Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Took My Yearly Drug Test the Other Day

In order to maintain my hack license, I am required to take a yearly drug test.  I went to a medical office, filled out a bunch of paperwork and peed into a plastic cup.  I hate this annual assault on my rights.

Even before I started smoking weed, I was against drug testing.  As an American, I am a firm supporter of our civil liberties, and drug testing is a major violation.  Testing whole groups of people in order to find a few lawbreakers is flat out wrong.  It is the same as the police going door to door and conducting searches.  People would not consent their employers searching their homes, but for some reason, the majority is content to have employers searching our urine.

Drug testing is not particularly effective.  With the exception of marijuana, most drugs leave the system and become undetectable after a few days.  So, one can party hard on a Friday night, smoking crack and shooting heroin, and pass a drug test on Monday.  Weed on the other hand is fat soluble and is detectable for up to a month.  So the drug that testers are most likely to find is the one that is mostly harmless and affects work performance the least.  Alcohol, the drug most likely to affect one's job performance, isn't even tested for.  It's legal.

Besides, peeing in a cup and handing it over to a nurse is undignified.

The method of testing that the TLC uses is almost completely useless.  We are required to take our test in the month before our license expiration date.  We know this ahead of time, and we schedule the test ourselves.  It's pretty damn easy to plan ahead, and abstain from our drug of choice long enough for it to become undetectable.  Unless of course our drug of choice is booze.  We can have a couple of beers before the test if we want.

The test for cabbies costs $25.50 and with 40,000 cab drivers in the city, it comes out to over a million dollars year spent on drug testing for cabbies.  That's a pretty good gross for LabCorp, the testing company, to pull in on a completely useless test.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, you hit it on the head in your last few lines, Jon... It's not about the effectiveness of the test, it's about the lab having a sweet contract with city. We run lab results through our software, and it's always about the sweet contracts...

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