Employees Should Be Judged By The Quality Of Their Work, Not On The Quality Of Their Urine

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 28, 2010

    [Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s media advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up for NORML’s free e-zine here.]

    Workplace urine testing programs are a poor method for identifying employees who are under the influence, and do not significantly reduce job accident rates, according to a study published in the scientific journal Addiction.

    Investigators at the University of Victoria in British Columbia reviewed 20 years of published literature pertaining to the efficacy of workplace drug testing, with a special emphasis on marijuana – the most commonly detected drug.

    Researchers found: “[I]t is not clear that heavy cannabis users represent a meaningful job safety risk unless using before work or on the job; urine tests have poor validity and low sensitivity to detect employees who represent a safety risk; drug testing is related to reductions in the prevalence of cannabis positive tests among employees, but this might not translate into fewer cannabis users; and urinalysis has not been shown to have a meaningful impact on job injury/accident rates.”

    Authors concluded, “Urinalysis testing is not recommended as a diagnostic tool to identify employees who represent a job safety risk from cannabis use.”

    Urinalysis detects the presence of inert, fat soluble byproducts of marijuana, the most common of which remains present in urine for days, weeks, or even months after past use – long after any psychoactive effects of the drug have worn off.

    59 responses to “Employees Should Be Judged By The Quality Of Their Work, Not On The Quality Of Their Urine”

    1. Karla Thomas says:

      Most of the cannabis users are your better workers in my opinion. They need their job just like anyone else, and are more likely to practice safety guidelines in the work place, than those employees that do not ingest the plant. I just notice this from years of being employed and knowing who does and does not partake.

    2. Tyler Mendez says:

      I totally agree.

    3. Just let me be me! says:

      Man I went through this around 10 years ago. I was driving a steel hauling truck up in Indiana. I did that job for 9 years straight and called off work twice. Once day because I was actually sick and the second day when my daughter was born. Suffice to say my attendance was extraordinary. No wrecks or driving infractions of any kind. I NEVER was impaired while driving that truck.
      Well I made the mistake of dating a “women” who worked in the office. Actually the mistake was telling her I smoked pot. After we broke up, she dropped a dime on me and suggested to the boss to random piss test me.
      Of course I came up positive and I went from being a model employee to one that could not be trusted behind the wheel of a truck. All from one single piss in a cup! Oddly enough the weed I had at the time was some crappy ditch weed that grows wild up there. Weed leftover from WWII when the government wanted the farmers to grow it for hemp. So it wasn’t even high grade stuff I got screwed around with.
      I wasn’t fired, but I was not allowed to drive the truck anymore. I was told I could work in the warehouse, but my pay was cut substantially. Furthermore I was required to attend drug counseling, and submit to a piss test every month for the next year and a half.
      I played the game for a few months, but finally quit, moved to Texas and became an IT dude and never looked back since. The ironic part is they took a VERY safe driver off the streets and replaced me with a 20 year old youngster that did not have the experience I had. I hope he worked out alright.
      These morons who come up with these absurd anti marijuana laws pat themselves on the back and tell themselves they are doing something good for the country as they drive home to their white picket fence houses, when in reality they are making absolute jack-asses of themselves.

    4. is this not what we have been saying all along? and will someone please send this to all the major employees in the country and to all the labor union’s international offices! urin tests are inaccurate and a complete invasion of privacy.

    5. jonathan says:

      I agree completely. In my line of work, I would certainly lose my job if I was to fail a urinalysis. I have an outstanding safety record of my five years of employment. It is a shame because if my company was to lose me becuz of this it would put them out hard. I have lots of responsibilities which I do well. My reviews are great and I like my job.

    6. Luke says:

      Yet another study that tells the prohibs they have no common sense. I tell ya, people call cannabis consumers filthy druggies after sniffing around in our bladders. Now tell me, who is nastier – someone who smokes a little pot, or someone who puts their nose directly into our piss?

    7. The Oracle says:

      H e l l o. It’s only common sense. SNAP!

      A bundle of studies that reach this same conclusion are going to be what it takes to bombard prohibition.

    8. tman says:

      One of my previous jobs was a call center. It was a customer service job. While I was working there, I began experimenting with Cannabis for the first time. Our scores were largely based upon customer surveys. Immediately after becoming a regular user of cannabis, my customer service scores nearly doubled and I became one of our top agents.

    9. Mark says:

      45 days in my case, daily user 37 years.

    10. John Smoke says:

      I’ve been saying this for years and years… It’s bs, and has always been bs. I’m glad other people are starting to realize it as well.