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Just because the court says you can, doesn’t mean you should

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a company can fire a worker for their use of marijuana off the job, even if there’s no evidence that they were impaired on the job.

Now, without even getting into the nuances of the case too far (the ruling hinged on the fact that marijuana is illegal federally, which could change in the future), there’s a more important point to be made here.

Companies that do so are shooting themselves in the foot. They send a message that they do not care about their employees, and that they have poor management skills, something which sends up red flags to competent potential employees.

The rush to drug testing by companies has reversed as more and more are discovering that they were sold a bill of goods by the drug testing industry and that there’s no evidence that drug testing provides a more stable or safer workforce. In fact, the more we learn, the more likely it is that it actually does the reverse — sure, it may weed out a few idiots who can’t figure out how to pass an employment drug test, but it’s more likely to deter qualified candidates, while giving administration a false sense of security that they’re actually doing personnel management, when that’s nothing of the kind.

I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had the ability to stick to my principles and never work for a company that drug-tests. Not everyone is able to do so, but I think more and more, particularly as states move toward legalization, it will become a significant factor in the employment decision, and companies will quickly realize that spending a lot of money on drug testing an inferior work force will not make them competitive.

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13 comments to Just because the court says you can, doesn’t mean you should

  • cy klebs

    The New York Times newspaper is still a customer of screening of prospective employees, if that can be repudiated, lets see it!

  • Mr_Alex

    Hello Prohibs

    I think you are gonna enjoy it when I drive a Panzer IV after you don’t worry it will be televised live on TV where a tank chases down Prohibs for fun

  • Frank W.

    I’ve been saying that drug testing is the most intractable turd-wedge in prohibition. The will of the people is fine for changing laws but changing The Corporation is another matter.

    • kaptinemo

      Well, the system will change, if only because it must to survive.

      The growing public support for re-legalized cannabis is stripping away the faux moral camouflage the prohibitionists were able to use to disguise their sweet little racket. The malevolent machinery that the camouflage covered is becoming more visible by the day…as is who is operating it, and why.

      Despite the increasingly histrionic demand of the porohibs to the contrary, more taxpayers are looking behind the curtain at just who is actually benefiting from this `scay-yam’.

      In any event, since prohibition represents a gun we pay for, and pays for the (all-too-often un-) civil servant who holds that gun to our heads, it is long past time to ask if we want to pay for any of it.

      And it is just asking that question, alone, that terrifies them so much.

  • Servetus

    Here’s an interesting political correlation with drug enforcement and drug testing. In a recent Senate vote on the McCain Amendment, which passed by a vote of 78 to 21, entitled “Reaffirmation of the Prohibition on Torture”, the following Senators voted against the amendment and in favor of torture:

    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Blunt (R-MO)
    Coats (R-IN)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Cotton (R-AR)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    Ernst (R-IA)
    Fischer (R-NE)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Lankford (R-OK)
    Lee (R-UT)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Risch (R-ID)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Sasse (R-NE)
    Scott (R-SC)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Vitter (R-LA)

    Each one of these torture mongering senators is also a diehard drug prohibitionist. Many of them are anti-science, as well as climate deniers. There’s no indication of a conscience, nor a social intelligence among this Senate idiot list of psychopathic doochebillies, nor anything else that might stop them from endorsing policies that further violate international law, create unnecessary harms, and embarrass the United States.

    Endorsing torture and draconian drug laws, as well as unnecessary drug screening programs, are synonymous in their effect. Such endorsements automatically relegate the politician or prohibitionist to the lowball status of human rights criminal.

  • thelbert

    here is ana kasparian’s opinion of the
    CO court’s decision: http://tinyurl.com/pncqvy8

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I’m amazed at how many people are extrapolating a Colorado specific ruling of a Colorado specific law and reacting as if the ruling has nationwide implications. It doesn’t. The controversy won’t even qualify for hearing in the Federal Court of Appeals. Like the Oregon Supreme Court ruling in Winters v. Willis (2011) the only appeal left for Mr. Coats would be in the SCOTUS and the case being granted certiorari by the high Court has the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell. If it is granted certiorari then you need to brace yourselves for (very valid) accusations of “activist” Justices. I think the only possible grounds would be based on a violation of Mr. Coats’ civil rights under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). But now I’m out of my element as I’m not conversant with the arcana of the ADA. But even there it doesn’t seem likely to me because Mr. Coats using whole plant exo-cannabinoid medicines doesn’t enjoy the protection of HIPAA because cannabis isn’t medicine according to Federal law. The ruling just doesn’t have the impact that so many people seem to think. Oh well, I guess I won’t be selling my equity in the synthetic urine factory anytime soon.

      Another thing I find annoying is that no one has used the word “vague” to describe Colorado’s “lawful” activities employee protection law. The entire controversy has hinged on what the Colorado Legislature meant when they used the word “lawful”. If that isn’t a dictionary picture worthy example of being vague I’m going to throw away my dictionary. But the failure belongs to the Colorado lawmakers, not the Feds.

      Then there’s the part where Colorado is a so called “right to work” State which of course also means that it’s a “right to get fired for almost any or even no reason” State. There wouldn’t have been any controversy if Dish Network had said they fired him because he’s ugly and his mama dresses him funny. No controversy had they just not bothered giving him a reason. Dish Network verbalizing their reason for firing a Colorado employee in the future just doesn’t seem likely to me.

      None of the above obviates Pete’s assertion that firing people for having the wrong colored urine is stupid.

      Did you know that drug testing employees is illegal in Canada? I’d like to see a study comparing Canadian vs. US employee “productivity”, absenteeism, and workplace safety since the Supreme Court of Canada made that ruling which made that the law. We already know that Canadians choose to enjoy cannabis at a rate which is all but identical to the U.S. so it should be a good comparison.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Darn it Frances can’t you let them be even just a little bit right every once in a while?

    Denver tourist spending sets record, but no credit given to allure of weed

    The city’s record 2014, which includes the highest-ever spending and visitor counts, has been attributed to tourism marketing — not marijuana.

    /snip/
    A record 15.4 million overnight vacationers and business travelers visited Denver in 2014, spending a record $4.6 billion — two benchmarks among several in which the city logged gains at double or triple the national average.

    This just another piece of evidence supporting the assertion that cannabis is the Rodney Dangerfield of substances on the governments naughty lists. No respect at all.

    • kaptinemo

      “A record 15.4 million overnight vacationers and business travelers visited Denver in 2014, spending a record $4.6 billion — two benchmarks among several in which the city logged gains at double or triple the national average. “

      Damn, I am getting tired of saying this:

      We told them so.

      And OK and NE can pound sand as they wait for their asinine lawsuit against CO they set up on the public’s dime gets shot down in court.

      Let OK and NE taxpayers watch Coloradan State coffers get fat from weed revenues while theirs are getting leaner all the time. And no amount of forfeiture money robbed from out-of-State motorists will ever replace what CO is making. A point that OK and NE taxpayers may be starting to realize.

  • Duncan20903

    Denver 2014 crime rate change from 2013:

    Homicide -24.4%

    Rape -2.5%

    Robbery -3.3%

    Aggravated Assault -0.7%

    Burglary -9.5%

    Larceny (Except Theft from MV) +18.2%

    Theft from Motor Vehicle -21.8%

    Auto Theft -0.9%

    Arson +35.1%

  • DdC

    New career opportunity for x drug czars and x-communicated priests/
    Piss Monitors.

    Teen Drug Testing The Good, The Bad, and The Cheats
    http://www.troubledteenblog.com/2008/08/teen-drug-testing-the-good-the-bad-and-the-cheats/
    Vinegar. Lemon juice. Drain-cleaning products. At least one of these items is probably in your kitchen. And any of them can be used to beat a drug test.

    All drug testing must be supervised, in other words you must watch you teen pee into the cup and take the cup from them before it can be diluted (or accidently dropped).

    Do not allow privacy for specimen to be tampered with.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CIGYrFgVEAAvQX2.jpg

    Drug Test Instructions
    Do not ever “announce” when you will be testing. Even a short notice may allow a guilty teen to try to “beat” the test. Do not allow enough privacy for the specimen to be tampered with.

    All drug testing must be supervised
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CIGXzGhVEAACU9m.jpg

    Drug mishandling may have tainted 40,000 cases
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/678

    Random drug testing in schools
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472793/

    Chemical & Engineering News Article
    ” Cheating a Drug Test ” – Close, but off the Mark
    In response to “ To Catch a Cheat “, the only way to assure an accurate drug test is via observed specimen collection. t’s quite simple actually, urine is too procedurally complex and invasive to use as a drug testing specimen.