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Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!dino!ux1.cso.uiuc.edu!iuvax!hagerp
From: hag...@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu (Paul Hager)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Drug test falacy #1
Keywords: drug tests
Message-ID: <50664@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu>
Date: 12 Jul 90 17:21:47 GMT
Distribution: alt
Organization: Indiana University, Bloomington
Lines: 23
Posted: Thu Jul 12 18:21:47 1990


Consider one of the favorite justifications for drug testing:
making sure that an intoxicated person doesn't engage in
activity that endangers someone else -- i.e., drivers, pilots,
air traffic controllers, nuclear plant operators, etc.
Drug testing offers NO PROTECTION AT ALL.  The reason is
simple: there is a significant time lag between the 
administration of a test and the receipt of the results.
What is the typical turnaround time?  Given that urine
samples must be sent to a lab for analysis and to ensure
against false positives a second level test may be required,
clearly we are talking about days in most cases, more in others.
Certainly, someone who is intoxicated, takes a drug test, and
then moves to a radar screen to land planes has NOT been
stopped from endangering others.

This is yet another -- and I would say compelling -- argument
in favor of impairment testing rather than drug testing.
-- 
paul hager		hag...@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu

"I would give the Devil benefit of the law for my own safety's sake."
                       --from _A_Man_for_All_Seasons_ by Robert Bolt

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!shelby!rutgers!uwm.edu!rpi!
zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!wuarchive!decwrl!ucbvax!agate!darkstar!
ucscb.UCSC.EDU!cthulhu
From: cth...@ucscb.UCSC.EDU (Wayne Tvedt)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Re: Drug test falacy #1
Summary: non-issue
Keywords: drug tests
Message-ID: <5109@darkstar.ucsc.edu>
Date: 13 Jul 90 08:50:45 GMT
References: <50664@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu>
Sender: use...@darkstar.ucsc.edu
Distribution: alt
Organization: Students Against Gravity
Lines: 34
Posted: Fri Jul 13 09:50:45 1990


I'm against testing, too, but this is a red herring.  Paul Hager writes:
>Consider one of the favorite justifications for drug testing:
>making sure that an intoxicated person doesn't engage in
>activity that endangers someone else -- i.e., drivers, pilots,
>air traffic controllers, nuclear plant operators, etc.
>Drug testing offers NO PROTECTION AT ALL.  The reason is
>simple: there is a significant time lag between the 
>administration of a test and the receipt of the results.
>[Because piss results will come in long after Joe has
>already ploughed a forklift into a line of children.] 

  So much for simple reasoning.  Even the drug warriors never claimed
that piss tests would detect intoxication _only while working_ or provide
immediate feedback.  The intent is obviously to detect the _user_ of
drugs and not so much whether he did drugs at a particular time (and
only at work.)  (And, it is not just on-the-job intoxication that is
suspected of impairing performance.)  Such reckless screening will in
fact scoop up a few on-the-job stoners along with many other on-the-couch
users and false positives.  This is very crude protection, and I don't
happen to think it is efficient to fire hundreds of maybes for every
stoned forklift driver, but it is more than "NO PROTECTION AT ALL."  
  
  As for actual on-premise use -- well, that's what the dogs are for. :-)
  
  What the drug warriors _do_ profess between the lines -- that any use
no matter how far removed from jobtime indicates in the user a weakness
or moral or mental character that deserves that person to be terminated
or purified through rehabilitation -- is far more odious, so I don't see
why you had to pick on an issue that they don't raise in order to argue
against drug testing. 
-- 
_ _   _ _         _ _   _ _                        _ _   _ _         _ _   _ _
Wayne Tvedt    cth...@ucscb.ucsc.edu    ..!ucbvax!ucscc!{ucscb,ucscf}!cthulhu

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!hoptoad!gnu
From: gnu@hoptoad.uucp (John Gilmore)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Xerox drug tests
Message-ID: <11592@hoptoad.uucp>
Date: 17 Jul 90 05:09:13 GMT
References: <50664@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu> <5109@darkstar.ucsc.edu>
Organization: Cygnus Support, Palo Alto
Lines: 31
Posted: Tue Jul 17 06:09:13 1990

cth...@ucscb.UCSC.EDU (Wayne Tvedt) wrote:
>                                  Even the drug warriors never claimed
> that piss tests would detect intoxication _only while working_ or provide
> immediate feedback.  The intent is obviously to detect the _user_ of
> drugs and not so much whether he did drugs at a particular time (and
> only at work.)

Someone pointed out to me last month, in conjunction with the drug
tests that Xerox has been requiring of candidates for jobs, that the
test is designed to weed out *people who can't stop using drugs for
a period of time*.  In other words, if you can't quit marijuana for
a month to get the job, they don't want you.  (Ditto for the periods
in which they can test for various other substances.)

This is a slightly new angle, but it has most of the same old problems.
Why should someone *have* to stop recreational use of marijuana to get
a job at Xerox?  What does it have to do with xeroX?

Another rumor was that the policy was pushed by employees at a factory
in the Northeast, where the two or three other major companies in town
had started requiring drug tests and thus that Xerox factory was
getting all the "druggies" applying.  But other folks have claimed that
the policy came down from top management, the CEO David Kearns in
particular.  The "factory" theory doesn't explain why the tests are
company-wide.

Anybody know more?
-- 
John Gilmore      {sun,pacbell,uunet,pyramid}!hoptoad!gnu        g...@toad.com
 The Gutenberg Bible is printed on hemp (marijuana) paper.  So was the July 2,
  1776 draft of the Declaration of Independence.  Why can't we grow it now?

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