Pubdate: Mon, 30 Aug 2004
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2004, The Racine Journal Times
Author: Randy Vizyak


This is a response to John Kojis' Aug 24 letter "Marijuana's Illegal"
which concerned workplace drug testing and medical marijuana.

Urine testing cannot determine when a drug was used. The test measures
leftover "metabolites".

An employee who smoked marijuana on Saturday night can test positive
the following Wednesday, long after the drug has ceased to have any
effect. At the same time, a worker can snort cocaine on the way to
work and test negative that morning.

That's because the cocaine has not metabolized and will therefore not
show up in a person's urine. An employee can drink a six pack of beer
every night and pass a drug test every morning, because alcohol cannot
be detected after 8 hours.

Fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than morphine, has a detection
period of only "one hour" and is not tested for. LSD, the most
powerful psychoactive drug known to man, is usually not tested for,
and can only be detected for 8 hours although the effects last for 12

The urine test should be called a "marijuana test" since THC
metabolites have a long detection period. Maybe employee's should
demand that the employer pay them for their off time if they wish to
find out if they smoke pot while off the clock at home.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in "Chandler v. Miller, 1997" that
elected public officials cannot be tested for drugs because it invades
their privacy. How come factory workers don't have the same rights as
Congressman Paul Ryan? A 2002 Time/CNN poll confirms that 80 percent
support medical marijuana, 72 percent favor decriminalizing marijuana
and 34 percent favor complete legalization of marijuana.

Randy Vizyak

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