involved. Unless, again, the company is asking me to do something illegal in the contract. There is nothing illegal at all (in some states) about a company saying, “If you want the job, pee in the cup.” And there is nothing illegal at all about me saying, “Never mind. I’d don’t want your dang job.”

    No rights violated… in some states (see here for helpful chart):


    there are laws that say you can’t test or put more requirements on it. If that’s the case, then obviously it ain’t gonna happen.

    States rights, eh?

  74. I have a prescription for a heavy opiate, because I suffer from occasional migraines. I am legally permitted to hammer down the equivalent of 18 or 20 beers and a shot of whiskey and, presuming I can still perform my minimum job function, my employer is not permitted to say bukus about it. Because my particular problem has been recognized by the priests of medication (unlike, say, existential angst, which I do not suffer from) I get to be judged on my actions and not by a blood test.

    I have a friend who went to a concert and smoked some opium, which he does not normally do… he was bummed out because his father had died. No one was harmed at the time. My friend got drug-tested three days later, though, without warning as part of a new policy implementation, and lost his job. At no point did he do anything wrong while working, and at no point did he fail to do his job, and his management begged for him to be able to attend rehab instead of being fired, but no-go; opiate users are not eligible for rehab in their policy, just alcoholics and potheads.

    I suppose it’s great to be part of a privileged aristocracy that gets to do what other people are punished for… but I’m not looking forward to being the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

    We used to have a simpler test before we arbitrarily oppressed people without regard for their abilities… instead of checking your blood for chemicals, we’d look at your skin and see if it contained too much melanin.

  75. companies getting away with violating rights so far does not make them right. Just needs some more litigation to set things straight. As much and as long as it takes.

  76. @Antinous. We’ve stopped actually discussing the point now, eh?

    In the US, “If you want the job you have to have sex with me” is quid-pro-quo sexual harassment and is illegal.

    @Anonymous. I get migraines, too, btw. But the argument that recreational (or anti-existential angst) drug use should be treated the same as the use of legal medication falls flat with me. As does the comparison of anti-drug policies and racism.

    1. andyhavens,

      You’re conflating inertia with ethics. Your argument is that existing law is intrinsically correct by virtue of the fact that it exists now.

  77. Takuan: No. Alcohol use is now legal, but the harm from Prohibition lingers on. But, likewise, the good done by my position goes away, too. If you think (as you do) that the current situation does more harm than good, then, yes; make pot legal, and people can smoke it without regard to drug testing.

    If marijuana becomes legal, my guess is that lots more people will use it and the stats for how its use affects work will disappear inside all the other myriad things that can go wrong or right with the hiring process. Just as the stats for alcohol use, general health, creative napping, etc. disappear, as they can’t be measured.

    Antinous: No I’m not. And no it isn’t. I didn’t say either of those things nor nothing like them. If you want to actually discuss the topic, fine. If you want to keep putting words in my mouth, not as fine.

    My argument is that rights are governed by laws and that many other behaviors are governed by other sets of rules. Smoking pot is not currently a right. Your right to protection from illegal search and seizure related to pot smoking has nothing to do with you voluntarily agreeing to a procedure in order to get a job.

  78. The problem is that most drug tests do not measure to see if someone is on drugs. they measure to see if there are any metabolites (left over digested ie. metabolized drug by products) in the person’s system. The by products disappear with a half life dependent on the type of drug. This is simple biochemistry. Water soluble things are vastly different than fat soluble products. So drug tests do not measure the active drug chemical, but the by products of past drug use. What someone does on their own time is okay with me, but we can’t measure fast and accurate enough to tell if someone is on drugs by a urine test. Requires blood. And breath testers for alcohol is fairly reliable, but is based on the assumption that the breath alcohol is 1/55,000 the concentration of the alcohol in the blood. The breath test does reflect the drug level at the time of the measurement where piss testing only measures the waste products after the body processes it, detoxifies it and then excretes it. We are going about this the wrong way. Punish use in sensitive jobs, not past use on own time with no active drugs in system.

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