Censorship Sucks At Nascar Brickyard 400 Event

An ad promoting marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol from the Marijuana Policy Project, was aired outside the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The ad was scheduled to air 72 times but was pulled early because of pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. It seems ironic to me that with the massive amount of alcohol served at Nascar events and the propensity for alcohol related advertising at Nascar events and alcohol related sponsors of race car teams associated with Nascar and the history of Nascar being associated with alcohol prohibition, that a pro marijuana ad would be deemed unsuitable at a family oriented event.

In an article form NYDailyNews, Calvina Fay stated,“This campaign falsely claims marijuana is safer than alcohol and promotes  illicit drug use in a state where marijuana is illegal,” Calvina Fay, executive  director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs, said  in a statement. “It is irresponsible marketing and I commend Grazie Media for  their swift action towards the removal of this ad,” concluded Fay.

And in rebuttal, Mason Tvert from Marijuana Policy Project, that produced the ad and purchased the air time from Grazie Media replied, 

Tvert told the Daily News that Fay’s claim that marijuana is more harmful  than alcohol “absolutely absurd.”

“We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than  alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled,” Tvert said.  “If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to ‘save our society from drugs,’  why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is  far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It  is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana  prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry  to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such  reefer madness.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pro-pot-nascar-ad-pulled-brickyard-400-article-1.1410215#ixzz2aFnHuhtN

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pro-pot-nascar-ad-pulled-brickyard-400-article-1.1410215#ixzz2aFm3CuNm

http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/26/marijuana-ad-to-air-at-nascar-races

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/26/marijuana-ad-nascar-indianapolis/2591313/

Randy Johnson

White House Drug Policy Is Hipocritical At Best

The Obama administration’s new drug policy is full of hypocrisy. First of all the basic premise is that any one who uses drugs must be ill and fixed by society whether they like it or not. Individual users will be tried in drug courts where mandatory rehabilitation will be the preferred choice of punishment with incarceration as the backup plan. The supply chain will still face the same punishment of paramilitary raids, incarceration and confiscation of property even if they are following state law as is the case for medical marijuana in the 18 states and Washington DC where medical marijuana is legal as well as Colorado and Washington, where marijuana has been legalized for recreational purposes. The will of the voting public is ignored. The White House still steadfastly refuses to consider that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol and separated from the harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and LSD, even though statistics and medical science shows that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco. Whenever the government discusses the harms from drugs to society, it is always drugs in aggregate or meth or one the harder drugs but never marijuana alone, because they know preaching about how harmful marijuana is to society is unbelievable. Most all of society knows that the reported harm to society from marijuana has been grossly overstated.  Lacking in the view of White House policy is that alcohol is statistically the worst drug in America. Granted tobacco kills more people each year, but alcohol has the added stigma of social destruction in the form of violent crime and traffic fatalities that are not associated with the other drugs to such a great degree. A Department of Justice report on violence related emergency room visits shows that alcohol is the most violence related drug in America by a wide margin where the report states, “Almost all of the alcohol/drug citations on the hospital records reflected alcohol involvement. Drugs were cited on the hospital record in less than 1% of all violence-related injuries treated”.

. Yet marijuana is demonized as a horrible menace to society by keeping it listed as a schedule one drug, on par with heroin, codeine and morphine even though it is not usually associated with addiction. Marijuana users have been stripped of their second amendment rights without trial or representation even though violence is not normally associated with its use. According to a study about traffic fatalities, states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not confirm the reason for the reduction in fatalities but speculated that it may be caused by people substituting marijuana for alcohol. In contrast, alcohol kills more Americans every year than all illegal drugs combined and the number of people killed by marijuana could easily be counted on one hand. Evidence that would show marijuana to be beneficial as medicine is ignored even though a plethora of evidence showing marijuana to be an effective medicine is currently available and the Federal government owns patents on medical marijuana that detail how marijuana can be an effective treatment for various ailments such as wasting, seizures and cancer. Evidence showing marijuana as a safer libation than alcohol is ignored as if it were non-existent and the harm to society from alcohol is ignored. President Obama even has a brewery in the basement of the White House where he has his own beer brewed. If people were to choose to grow their own marijuana to forego the black market, they risk loosing their home, their children, their money and their freedom. That’s quite a risk for choosing to use a safer drug than the one Obama brews in the White House. Recently the Justice Department caught HSBC in a money laundering scheme with the Mexican and Columbian drug cartels. HSBC had been laundering billions of dollars for the cartels over a 15 year period and were caught red-handed. Instead of confiscating the money and prosecuting the bank executives that were responsible, the Justice Department took 30 billion dollars and let HSBC punish the responsible banking executives by deferring their bonuses for five years. They didn’t lose their bonuses, they were just put in an interest bearing account for five years as their punishment. Nobody went to jail and the justice Department did the same thing that HSBC did, they took money to look the other way. The disparity of justice is staggering where the poor and people of color are disproportionately searched, arrested and incarcerated  than the wealthy and white population. We still have people serving life sentences for possession of marijuana, and people loosing millions of dollars in property and their freedom for sales of marijuana that are legal under state law and President Obama, “an admitted pot head” is brewing a more dangerous drug in the basement of the White House. People are still having their children removed from their custody for simple possession or use of marijuana. Federal law still requires that any businesses with a contract with the government to drug test as a condition of employment and the required test doesn’t even show if the person is impaired, only that they have used recently as a way to punish people who would not otherwise be caught by denying them employment. I believe the federal government is protecting businesses such as the drug testing industry, the drug rehab industry, the prison industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol industry, the cotton industry, the timber industry, the petrochemical industry and many others from the competition or loss they would incur if free people were allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol. We have the largest per capita prison population on earth as a result of this failed war on drugs with special emphasis on marijuana. Our constitutional rights against illegal searches have been circumvented and we are denied the right to pursue freedom and happiness and make decisions about our own health and safety. Hateful, hurtful, hypocrisy and a total disregard for personal freedom is what I see. End the war against Americans who choose a safer drug than alcohol. Come on Barry, was marijuana use a just cause for the government ruining people’s lives when you were Chooming with your friends, riding around totally absorbed, doing roof hits and intercepts? Was it so detrimental to your life that it kept you from reaching your goal of being President and chief hypocrite in the war against marijuana?

Randy Johnson

NSA Surveillace Is Unacceptable

There are a large number of our elected officials in Congress and The President who believe that they are justified in maintaining the surveillance of our electronic communications and internet searches along with our banking records and medical records. Their justification seems to swing on the premise that they are protecting us from terrorist threats. My question is what is going to protect us from them?

A majority of them seem to believe that continuing the blatantly racist and useless war against marijuana is a good idea. I’m not saying that marijuana should not be regulated, but the Federal Government has a long history of favoring rich industry in its actions and that is what I believe is the primary motivation for continuing their failed marijuana policy. I want the Federal Government out of the business of ruining people’s lives over marijuana. Let states decide how marijuana should be regulated.

There is sufficient evidence now showing that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco and it has a very promising place in future medicine, yet those we have elected to lead us regularly ignore and suppress any evidence showing marijuana to be beneficial to society. Their action only serves to protect industries that would be negatively effected by legal marijuana and hemp. Most Americans would benefit from a well-regulated marijuana and hemp market when considering how useful the marijuana plant can be. Hemp for instance is one of the best plants to make biofuel and petrochemical products and is carbon neutral. It can also be made into building products such as beams and sheathing to replace lumber and is a fine source of fiber for paper. It can also be made into clothing and hemp seeds have all the essential oils and nutrients for human health and have been used for human and animal food for thousands of years. The medicinal uses of marijuana alone should be enough of a reason to change the restrictions on marijuana use in the Controlled Substances Act, but Congress and the President seem bent on protecting the pharmaceutical industry and others. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities, likely due to people substituting marijuana for alcohol. If marijuana was available for recreational use those traffic fatality reduction statistics would likely be even more dramatic.

Even if all this were not true, allowing adults to celebrate with a libation different from alcohol should not be illegal as long as it caused no more harm to society than alcohol. Alcohol causes far more harm to society than all illegal drugs combined and the harm from marijuana is a miniscule part of that harm to society. When the overwhelming racial bias in the prosecution of the war on drugs is factored in, I believe our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Until our government has a long history of protecting our freedom, instead of selling us out for profit, I for one want the surveillance stopped.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/house-committee-holds-hearing-on-nsa-surveillance-programs/2013/07/17/ffc3056c-eee3-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_story.html

http://www.aclu.org/billions-dollars-wasted-racially-biased-arrests

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/16/marijuana-legalization-kids-parents/2519339/

http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Other/ALC_INT.HTM

http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/08/a-group-of-drug-war-profiteers-are-askin

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/VRITHED.PDF

http://www.jackherer.com/

http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf

Randy Johnson

Is Congress Above The Law

The war against marijuana is more about what is good and beneficial to people and society about marijuana and protecting existing industries from competition than the health risks or damage to society from its use.
Consider hemp, which is one of the best feed stocks for biofuel or ethanol production. We could grow enough hemp to rival our petroleum production and it is carbon neutral. Hemp can also be used to make fabric for clothing and does not require the vast amount of chemicals used in cotton production. Over 50% of all agricultural chemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer are used in cotton production. Hemp can also be made into sulfur free charcoal to be used to fire coal-fired power plants, and again it is carbon neutral. It can be made into building materials such as sheathing to replace plywood and beams to replace lumber, saving our forests that actually capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Henry Ford once made a car from hemp based plastic that was said to be stronger than steel when struck with a hammer and it ran on biofuel made from hemp. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential oils and nutrients that are necessary for human health and have been used as food for people and livestock for thousands of years. Hemp was so vital to the development of our nation that up until a hundred years ago we had laws mandating that farmers grow hemp and it was even legal tender for a time in our nations history.
As far as smoked marijuana or marijuana edibles, marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. It has been found to be effective in treating pain, spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, wasting, post traumatic stress, cancer and more, yet our government steadfastly ignores all of this evidence, even though they hold a patent on marijuana that describes in detail how marijuana is efficacious in treating cancer. Could they be protecting the pharmaceutical industry? States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not determine the reason for this drop in traffic fatalities but speculated that it may be because people may have been substituting marijuana for alcohol. If that turns out to be the case, recreational marijuana may have an even greater effect on reducing traffic fatalities. Marijuana is far safer for individuals and society, than alcohol or tobacco from a health viewpoint and does not have the strong association with violence that alcohol has.
Based on what is currently known about marijuana, the arguments our government uses to support marijuana prohibition are baseless and just plain wrong. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that our government is protecting certain businesses from competition or loss from legal marijuana and hemp. But then again, why would you expect anything else from the corrupt government we have that believes they are above the law, the Constitution and the will of the people?
http://www.jackherer.com/
http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php
http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf
https://itsmycountrytoo.org/laws-built-on-lies/
http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/08/a-group-of-drug-war-profiteers-are-askin
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/VRITHED.PDF
Randy Johnson

Marijuana Is Not For Children Or Maybe It Is

Recently there were several stories in the news of children ingesting edible marijuana products, some requiring medical treatment. The articles generally called this poisoning, yet the treatment indicated the patients were watched and after several hours of rest, they were released and were fine with no further complications. Poisoning is a pretty strong term for marijuana ingestion as it would likely be impossible to produce a life threatening condition by ingesting marijuana. DEA Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, once declared after hearing extensive testimony from doctors and patients on the efficacy of marijuana as medicine that;

15. In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.

16. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.” http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

While marijuana may not harm a child by an incidental or accidental ingestion, its effect on the developing brain is not well understood and children should not have access to marijuana. Just like parents should not allow children to consume alcohol and tobacco, the use of marijuana needs to be restricted to adults. Children lack the maturity and experience to deal with intoxicating substances and the health risks to children’s developing brains is just too great a risk. Parents or grandparents that use marijuana, with children in the home should be cognizant that edible marijuana products are a strong temptation for children and their access should be restricted. You wouldn’t want your child raiding your liquor cabinet or smoking your cigarettes and the same precautions should apply to your marijuana as well.

http://healthyliving.msn.com/pregnancy-parenting/kids-health/kids-poisoned-by-medical-marijuana-study-finds-1

Often marijuana prohibition advocates use the argument that marijuana needs to remain illegal to protect the children. An article by William Cooke from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, titled ” Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children – an argument for drug legalization”, highlights the errors in that argument. Among his observations are that marijuana use among children is actually lower in Holland where people can use marijuana without being arrested, because the people selling the marijuana are legitimate business people who want to preserve their business and therefore will not break the law and sell to minors. While there will always be people who will help minors gain access to marijuana just like people give alcohol and cigarettes to children. Children as a general rule cannot purchase alcohol or tobacco from the store. Legal outlets have a strong incentive to check ages of young customers to protect their business. The article also discusses the racial beginnings of anti-marijuana laws and the racial bias in todays enforcement where an inordinate number of Black and Latino families are torn apart by racial profiling and incarceration in the war on drugs. Also the article discusses the fact that most drug related violence and gangs that harm children would go away if drugs were legalized. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a fine organization of law enforcement officers, judges and others in the criminal justice system that advocate for an end to the failed war on drugs. This article at http://www.leap.cc/ is an excellent read. http://copssaylegalize.blogspot.com/2009/12/wont-somebody-please-think-of-children.html
Update:
As a desperate attempt to save their child who was experiencing epileptic seizures, sometimes up to 250 a day where he would stop breathing until the seizure was over, these parents decided to try medical marijuana to help their child. They had tried 17 different medications and treatments that didn’t work and one doctor recommended medical marijuana. A group of brothers who own a medical marijuana store in Colorado have been growing a special strain of marijuana that is very low in THC especially for him and he has been seizure free now for 9 months. These conservative, Christian parents believe marijuana has saved their child’s life.
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/medical-marijuana-can-help-sick-kids-some-worry-about-risks-6C10506407

Is It Sinful To Have Fun

As my children reached the age where they were no longer entertained by Legos and toy cars and more interested in video games, I looked for ways to engage them outdoors where fresh air and exercise would more likely be available. We would go camping, fishing and my love for riding motorcycles was one of the things that I wanted to share with my children. The first bike they got was a Honda Mini Trail 50 that I thought would be the safest way to teach them to ride. On his first attempt my eldest son ran into a tree but quickly became able to avoid obstacles and avoid injury. Both boys loved the experience, so I bought them each a bike and one for myself, so I could keep up with them. I always stressed that they should always wear a helmet, long pants and never ride alone. Our riding was always off-road, which meant loading the bikes in the truck or on a trailer and transporting them an hour or so away. Because of this, we would often include a camping trip with the motorcycle riding and that somewhat limited their riding. We had a large vacant lot down the street from our house and I had an agreement with the land owner to allow my sons to ride there, and in return I would keep the property mowed and we would pick up trash as well. It seemed like a reasonable and safe way for my sons to be able to ride not far from the house when we could not schedule a trip to the river or the lake where we would ride trails. They were instructed to push the bikes the half block to the vacant lot as riding down the street or the ally would have been illegal. However it never really worked out. Almost every time they attempted to ride, someone would call the police and when the police arrived my children would be threatened with arrest and impoundment of the motorcycles. I discussed this with the police on a couple of occasions and assured them that we had permission to ride where they were riding and each time the police concluded that as long as they had permission it would be ok, but the harassment never ended. I even went to talk to the district attorney and the local judge to try to find what ordinance we were breaking and never got an answer and both refered me back to the police who simply stated that they could not ride in the city because they had no license and the bikes were not street legal. The police had an exception for themselves though. They had 4 wheelers that they would ride at public gatherings such as parades and large gatherings such as the annual Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. The only thing that made any sense to me about the police not allowing my children to ride on the lot was that someone had complained and they felt obligated to stop the offense. I was never able to find out which ordinance we were breaking and other off-road vehicles such as riding mowers, golf carts and tractors were never a problem. Is it just that some people can’t stand to see others having fun?

Society seems bent on forbidding things that people enjoy, not because of public safety, but because they associate enjoyment with sinful behavior. I believe this is why the legalization of marijuana has had such an uphill climb. Some people see the use of marijuana as morally wrong. Like people who use marijuana are broken and must be repaired by society, usually through punishment such as fines, probation or incarceration. Now that our government has finally conceded that calling this a war against marijuana is counter productive and alienates the public, they have slightly altered their tactics. Now many courts are offering the chance for rehabilitation instead of incarceration. The financial penalty still applies as the defendant must still pay court costs and the cost of rehabilitation, plus the loss of wages while undergoing the rehabilitation. And if the defendant does not complete the rehabilitation or fails any of the mandatory drug tests, they are right back to incarceration. The only thing is, most marijuana users do not agree that they actually need or want to be rehabilitated. There is nothing morally different from marijuana use than drinking wine or beer. What if everyone caught with alcohol were treated this way? Why are we not allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol and why must the punishment be so severe? Even in places where marijuana is decriminalized or where the punishment is less severe, the prosecuting attorney often stacks charges, such as intent to distribute and paraphernalia charges to increase the penalty. If the person has a firearm, the charges automatically escalate to felony weapons charges in addition to the marijuana charges, even though marijuana has a much lower association with violence than alcohol. Just because someone chooses to use marijuana does not mean they are a threat to themselves or society, and it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Millions of people use marijuana and alcohol every day without problems. Why can’t people in society, simply live and let live? Don’t you have enough problems of your own?

Randy Johnson

This article from reason magazine highlights how governments and society ban all sorts of relatively benign behavior because of Puritanical beliefs, most of which are not based on facts.

http://reason.com/archives/2013/06/26/the-government-bans-fun-not-danger/1

White House Blames Marijuana For Crime But Omits Data On Alcohol

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recently released a 2012 study about drug use and crime titled “Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program II” which stated that marijuana is prevalent in a large percentage of arrests for crime. Curiously missing in the study, as reported by Reason Magazine is the data on the prevalence of alcohol use in these arrests. Reason has filed a freedom of information request for the missing data after a Twitter inquiry was stonewalled by the ONDCP Communications Director Rafael Lemaitre. The text of the Twitter feed can be read with the Reason article at. http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/28/why-did-the-drug-czars-office-withhold-a

Alcohol consumption by volume and frequency of use were in the questions asked of the arrestees but that data was eliminated from the report. See page ten, Exhibit 2.1 to see the questions posed to the participants. http://www.scribd.com/doc/143455182/2012-ANNUAL-REPORT-ARRESTEE-DRUG-ABUSE-MONITORING-PROGRAM-II

Official White House Policy, “Only release information that furthers the cause of marijuana prohibition and hide the truth when it does not”. The war on marijuana is a horrible and hateful miscarriage of justice, perpetuated with lies and misinformation to protect big business from competition or loss from legal marijuana. Millions of lives and families have been harmed by this unjust war so far. How long will we continue to tolerate this kind of interference in our lives by our government. We aren’t free if we can’t make decisions about our own health and safety.

Update to original article:

The Drug Czar’s office responded to why they omitted data on alcohol in the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring report.

Last week, we released the 2012 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Annual Report (ADAM II), a long running study that reveals the percentage of arrestees in certain U.S. cities/counties testing positive for at least one illegal drug at the time of arrest….Typically, however, the annual ADAM report does not include findings about alcohol use. Why? Here are three reasons:

1. Simply put, the nexus between alcohol use and crime is already well documented….Moreover, there are already many other surveys that compare rates of legal drug use to illegal drug use….What’s harder to investigate, however, are emerging trends in illegal drug use – which fluctuate and shift more widely compared to alcohol – at the local level, and among a highly transient, often homeless criminal justice population.

2. The ADAM II study doesn’t test arrestees for alcohol in the first place. One of the primary characteristics that make the ADAM II survey unique is that it collects bioassay data (urinalysis) from arrestees within 48 hours of arrest (as opposed to larger surveys such as NSDUH that rely solely on a questionnaire). Since ADAM II only tests for certain illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines/methamphetamine, Darvon, PCP, benzodiazepines, methadone, and barbiturates), there are no data on positive alcohol results to report in the study.

As part of the data collection process, some questions are asked about alcohol use, but since the focus of the annual report is on the drug test results, the findings from the alcohol questions are not included in the report. However, in keeping with the scientific principles of transparency and accessibility and Administration policy, ONDCP makes the complete ADAM II raw data file available to researchers so they can conduct their own analyses. These raw data are available for previous years of ADAM data collection through the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data warehouse used by many Federal agencies to make their data available to the research community. (Users must first register with the ICPSR and sign a user’s agreement, and more recent years data will be available there soon).

3. The primary focus of ONDCP is to reduce illegal drug use and its consequences. A component of the Executive Office of the President, ONDCP was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (you can read our Congressional authorization here). Accordingly, ONDCP’s primary mission has focused on efforts to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.

Associate Editor Mike Riggs of Reason Magazine is still disappointed in the response because the information requested from the ONDCP is still not available. Data on alcohol from previous years of the same report is available as raw data from a third-party, but only up to 2010.

These raw data are available for previous years of ADAM data collection through the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data warehouse used by many Federal agencies to make their data available to the research community. (Users must first register with the ICPSR and sign a user’s agreement, and more recent years data will be available there soon). http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/28/drug-czars-office-admits-to-omitting-alc

 

Randy Johnson

Government Mandated Drug Testing Is Wrong

Since the laws governing use and sale of marijuana have been largely ignored, our government found other ways to punish those they could not catch and prosecute. They coerce employers into bypassing the need for a warrant to search a person by mandating drug testing as a condition of employment. For the government to randomly test people for drug use, drug testing would be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, but by the government mandating that all businesses that do business with the federal government, drug test as a condition of employment, they get away with forcing us to submit to drug testing or being punished through denied employment. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone or want to encourage drug use on the job, but the urine test for marijuana does not determine if a person is under the influence, only that they have used marijuana in the last few days. Saliva tests for detecting marijuana are a much better determination of the tested person actually being under the influence than a urine test. The saliva test detects marijuana use from 2 to 24 hours while the urine test detects marijuana metabolites up to 30 days or more in chronic users. There is actually a urine test for alcohol that can tell if a person has had a drink in the last 80 hours, but no one seems interested in using that test, except the probation or parole authorities. I really don’t care what employers want to do as far as drug testing. Employers should be able to determine what is acceptable behavior in their employees. If they want to prohibit alcohol, drugs, tobacco use or even obesity, it is fine with me. What bothers me is for the federal government to mandate drug testing through legislation, as a way to punish those they can’t catch and prosecute. Denied employment punishes the whole family. If the only way to tell if a person has used marijuana is to send their urine to a lab, is the marijuana use really a problem?

The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice study of drug testing in the workplace, indicates that significant benefits are achieved through random and post accident drug testing of individuals such as increased productivity, lower accident rates and lower absenteeism. What is not clear from the study, is how much marijuana use influences those statistics when in aggregate with alcohol and other illicit drugs. It is also worth noting that all the people conducting the study, work in the drug testing field as professionals, although they all signed a no conflict of interest declaration. http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org/Issues/Vol%205%20Issue%204/Basic-11-22Efficacy%20Study%20Publication%20Final.pdf

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation study, Drug Testing In The Workplace  by The Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work drew starkly different results. Among their conclusions are that alcohol is likely a much stronger influence on job safety than illegal drugs and there is no justification for drug testing in the workplace as a means of policing the private behavior of employees. It also points out that many factors have an impact on safety and productivity such as bad working conditions, sleeping and health problems, excessive workloads and work-related stress. It also points out the flaws in workplace drug testing such as drug testing is not an indicator of current intoxication and that empowering employers to investigate and punish private behavior is in conflict with liberal-democratic values. http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/drug-testing-workplacesummary-conclusions-independent-inquiry-drug-testing-work

While I think we can all agree that people working under the influence of drugs can be a hazard not only to themselves but also others. Tests that indicate a person being under the influence would be a much better way to police unwanted activity in the workplace.

Randy Johnson

http://www.ehow.com/about_5434202_information-urine-alcohol-test.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_test

Freedom Brings All Kinds of Surprises

Skulls elongated by binding that look eerily alien found in an ancient burial site in Sonora of northern Mexico are proof that people have been making strange decisions about what they do to their bodies for a long time. Today piercings, mutilations and tattoos are the rage among some young people and boob implants and liposuction and Botox for others. Vain attempts to find a niche in society.

http://t.now.msn.com/alien-like-skulls-found-in-mexican-cemetery

Truth is, we’re all looking for ways to connect with those around us. We choose activities that we believe stir interest in others and trying to create fun and play are part of how we connect. Drinking alcohol has been a large part of that process for a long time because it lowers inhibitions and makes us more outgoing. It makes social connection a little easier to initiate. But alcohol also has a darker side and not everyone who drinks is affected in that way, but anyone who has been around drinking much have seen it, ” the violent mean drunk”, which is one of the reasons many people prefer marijuana. In 40 years of using marijuana and interacting with marijuana users, I have never seen a person get violent without due provocation under the influence of just marijuana. Can people under the influence of marijuana be provoked? The answer is certainly yes, but so can those who do no drugs. For many it is just a safer alternative to alcohol. A safer way to connect with those around us.

Only when we learn to accept or at least tolerate those among us that do things we may not favor or approve of will we ever truly be free.

Randy Johnson