Should Employers Require Marijuana Drug Testing?

We've all been there before: you have the opportunity to get a job, but they require a drug test.  Now you must decide whether or not to continue pursuing the job or find an alternate way to pass the test.  Is the job worth it?  Can I pass the test?  Should I detox?  Suddenly all of these questions are running through your head until you ultimately feel that your marijuana use should not keep you from getting a job.  Should employers require marijuana drug testing?

URINE DRUG TESTING

First things first, let's figure out what exactly these urine drug tests are looking for.  According to NORML, urine tests only detect the nonactive metabolites in the plant, which in no way determine impairment.  An occasional user may result in a positive test for up to 1-5 days after use, a regular user who smokes more than once a week for up to 1-3 weeks, and a heavy user who smokes more than once a day for up to 4 weeks to 3 months.  Most drug tests are imposed upon people on short notice, giving them the option to either refuse the test, attempt to pass or alter their urine in various ways.

A common urine altering method is detox, an ingestible solution that disguises marijuana use for urine tests.  Many of these products have no scientific basis, which raises the uncertainty of their results.  It has been said that activated charcoal could help lower metabolite levels for long-term users if taken over the course of days or weeks.  Another unproven method is taking lecithin, a food emulsifier, over extended periods of time.  It has been suggested, though, that these products have the ability of altering your natural body chemistry in order to disguise the marijuana in your system.

Another method is using another individuals urine who would not turn up positive for marijuana use.  However, beware that using someone else's urine is extremely risky and unforgiven if caught.  Clean, dehydrated urine can be purchased from many distributors - some authentic, others, not so much.  Be advised that labs are sure to check that the temperature of the urine that of a normal body (91-97ƒ).

To avoid the risk of using urine other than your own, there is always the option of increasing your water intake, exercising and eating healthy.  SIDENOTE: there is no evidence that vinegar, niacin, or vitamin C help dilute your urine.  Increasing the amount of water you drink will make your urine more clear, which will also raise a red flag with the lab.  NORML advises taking a large dose (50-100 milligrams) of vitamin B-2 before the test to keep the color of your urine yellow.

DO YOU THINK EMPLOYERS SHOULD CHOOSE TO URINE TEST FOR MARIJUANA BEFORE OR DURING EMPLOYMENT?

 

BLOOD AND SALIVA TESTING

A better way of determining impairment would be to conduct either a blood or saliva test.  Blood tests are usually given in circumstances such as car accidents and sobriety checks because they can detect THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.  A positive blood test can detect marijuana use up to a few hours earlier, and a few days earlier for heavy users.  A saliva test can discover marijuana use up to 2-4 hours prior.  If you have the option, have no smoked in a few days and are not currently under the influence, you may want to opt for a blood or saliva test.  However, if you have smoked recently, a urine test may be the way to go for you.

DO YOU THINK EMPLOYERS SHOULD REQUIRE BLOOD OR SALIVA TESTING?

HAIR TESTING

Don't be fooled, shaving your head will not reduce your risk of having your hair tested.  Hair can be taken from anywhere on your body to be tested for drug use.  Usually, hair drug tests are conducted to detect other drugs like cocaine.  But, hair testing can also detect marijuana use although it is not very well established.  Typically, hair testing is racially biased towards Africans and those with thick, dense hair. Hair tests claim to be able to detect drug use for months or for as long as your hair has been growing.

ARE HAIR DRUG TESTS APPROPRIATE FOR EMPLOYMENT DRUG SCREENING?

 

Quite the contrary to popular belief, there happen to be a large group of responsible, hard working herbalists that are completely capable of performing job duties with the understanding that marijuana use or being under the influence is prohibited at work. Therefore, with the above stated facts, do you think marijuana drug testing should be a requirement for obtaining a job?