O.penVAPE changes drug testing policy

You may remember that O.penVAPE came out with an offensive drug testing policy for their employees (OpenVAPE throws alies under the bus; drug tests employees).

The reform community (including readers here) reacted strongly. At first, O.penVAPE’s Todd Mitchem badly ridiculed the reaction, but then they got the message from us.

O.penVAPE’s leadership participated in some conference calls with NORML and Drug Policy Alliance, and have now crafted an employee policy that completely eliminates urine testing.

Their new policy uses computerized impairment testing instead of drug testing. It’s a method that has been recommended by the drug policy reform community for some years, but hasn’t been used much in business; it tests actual impairment, not whether an employee has used drugs in the recent past.

More on this and the computerized impairment testing at CelebStoner.

A couple of take-aways here…

First, we have some power here. It’s obvious that management of O.penVAPE came from the business world and thought that they could step in to this culture and operate the same way – they learned they could not.

Second, O.penVAPE could have gone with a cosmetic change to try to appease the outrage from reformers, but instead they listened, researched, and completely re-wrote their policy from scratch. They get points for that.

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52 Responses to O.penVAPE changes drug testing policy

  1. Frank W. says:

    “Computerized impairment testing” has a lot of fancy syllables. I wonder what the carnies call it.

    • claygooding says:

      Next will be testing sites at all ATMs and it wil be included with a roadside impairment test,,,you know how quickly low IQ people can learn to rely on a computer to do the work for them.

  2. allan says:

    good on O.pen.

    Impairment testing is the alternative that makes sense. (as I understand it) The computer establishes an employee’s reaction baseline and if there is a question about impairment (fatigue and stress can be impairments too) at work they run their test, check it against the employee’s established baselines and go from there.

    as an alternative to pisstasting it’s the way to go, imo.

    • allan says:

      oh… and Props! to all those that put pressure on O.pen. This was the NotDwight lesson on the power of our consumer musckles.

    • primus says:

      Agreed. It would be very simple to administer this test when obtaining a driver’s licence and encode your baseline into the DL itself so that when a cop scans you for impairment the baseline is readily available. That way, the test would actually determine impairment, and that is what is needed to reduce accidents.

      • claygooding says:

        Solution,,,get your driver’s license baked

        • allan says:

          won’t it melt in the oven?

        • B. Snow says:

          I’m wondering if – Maybe, just maybe = going in “lightly toasted” would suffice?

          And, on a more serious note, I think Dr. Hart’s research showed that people with “experienced” w/ using marijuana… And Not Necessarily “recently”.

          IIRC, He stated that just having experienced the effects before (possibly) just being non-“naive” to its effects. Just like many other drugs “avoid driving when first taking “____” – until you are familiarly with its effects…”

  3. Tony Aroma says:

    Maybe it was all just a publicity stunt, like with New Coke (if you’re old enough to remember that). They say they’re going to drug test, knowing it will get them a shit ton of publicity, then say never mind, we aren’t going to drug test after all. By which time EVERYONE knows about the company.

  4. allan says:

    on topic… well, damn, now I can’t use my ‘Darth Vaper’ line…

    OT… Ensign Crusher (Will Wheaton to Big Bang Theory fans) is asking for our help getting more coverage on a story:

    DEA assault, TX

    • Servetus says:

      It appears Will Wheaton has joined the war against the drug war. Excellent.

    • Howard says:

      Here’s an article from the local paper on the incident;

      Long arm of law reaches into new territory


      Check this out, from the article;

      The DEA release pointed to the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 as a “an effective tool to combat these new and emerging designer drugs.” They go on to explain that although the many of the substances they are confiscating in the search and seizures like the one at the Purple Zone are not illegal, the DEA can still prosecute possession of them because they are similar to substances that are controlled.


      I didn’t even know there was a Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act. That ‘analogue’ word leads to: A substance doesn’t even have to be illegal to warrant prosecution for possession. It just has to be similar. That’s insane. You can bet which agency gets to decide that, with likely wide latitude.

      The War On The DEA needs to continue unabated.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Does anyone recall the episode where Wes got the death penalty for literally stepping over an arbitrary line? For those who don’t recall the people on the planet drew arbitrary lines on the ground at random and it was a capital offense. The aliens credited this law with keeping their world free of crime. So free of crime that the authorities couldn’t personally recall the last execution and appeared clueless as to how to proceed when they realized what had happened.

      Other than the psychosocial implications and a commentary on the stupidity of arbitrary laws with draconian punishment the episode sucked. So don’t be rushing out and buying the DVD. Well, unless you like stuff that sucks, then this episode is highly recommended.

    • DdC says:

      The Big Bhang

      The Churning of the Ocean of Milk
      The largest continual human gathering in the world, Kumbha Mela, is based around the myth of the making of the Cosmic bhang. “[Cannabis]… was originally produced, like nectar from the ocean by the churning with Mount Mandara, and inasmuch as it gives victory in the three worlds, it, the delight of the king of the gods, is called Vijaya, the victorious. This desire-fulfilling drug was obtained by men on the earth, through desire for the welfare of all people.” (Grierson, 1893)

  5. Nunavut Tripper says:

    I sent a complaint to Openvape when the first post came out regarding their drug testing policy.
    Todd Mitchum the CRO did reply to me.

    See below.

    “Thanks for your message. I understand that you were upset about the recent announcement of our internal drug policy. Hopefully this email addresses your concerns.

    The end of cannabis prohibition needs to be recognized by employers and we are proud to lead this effort. The OpenVAPE Drug Policy was offered publicly to illustrate how a responsible company can recognize the appropriate use of cannabis by their employees. Our goal was to empower employees, many for the first time, to responsibly include cannabis in their lives, without risk of losing their jobs.

    Our “impairment policy” is the most progressive example how to honor a person’s right to choose cannabis. Privacy issues related to drug testing is a valid debate, however, the safety of our employees and the responsibility to our community to not put peoples’ lives in danger weighed heavily on our decision to implement an impairment policy. Driving vehicles, operating lab equipment and large pressurized machinery, ie Supercritical Co2 extractors, demand unimpaired operation. In these facilities, and in accordance with state law, individuals may not be impaired at work. Therefore, our drug policy also states that you cannot be impaired while on the job. If an employee has a medical condition that justifies medication that could impair their ability to safely drive or operate equipment, then we wish to have a policy that not only protects others but also that individuals’ right to work.

    I appreciate your feedback and concerns. You need to know that we do not randomly drug test. We do refer anyone found to be impaired bay ANY substance to our company counselor for immediate assistance.

    I trust that this clears up your concerns, but I welcome you to reply if more clarity is needed. ”

    TODD MITCHEM | 303.210.7102
    Chief Revenue Officer, Spokesperson

    • tensity1 says:

      Yeah, I got the same thing. I responded to him, got another response back that had a personal anecdote as to some reasons why they implemented their testing policy. I won’t go into details to respect his privacy, but I did reply to him about counterproductive drug policy and how others are doing better with fact-based health approaches. He was polite and professional throughout. Good on him and O.penVAPE for being progressive on this issue.

  6. allan says:

    to paraphrase the Robot (B9) from Lost In Space, “Danger Wil Wheaton. Danger.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG0ochx16Dg

    and relevant Ens. Crusher quotes:

    That one looks like a Klingon.

    We’re Starfleet cadets. We have a duty to the truth.

    It’s about the [DEA], sir. I was told they were just a myth…

  7. DdC says:

    O.penVAPE ‏@OpenVAPE May 21
    We’re so grateful for collaborating w @NORML for a model @PolicyChange w @CelebStoner @AmandaReiman @tomangell @dougmcvay @DrugPolicyNews

    FANTASTIC NEWS! After criticism, @OpenVAPE revised its drug policies: http://www.celebstoner.com/news/marijuana-news/2014/05/21/o.penvape-revises-drug-test-policy/ … No urinalysis, only impairment testing. Woohoo!

    Kathie Kane-Willis ‏@KathieKaneW
    @TheSamTracy @stopthedrugwar @OpenVAPE SO happy about this change.

    @CelebStoner @ToddMitchem @OpenVAPE
    Boycott OpenVape! Doctors taste patients’ pee http://io9.com/5953234/urine-flavor-wheels-helped-doctors-diagnose-patients-pee-centuries-ago …

    CelebStoner ‏@CelebStoner May 9
    For those who missed today’s CelebStoner Show with @ToddMitchem from @OpenVAPE, you can play it back here http://bit.ly/1uKL2gA

  8. DdC says:

    O.penVAPE @OpenVAPE
    Follow us on Facebook & Instagram! Discreet, lightweight, compact premium personal vaporizer! Txt VAPE to 20300
    Denver, Colorado · openvape.com

    Congrats to @OpenVAPE on their new sensible workplace impairment policy! We’re proud to have been a part of it 🙂

    @OpenVAPE Kudos on a job well done! Your new workplace impairment policy will be a model for the industry!

    @dianemgoldstein @tomangell @AmandaReiman @dougmcvay Could not agree more – well done by all including @OpenVAPE

    Todd Mitchem ‏@ToddMitchem
    @CelebStoner @OpenVAPE @AmandaReiman @tomangell @dougmcvay @NORML @DrugPolicyNews What a great collaboration! Thanks to you for your support

    @tomangell @cannabissafety @OpenVAPE @TheWeedBlog @dougmcvay special thanks to you all and @NORML for your wisdom, advice and collaboration


  9. ot/butGoodnews§ says:

    “Oregon marijuana measure gets another $100,000 from out-of-state group tied to George Soros”


    • Santa Claus is a False God! says:


      Oh my gawd, speak of the devil and in walks George Soros! Satan in human form, no doubt. Let’s not forget that BarryO. is the anti-Christ. Everyone knows exactly what will happen when christ and anti-christ attempt to occupy the same space! Grab your holly bibbles people. It’s all spelled out in Revelations! Nobody, and I mean nobody can argue that it’s not happening tit for tat and verbatim as we speak! The end of the world is nigh! You were warned against voting for Mr. Obama, but did you listen?!? Now you liberals have gone and caused the end of life on the planet Earth! I’ll bet you’re sorry now!

  10. Servetus says:

    Fifty Italian pot commandos wearing Guy Fawkes masks made famous by the movie V for Vendetta invaded a U.S. military base in Italy and scattered 200,000 marijuana seeds (video available). The invasion of the Italian marijuana lobby was intended to “liberate our land from the foundations of war.” Good luck on eliminating any U.S. soldiers from the base once harvest season begins.

    In other news, the infamous Special Operation Division (SOD) of the DEA is beating its war drums about choking off the synthetic marijuana industry. It seems that in a recent roundup of synthetic products, a link was established between sales of the products in the United States by shopkeepers of Yemeni national origin who are in turn linked to businesses in Yemen. There has been no direct link made between the Yemeni operation and terrorist organizations in Yemen, but the DEA makes the leap and assumes it exists. Are American profits from synthetic marijuana products ending up in the hands of Yemeni terrorists?

    Derek Maltz, director of the Special Operations Division of the DEA, says yes—without actually saying it. “Millions of dollars flowing into Yemen? They’re not buying Girl Scout cookies,” he says.

    DEA spokesman Rusty Payne sees this alleged terrorist link as another justification for the great work the DEA is doing to protect the world from terrorists:

    “Most people talk about the drug issue as a health issue, a parenting issue, an addiction issue. But the truth is, it’s really a national-security issue,” says DEA spokesman Rusty Payne, echoing Maltz’s frustration. “People just don’t ask the question. You see all of this stuff in Africa, the Middle East, powerful criminal and terror groups. And no one is ever asking: Where are they getting their money?” he says. “It’s one of the most under-told stories in the world.” A large part of this, according to Payne, is the difficulty of convincing people that it’s a real threat. “There’s no doubt there’s a connection—we have the cases to prove it,” he says. “We have A, we have B, we have C. Everyone kind of knows what D is.”

    Really? Is “D” the letter grade Rusty Payne acquired in his criminal justice class? At no point in the article does anyone advocate marijuana legalization to counter the synthetic threat posed by terrorists, something that could conceivably eliminate two terrorist groups at once: Yemeni extremists and the DEA.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      All of the best arguments that the prohibitionists have are against stuff that we never claim. Baffle ’em with bullshit — that’s their motto.
      An Italian wise man explains why Italy is great. (4 minute video)

      He doesn’t even mention all of the improvements that Italy made when they turned lo mein noodles into pasta. If it were up to the Chinese, we’d only have spaghetti.

  11. Duncan20903 says:


    This one is from the “LAW is the LAW (blah, blah, blah)” category:

    So who says that the prohibitionists don’t care about the truth? I mean aside from everyone in their right mind who doesn’t live in a cave of course. First, a short history lesson. In 2008 Carl Olsen, arguably the most vocal cannabis law reform advocate who calls Iowa home filed a petition with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to re-schedule cannabis to schedule II on the State maintained naughty lists. Promptly after being sued and ordered by the Court the IBoP scheduled hearings. I nearly dropped dead from the shock when the Board voted unanimously to recommend that it happen. Well the hayseed crackers in the Iowa Legislature just said no. Of course that’s not the end of the story because Mr. Olsen is nothing if not persistent.

    March 5, 2014:
    Doctors Tell Iowa Lawmakers Medical Marijuana Is Effective

    Keep that buck moving, no reason to stop here:

    March 13 2014:
    Iowa pharmacy board says it lacks authority to legalize medical marijuana
    Board chairman says Iowa legislators need to make the decision

    Sure, why in the world would a decision of what is and what is not medicine be decided by a panel of elite specialists with advanced degrees in pharmacology when there is a congress of politicians with no specialized knowledge of pharmacology handy?

    Is the IBoP staffed by no one other than a bunch of milquetoast girlie men? Mr. Olsen’s thoughts on this nonsense:

    March 18, 2014:
    Pharmacy Board should act on medical marijuana

    In Friday’s “Our View” (“Medical marijuana is a job for the Iowa Legislature”), the Press-Citizen Editorial Board suggests the law giving the Iowa Board of Pharmacy the authority to make rules allowing the medical use of marijuana (1979 Iowa Acts 60, Chapter 9, S.F. 487) has been on the books for 35 years, but now suddenly it doesn’t mean anything.

    This law was amended in 1986 and again in 1990, so it hasn’t really been 35 years. It’s more recent than we are being led to believe. The 1986 amendment removed three restrictions from the 1979 law: 1. federal approval is no longer required; 2. a research program is no longer required; and 3. growing plants is no longer prohibited.

    Those restrictions were also removed in the 1990 amendment. So, it has actually been 24 years since this law was last updated, giving the board authority to allow medical use of marijuana in Iowa.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      OK, it appears that short wasn’t an accurate description of the history lesson. So what’s with my long winded wailing and gnashing of teeth?

      State challenges medical marijuana defense
      May 21, 2014

      “We’re objecting to use of a medical defense,” McElyea said during a hearing Wednesday in Scott County District Court, Davenport.

      McElyea cited a 2005 Iowa Supreme Court decision to support his motion. That was a case very similar to the one facing Mackenzie.

      Lloyd Bonjour, an AIDS patient in his 60s, was arrested in Floyd County and charged with manufacturing marijuana after sheriff’s deputies say they found marijuana plants and bagged marijuana in his home.

      Prior to going to trial, Bonjour sought a medical necessity defense and was denied by the judge after prosecutors resisted. He even had his physician testify at a pretrial hearing that Bonjour takes a variety of toxic medications with side effects.

      Bonjour was tried before a judge and found guilty. He appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which ultimately ruled against him, urging further study by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy and the Iowa Legislature.

      “It would be inappropriate now for us to leapfrog the Legislature and the Board of Pharmacy Examiners by simply recognizing the medicinal value, and the legality, of marijuana use,” the nine-year-old Supreme Court ruling states.

      Sheesh, talk about a dictionary picture worthy example of a self congratulatory circle jerk…

  12. Jean Valjean says:

    More drug war madness…Texas threatens life in prison for teen who baked cookies using hash instead of “marijuana.”
    Prosecutors have decided this enables them to weigh the cookies and charge for the total weight of flour, sugar etc as if it were all a controlled substance. Watch the video of the police chief using creative chemistry (i.e. bullshit) to justify this…

    Also includes “save the chilluns” argument, complete with shot of pregnancy bump. How long are they going to get away with this type of lying distortion and propaganda?

  13. DdC says:

    Kentucky Receives Permit For Hemp Seeds From DEA http://www.theweedblog.com/kentucky-receives-permit-for-hemp-seeds-from-dea/ via @theweedblog

    Feds May Cut Off Water For Legal Marijuana Crops

    Facts About Hunger and Poverty

    ☛ 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and none of the 12 percent lives in developing countries.

    • Jean Valjean says:

      “Feds May Cut Off Water For Legal Marijuana Crops”
      Talk about picking up their ball and going home in a snit. Expect more of this pre-pubital behavior from the prohibs as their world and everything they’ve learnt about it goes tits up.

    • John says:

      The hemp seeds are now in the care of the Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, no longer being held hostage by the DEA. It’s a good thing, because they were being held less than ten miles from my home, and I was a fixin’ to go liberate them myself.

    • War Vet says:

      You’d think the seizure of the seeds would have sounded the violation alarm for the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act law. If China or Canada can grow hemp and sell hemp to America, then logic dictates it is lawful to grow hemp. The law states if we can use oil for gasoline, we can use marijuana for hempoline. You would assume oil is a violation of the CSA because it can make plastics and fuel, just like hemp.

      But because the DEA’s job and own snitches have physically attacked Asian cities with bombs and killed our troops, would they technically be called a Muslim Terrorist organization? Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11 and Mumbai says yes, the DEA are Muslim Terrorists, but they are that one organization that can hold the title of multiple religious/non-religious terrorist organizations. In the 70-90’s, the DEA were a part of the IRA technically since they funded the IRA with drug money in the form of doing their jobs in prohibition.

  14. strayan says:

    Look at this turd that has showed up in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

    Evidence supporting its efficacy varies substantially and in general falls short of the standards required for approval of other drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1874073

    I suppose it does. Afterall, there have been NO DEATHS from cannabis.

    • darkcycle says:

      Of course. The first clue is the very first sentence, where the omnipresent scare quotes appear around the words Medical marijuana. The rest is just the authors chewing over the cuds of the official government lines. Truly not an original thought to be had, with plenty of citations of discredited studies, including the infamous “low IQ” and psychosis studies from New Zealand. Those will never die, will they? Pathetic. But it will appear again (BTW, Authors work for Big Pharma, as disclosed in the footer.).

    • jean valjean says:

      like all those fda approved big pharma ads which are 20 secs of ad content followed by 40 secs of rapid fire side effects including death. cannabis equivalent would be 5 seconds to tell us to beware of euphoria and mild goofiness. clearly doesnt fit the fda “standard” now does it?

  15. claygooding says:

    Wisdom is only earned by doing it wrong first,,with that in mind the first rule for doing housework while listening to “power ballads” is that the toilet brush is NEVER the microphone.
    It is sad that the author at the AMA blog never learned better because he is definitely using a toilet brush as a microphone.

  16. DdC says:

    John Vasconcellos Requiescat In Pace
    DPA board member & leading CA state legislator for 38 yrs, died today. What a man! What a loss!

    Marijuana Sold for Profit at California Dispensaries?
    Guy Who Wrote the Law on This, John Vasconcellos, Says It’s Legit
    Former state Sen. John Vasconcellos this week wrote a letter (linked here via PDF) “to whom it may concern” in order to clarify lawmakers’ intentions regarding the law he co-authored in 2003, SB 420, which defined the avenues for marijuana distribution and cultivation under 1996’s voter-approved Prop. 215.

    Listen Up, Washington, By: JOHN VASCONCELLOS
    the People Have Spoken. State voters approved the use of medicinal marijuana.
    The feds should honor that.

    SB 420 Establishes Prop. 215 Guidelines, Voluntary Patient Identification Card System
    A bill establishing statewide guidelines for Prop. 215 enforcement took effect on January 1, 2004. The bill, SB 420 by Sen. John Vasconcellos, was signed by outgoing Gov. Gray Davis just days after he lost the recall election.

  17. Jean Valjean says:

    Cop Allegedly Caught Masturbating In Starbucks:


    This was the bit I liked: “The 17-year-veteran of the department, who worked in the narcotics unit, has a hearing scheduled June 4.”

    • Nunavut Tripper says:

      Good one.

      Whack it in a Starbucks = removed from duty. Murder a civilian = paid suspension

      Hope the standup comedians get wind of this tale.

  18. DdC says:

    “I think the decriminalisation of drugs is long, long overdue”
    – Christopher Hitchens http://bit.ly/1ib6ylR


  19. Emma says:

    24 May, front cover of the prestigious BMJ (British Medical Journal): “Cannabis Regulation: A New Beginning”.

    Feature editorial, comments open:

  20. Duncan20903 says:


    Granny Scarecrow’s evil twin has compiled a comprehensive index of scientific studies written by fatherly, scientist looking guys dressed up in lab coats and delivered in a somber tone of authoritative gravitas. This is actually a very detailed listing of the all time favorite hysterical rhetoric of the “LAW is the LAW (blah, blah, blah)” crowd.
    150+ Scientific Studies Showing the Dangers of Marijuana
    April 3, 2014

    Perception of marijuana as a safe drug is “scientifically” inaccurate (University of Montreal)
    Cannabis more “damaging” to health than previously thought claim doctors (Imperial College London)
    [scare quotes mine]

    • darkcycle says:

      Gotta love the one, hand picked comment (plus two self serving replies by the author) he allowed up…

  21. Duncan20903 says:


    For quite some time I’ve wondered why people think that the issue of (some) drugs law reform is a bi-partisan issue. With the “liberals” being in favor and the “conservatives” being against. The irony being that this annoying piece of fiction is also a bi-partisan and is heard equally (give or take) on both sides of the table. I usually try to leave that one alone because there’s just no percentage in pursuing the debate. Anyway, for the liberals this one is from the “et tu Brute?” category and for the conservatives it’s from the “my brain hurts” category:

    Pot Vape Pens, The Crack Cocaine Of Marijuana
    by Miles Bryan May 24, 2014

    JOHN LOVELL: Hash oil is correctly referred to as the crack cocaine of marijuana.

    BRYAN: That’s John Lovell. He’s the spokesperson for the California Narcotic Officers Association, which is supporting a bill here in the Golden State that would ban medical hash oil. Lovell says that the stealthiness of vape pens can be dangerous.

    LOVELL: All you see is someone smoking on an e-cigarette. You can put yourself at risk.

    Holy pompous ivory towers Batman! It’s The Professor!

    MARK KLEIMAN: If we’re going to deliver cannabis by lung, it’s going to be vaporization, not smoking.

    BRYAN: Mark Kleiman teaches marijuana policy and law at UCLA. He says that vaping will probably replace smoking marijuana in the long run. But Kleiman says that right now, there’s a problem.

    KLEIMAN: A puff of cannabis is not standard the way a drink is standard, right? If you’ve had three beers, you know how much beer – alcohol you’ve had. If you’ve had three hits, you don’t know anything about how much cannabis you’ve had.

    Partisan squabbling aside, isn’t it just precious to hear the sycophants of prohibition trying to explain things that so confuse them? Isn’t it even more precious just how clueless they are about their cluelessness? I think that text quoted above may well have been The Professor at the zenith of nescience. It must be a friggin’ drag living as an innumerate.

    Addictionology: The Crack Cocaine of Science.

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