Latest News

Urine Testing History
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
If you’d take its advocates seriously, you’d believe that drug tests were intended solely for diagnostic, health-related reasons—and not for persecuting substance users or intimidating workers. Nothing surprising here. Favorable public perception is important to the Drug Industrial Complex and its advertising agencies, even if it means doctoring the truth. To workers caught with their pants down or skirts up, the manufacturer’s intent is academic. Who cares why the damn thing was invented when you still have to fill the cup? Urine screening is detection in its rawest form. Guilt before innocence, chemical finger-pointing, surveillance—all associations the Reagan Enforcers are eager to avoid. Diagnosis, on the other hand, sounds therapeutic. Diagnosis, on the other hand, sounds therapeutic. Brochures and trade… Read More
Follow The Money of Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
“Urine the Money,” another outgrowth of the Reagan era is the drug testing industry. Practically unheard of fifteen years ago, the testing of one’s urine, hair and sweat is increasingly being utilized to identify and punish drug users among the population. Drug tests do not detect impairment or performance, just the minute traces of drug-related metabolites in one’s body. The American Civil Liberties Union decries this practice as a violation of the right to privacy, presumption of innocence, and freedom from unreasonable searches and self-incrimination. Furthermore, it is an invasive insult to human dignity. Nonetheless, mandatory drug testing without probable cause is a practice that is being used at an alarming rate, largely due to government mandates. According to a… Read More
Criminal Proceedings & Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
In the 1700s, the state’s dominance over an individual in criminal proceedings was regarded as so overpowering that the Fifth Amendment guaranteed that citizens would not have to incriminate themselves through compelled testimony. In contrast, drug warriors argue that the power of an individual citizen is so overwhelming that government agents must be able to coerce self-incrimination. One method is through urine tests after arrest for any crime. Results can be used to prosecute a person for “internal possession” of a drug, or even for earlier possession outside the body. At one time the U. S. Supreme Court forbade such prosecutions. Justice William O. Douglas explained, “Words taken from his lips, capsules taken from his stomach, blood taken from his… Read More
Suppression & Repression In Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
1937: Hemp banned. An estimated 60,000 Americans smoke “marijuana,” but virtually everyone in the country has heard of it, thanks to Hearst and Anslinger’s disinformation campaign. 1945: Newsweek reports that over 100,000 people now smoke marijuana. 1967: Tens of millions smoke cannabis regularly, with many people growing their own. 1987: One in three Americans have now tried it at least once, and some 10% to 20% of Americans still choose to buy and smoke it regularly, despite urine tests and tougher laws. Throughout history, Americans have held the legal tradition that one could not give up one’s Constitutional rights—and if someone was stripped of these protections, then he or she was being victimized. By 1989, if you sign up for… Read More
Urinalysis: Pissing It All Away
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
The dream of every crude economist is to be able to account for labor (humans) as methodically as machines, raw materials, overhead, etc. Of course, it rarely works that way. Unlike machines, humans have annoying interests extraneous to their roles as “capital.” Humans think for themselves—even the dumb ones. Humans fight back. In the never-ending struggle to hammer human-round-pegs into corporate- square-holes, meet the… Piss Police “Urinalysis” involves performing arcane alchemical rites over bottles of employee urine. Consider it a peek through the ol’ urinary tract keyhole into workers’ private lives. In Canada, the High Priests of Urinal Augury lurk in the shadowy towers of the Toronto Dominion Bank. Last August, the bank was given the green light by the… Read More
Transportation Industries & Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
Amtrak’s Colonial, with 616 passengers aboard, was traveling at 105 miles an hour when it piled into a string of Conrail freight engines heading toward Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Fifteen people were killed and another 176 injured—the worst accident in Amtrak’s history. Federal investigators said they were focusing on two possible reasons why the trains ended up on the same track: a warning whistle was disabled, and a bulb was missing from a critical signal light in the Colonial’s cab. Within days, though, Dr. Delbert J. Lacefield, chief of the Federal Aviation Administration’s forensic toxicology unit working under contract to the Federal Railroad Association, announced that he had found THC in the blood of two members of the freight train’s crew. THC… Read More
Drug Testing In House Could Stir Lawsuits
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
Lawmakers who want their staff members and other Capitol Hill workers randomly tested for drugs could face a flurry of lawsuits because of prior court decisions affecting drug testing in the executive branch, the Hill reports. “If there were a random drug testing program that included me, I would consider a lawsuit,” Robert Raben, minority counsel to two House Judiciary subcommittees, told the newspaper. In interviews, several House aides who work on policy matters privately echoed him, though most declined to speak on the record. Under a House rule adopted recently, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republican of Georgia, is creating a program for drug testing that resembles that used by the executive branch. It could be months before the House finally… Read More
Home Drug Test Raises Red Flags
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
Tuesday’s announcement that the FDA gave its first stamp of approval to a home drug-testing kit has raised red flags in the minds of health care professionals. The product, “Dr. Brown’s Home Drug Testing System,” is being marketed by a Maryland psychologist, Theodore Brown, who told The Washington Post that his invention is “good for America.” Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala hailed the test as giving “parents another option … to help ensure that their children remain drug-free.” Psychiatrist Eugene Schoenfeld, who has served as an expert witness in many civil and criminal drug cases, disagrees. “This is a case of someone who sees an opportunity to make some bucks by selling this stuff to frightened parents,”… Read More
American Airlines Sued For Discriminatory Employment Practices
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
American Airlines is being sued by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for allegedly discriminating against job applicants by asking illegal medical questions. The lawsuit, filed by the EEOC on 26 September in Providence, Rhode Island, states that American Airlines refused to hire a qualified applicant for a ramp clerk and cabin cleaner position because of the person’s mental disability. The disability was apparently discovered during improper questioning by the airline’s medical department during a drug test. The EEOC claims that this method of questioning was often also used to deny other applicants work according to Reuters. The lawsuit is seeking back wages, compensatory damages for the job applicant and other disabled individuals, punitive damages as well as a… Read More
Unions To Fight For Sacked Non-Unionised Flight-Attendant
Posted by A. Shapiro
No comments
Two flights attendants unions have taken up the case of a non-unionised flight attendant at Delta Air Lines who was fired after the airline alleged she provided a “substitute” urine sample during a random drug test. Yasuko Ishikawa has denied the allegation, saying that she was mostly vegetarian, weighed less than 100 pounds and had drunk a lot of water before the sample, which she maintains was legitimate. Ishikawa also said that a test she got done privately after the incident was also “dilute,” (showed low levels of creatinine, the metabolite found in urine) like the one taken by Delta Air Lines and did not show any signs of drugs. Ishikawa’s case has now been taken up by both the… Read More