Americans are failing drug testing

*** This is not a "oh no I smoke pot all the time and have a drug test for my SA gig coming up, how do I cheat it?" drug test type post as I've seen on here before.

But according to an article on CNN there are several jobs going to refugees due to Americans failing drug tests.

This got me thinking, is a drug test technically an invasion of privacy?

I haven't been drug tested for my summer internship yet (Consulting)

Did you get drug tested for your summer or full time gig?

Do you think drug tests should be allowed?

If I were an employer I would probably be ok with employing someone who tests positive for Marijuana. I do not smoke, however if it does not effect their productivity at work and they never show up to work stoned, I do not really care what they do in their free time that doesn't impact society as a whole. (No American Psycho type ish going on in my firm)


Comments (57)

Apr 11, 2017 - 3:28pm
BobTheBaker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Employers shouldn't be allowed to drug test unless the job puts others in danger if you're high/ you are in the medical industry which interacts with pharmaceuticals. Why a McDonald's cashier needs to be drug tested is beyond me. Of course if you show up to work clearly on substances then they should have the right to drug test you and fire you if you fail the test regardless of profession.


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Apr 13, 2017 - 2:27am
TechBanking, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"Clearly on substances"

And where is that line drawn?

When it is noticeable and / or affecting productivity. I run a tech company in CO and would never consider broad drug testing because most of my devs smoke weed, but we fired a guy recently because it was an obvious problem. It's not that hard to see a problem. Screening out people because of weed is nonsense, but if you aren't productive, you are out. Simple as that.

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Apr 11, 2017 - 4:49pm
Blank999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Employers can do whatever they want. If someone can't stop taking drugs to get a job, Fuck the. They also test for alcohol. I know one bank that tests for nicotine. Just stop until you get the job and move on.

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Apr 11, 2017 - 4:58pm
Blank999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Insurance id imagine. End of the day this isn't a drug test, it's an idiot test. You know it's coming. You can control the substance. Simply stop. If someone is so obstinate about their rights to do drugs that they won't refrain for a test, do you really want them?

Are they going to refrain before a client event? Or a trip? It's more a test on maturity than anything else.

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Apr 12, 2017 - 9:49pm
Ehmerica, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can see testing for booze - there is really no excuse for fucking that up. Nicotine is overkill, it is legal and does not impart anyone to a point of being able to not perform.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
Apr 11, 2017 - 5:14pm
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

there's no constitutional protection for invasion of privacy. you could also say that checking people's credit reports and backgrounds is invasion of privacy.

unless they discriminate on you for a protected status, keep the gummint out of it. I am all for drugs, I think people should be allowed to do what they want, but I'm also all for employers testing on whatever they want.

Apr 11, 2017 - 5:19pm
BobTheBaker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Credit checks are another thing I'm against. Canada manages to prohibit both these practices and somehow their country hasn't gone up in drug-fueled flames.


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Apr 11, 2017 - 5:20pm
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm against it too, but this sets a dangerous precedent if the gov't can tell you who you can and cannot hire. if this goes to the supreme court and they decide that credit score, drug use, and attire are protected classes, then fine. but until then...while I agree in principal, I have to side with the companies on this one

Apr 11, 2017 - 5:50pm
The Stranger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Unfortunately, the 'other countries don't/do [insert thing]' test doesn't work as a legal principle.

Life's is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Apr 13, 2017 - 2:32am
TechBanking, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Credit checks are another thing I'm against. Canada manages to prohibit both these practices and somehow their country hasn't gone up in drug-fueled flames.

What if they extend it to hiring dumbass morons who aren't qualified to do the job?

Apr 11, 2017 - 5:43pm
Greg Marmalard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Look, companies take a huge risk when they hire someone because more than likely no one really knows the candidate. Running background checks, looking at credit scores, doing drug tests, contacting references, going through your social media, etc. is just an attempt to make sure the person the company is hiring is not a delinquent/idiot/con artist. These aren't supposed to be invasions into your privacy, the company is just trying to see if you're worth hiring.

If I were hiring, anyone that doesn't agree to any of the above searches I mentioned is not getting hired. If you want the job, you'll submit to the tests/checks because outside of the drug test, you can pretty easily collect the other info so saying that you deny access because of privacy is either naive or stupid.

Apr 12, 2017 - 10:18am
BobTheBaker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nothing wrong with going through references/ social media and running a criminal background check. The issue I have with drug tests is that it is basically a weed test, hard drugs like cocaine etc. are out of your system in a matter of a day to three days. So really it does nothing to catch drugs that actually matter, it is simply an idiotic formality testing a "drug" that should definitely be legal. As for credit checks, many people go through hardships and/ or are not financially intelligent so they don't manage their credit well. We shouldn't compound those hardships by denying jobs to them based on that. Jobs should be based on your previous quality of work/ resume, that's it.


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Apr 12, 2017 - 10:32am
Greg Marmalard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't see a big problem with weed, I don't smoke it, but if it doesn't affect your performance than whatever. That said, if you're interviewing for a job, you should know that a drug test will likely come shortly after getting an offer. It's a test for self control and situational intelligence. Your employer is likely going to take a see no evil hear no evil type approach to weed as long as you pass the initial test.

Credit checks are a little more of a gray area, imo. First off, if you have any defaults/evictions, you should definitely disclose that up front. I'm sure most companies are more than willing to overlook those if they understand what happened but if it's not disclosed then that would be a red flag.

Apr 13, 2017 - 10:26am
Sil, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just to play devil's advocate, if so much "behind the scenes" testing is needed to evaluate a candidate, don't you think the company should instead spend its time coming up with a more robust interview process? If my employer needs to view my Facebook to evaluate my candidacy, they clearly need to spend some more time developing the proper questions to ask me in an interview process.

Best Response
Apr 12, 2017 - 10:25am
Frieds, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Here's the answer - Unions and Transportation-related industries aside because Unions have these issues handled directly in their contracts and Transportation industries are regulated by the FAA/Federal Highway Administration, etc. who have a high degree of oversight - companies can do what they want on the matter for pre-employment screening simply on the basis of wanting a "drug-free" environment. States and the courts recognize that these can be intrusive, but they do not explicitly violate privacy. As a result, state laws can restrict how and when drug screening is done, but it's not viewed as an invasion of privacy or discriminatory for the most part. Why? Because employees are subject to it as a condition of accepting the job. Their insurance rates (Workers Comp and health insurance) benefit by screening out employees who test positive for illicit drug use. Likewise, if you look at the litigious culture in today's society, we're so god damned sue happy that this is a first line measure to protect the company if something goes wrong.

The most important reason why it's not an invasion of privacy is because you are agreeing to take the drug test. You give up your right to claim invasion of privacy (provided only a drug test is done and the sample is not used to screen anything else) because you've waived the right. The best comparison is with a DUI. Driving is a privilege and not a right. Part of the privilege means that you have given "implied consent", by getting your driver's license you agree to follow the driving laws of the state you are currently in despite not formally saying that you will. If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, by having a driver's license, you've agreed to submit to a DUI test. If you don't, then you can get hit with the fullest extent of the law as a result of the DUI stop. Drug testing works the same way in you have consented to the drug test as a condition of employment and refusal to take one (revoking consent) means that you can get the fullest extent of what the company can do - which is revoke their offer.

If you want to make the invasion of privacy argument, then it comes down to ensuring that the screen is solely used for the purpose of drug testing. If it's not used for that purpose and additional testing is done without consent, then that can be viewed as a violation of your rights. And then there are the productivity arguments. For the love of me, I don't understand how much potential productivity is lost as a result of drug testing policies.

I've been drug tested before for summer jobs and full-time offers. It's just part of the process as far as I'm concerned. And the answer is yes. I do think that drug tests should be allowed. At the end of the day, they have their liability to worry about - and if you're that concerned about weed that you can't stop smoking for a month or two to make sure you pass free and clear, then it shows to me that you have zero self control, which would worry me as an employer.

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Apr 12, 2017 - 8:40pm
TippyTop11, what's your opinion? Comment below:

We're Americans, we don't do well on tests.

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
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Apr 12, 2017 - 9:13pm
Billion with a B, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly, the current policy is fine. Already, if you show up to work intoxicated (causing you to be disruptive and unproductive) in most cases you're gone instantly, per the drug policy. By drug testing in the beginning, the firm makes it clear their position on intoxication in the workplace. Most private sector jobs don't do random drug tests, so it's pretty clear they don't have a big knot in their balls over personal use of drugs. Just be responsible. I mean can you really not split away from your drugs long enough to pass a drug test?

Apr 12, 2017 - 9:41pm
Ehmerica, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have not had to take a drug test after the military and really don't care what someone does in their free time. However, if I am going to be paying somebody they better provide results. So if you smoke a joint before work and are kicking ass, I really don't care. However, if you are fucking up, then screw it. While I was in college I worked with methheads who performed very well. It was no secret, one even dropped a bag of ice on the floor. Everyone ignored it and the manager just threw it away.

Ultimately, I do think companies should be able to drug test. I do not see what the big deal is. You have to get to a point where they are interested in you by providing a detailed look at your education and experience. If you don't want an employer to drug test you then do not apply for that job or move on to the next one. The fact that people are freaked out by taking a drug test amazes me.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
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Apr 13, 2017 - 10:16am
differentialequations12, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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