Employers Advised to Hold Off on Testing for Pot Use

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine official says employers shouldn’t test for marijuana because state law doesn’t allow workers to be fired for using it.

A committee tasked with establishing new regulations in the wake of the legalization of recreational marijuana heard testimony Monday from a labor department official who said the state’s current rules are an outlier.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Julie Rabinowitz said employers currently can’t fire an employee or reject an applicant for failing a drug test. She said employers need more leeway to maintain drug-free workplaces.

Read more at High Times

How 2 Grad Students Rewrote Nevada’s DUI Laws on Pot

In these dark days of science denial, or as some call it, willful ignorance, it’s encouraging when the work of a couple of grad students is taken so seriously that it changes one of the many erroneous laws on marijuana.

Two students at Touro University Nevada came to an important conclusion after their professor instructed the medical jurisprudence class to design a project involving medical law and public health and to participate in a poster competition.

“We were actually drawing a blank on what our project could be… when we read something in the paper about voters going to the polls on recreational marijuana,” said Charles Cullison who worked with Graham Lambert on the class project.

Read more at High Times

The Feds Will Be Drug Testing Drivers At Burning Man

Cannabis and a variety of other controlled substances will be the targets of law enforcement officers empowered by the Bureau of Land Management to test vehicle operators traveling in and out of Burnings Man’s desert playa — in Nevada, which just legalized recreational cannabis. What’s going on?

Legal cannabis sales in Nevada are set to start this July, but the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management will be showing no love to the state’s new cannabis users: A microscopic 10 nanograms of cannabis per milliliter of urine (or 2 ng/ml of blood) will get you popped if you’re behind the wheel, according to a statement in today’s Federal Register.

Law enforcement will conduct the tests at their own discretion, but also at BLM’s request, based on guidelines listed in today’s announcement. Erratic driving or possession of anything falling under the notoriously broad category of “drug paraphernalia” appear to be the chief “red flags” that will initiate these encounters.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Everything You Need to Know About Marijuana Blood Tests

Over the past few years, quite a few states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use. With this legalization, police officers needed a way to test drivers who appeared to be too stoned to drive.

This, in turn, has made the marijuana blood test the go-to way to check for impairment during a traffic stop.

Roadside tests and demonstrated impairment still play a role and assessment by a Drug Recognition Expert is now common. But most police departments attempt to verify these results with a blood test. If the allegedly impaired driver has more than the state’s per se limit (often 1 to 5 ng/mL of THC), a DUI conviction usually becomes much more likely.

Read more at High Times

Philadelphia Ponders Eliminating Drug Testing for Pot

While the government of Pennsylvania’s largest city cannot legalize marijuana, it can make life easier for pot consumers by banning drug testing for certain jobs or by prohibiting employers from testing potential employees at least until a conditional job offer is made.

Sounds reasonable.

Such leniency would not necessarily indicate an approval of smoking weed, nor an attempt to make it more accessible, reports the Good Men Project. It would simply ensure that more Philadelphians can get jobs by reducing the barriers to employment in a valiant attempt to lower the city’s 26 percent poverty rate.

Read more at High Times

Yes, Poppy Seed-Eaters CAN Flunk a Drug Test

In 2010, Elizabeth Mort was preparing to give birth. Before she went into labor, the Pennsylvania woman steeled herself by eating a poppy-seed bagel. Because of this, state child-protective services seized the newborn child and placed Mort’s baby in foster care—as Mort’s blood tested positive for opium metabolites.

Yes, a Seinfeld episode brought to life. (Why hospitals feel the need to screen new mothers’ blood for drugs, after eating bagels and delivering babies, is another matter.)

This is a real thing, and it’s a real problem.

Read more at High Times

Few Welfare Recipients Tested for Drugs in Maine Under Law

BY MARINA VILLENEUVE

ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul LePage has long contended that drug-testing welfare recipients will help protect taxpayer dollars, but only a handful have submitted to tests under the current law. His administration blames Democrats for the scant results.

Read more at High Times

How One Police Department Took the Green Out of St. Paddy’s Day

On March 17, the San Diego Police Department rolled out two new mobile drug testing machines in the city’s historic Gaslamp District, an area known for its nightlife and the home of an annual St. Patrick’s Day block party.

The DrugTest 5000 tests oral swabs for cannabinoids, opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines and methadone. The devices are rechargeable and portable, weighing in at about 10 pounds and approximately the size of a home coffee maker.

The DrugTest 5000, manufactured by German manufacturer Dräger with U.S. operations based in Irving, Texas, hit the market in 2009 and is currently in use in about a dozen U.S. states, Europe and Australia. A California judge in 2016 found the machines to be scientifically reliable in a vehicular manslaughter case.

Read more at High Times

The Age of the Mass—Against Your Consent—Drug Test

Even if you refuse to pee in a cup and never submit to a drug test in your life, authorities can still check your effluvia for drugs, as a recent episode in Auckland, New Zealand has demonstrated.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city—and Auckland has a serious methamphetamine problem. No citizen can deny it: They’ve provided the evidence, currently flowing underneath them through the city’s sewers. 

Auckland has more than 1.6 million people. Drug-testing each and every one of them would be a titanic undertaking (as well as a mass invasion of privacy), but researchers at Massey University hit upon a way to test everyone’s pee without having them pee into 1.6 million individual cups. Researchers went instead to the city’s two wastewater treatment plants, where wastewater was tested for evidence of 17 illegal drugs—excluding cannabis, but including codeine, cocaine and meth.

Read more at High Times