I-502 Roundup

A few more items in the new world order:

1. Jonathan Martin writes about how the world of drug-testing job applicants remains largely unchanged by I-502. Marijuana may become legal on December 6, but a number of employers (especially ones who have no choice due to federal policy) will still be having potential employees pee in a cup before they can start. Thankfully, most of this area’s top companies are generally smart enough not to waste their money on this.

When I was hired by Boeing during my senior year in Ann Arbor, having to take a drug test caught me off-guard. At the time, head shops sold both pre-mixed drinks and un-mixed powders that you’d consume the morning of the test in order to pee clean. I’ve heard that drug testing firms have gotten better about detecting those, but at the time, it was rather simple to beat those tests. As the internet has grown, pre-employment drug screenings have often been referred to as “intelligence tests” since it only tests to make sure you’re smart enough to get on Google and find out how to beat them.

Being in the software/internet/IT world, I don’t have to worry about this any more. In fact, if I come across a company that actually wants me to take a drug test (and isn’t being forced by federal policy to do so), I’d take it as a sign there’s something wrong with the company. It’s like saying “we’re so dysfunctional, a person with a drug problem can pass the interview and work here unnoticed”. Almost no companies do it.

The state of Florida recently implemented a program to drug screen welfare recipients. Despite a lot of rhetoric about how this was a fiscally responsible decision, the program actually cost taxpayers more money. There’s little reason to believe that the dynamic is any different when it comes to pre-employment screening and is costing companies money that they could be spending elsewhere.

2. Joe Fryer from KING5 looks at Colorado’s strict regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. It’s an informative piece, although I take slight exception with this wording:

Washington has been hesitant to regulate businesses that grow and sell medical marijuana because the federal government still considers it a Schedule 1 drug with no medical benefits.

It wasn’t “Washington” that was hesitant to regulate them. The voters of this state have long supported it, and the legislature passed a bill to have it done very similarly to how Colorado does it. The only one who was hesitant was Governor Gregoire, who vetoed those regulations and left us miles behind Colorado. Because of that blunder, Colorado will have a much easier transition into regulated sales than we will, although I’m starting to become more confident that Governor-Elect Inslee will be a little smarter on this subject.

3. Why is so hard for the Tacoma News Tribune to find someone who isn’t a complete moron when talking about the drug war? I don’t have time to dissect the whole thing, so let me quickly summarize the things that Brian O’Neill gets wrong:

- The relationship between the Mexican government’s concern for drug trafficking and the level of the violence is the exact opposite of what O’Neill assumes. Over the years, as the Mexican government has intensified its fight against the traffickers, the amount of violence in the country has gone way up, not down. If the reverse happens, and Mexico stops worrying about them, the violence would start going back down again.
- Mexican drug trafficking organizations have shown that regardless of what the Mexican government does, they can still make billions of dollars from American drug consumption. The total amount of money spent by Americans isn’t the main variable here. In other words, if the Mexican government eased up on its enforcement, the main thing that would likely happen is that prices in the U.S. might go down a bit, not that drug trafficking organizations would make that much more in profits.
- Regardless of what happens with marijuana policy in Mexico City, neither the Mexican nor American government has ever been able to stop cocaine, meth, or other drugs from being smuggled into the United States. The idea that it will become harder if Mexico stops trying to interdict just marijuana is absurd. If anything, it would make it easier, since it can focus on a smaller percentage of the overall drug trade.
- There’s some disagreement about the extent that I-502 (and Colorado’s measure) will impact Mexico’s drug trafficking organizations, but believing that it will lead to a more porous border and higher profits for illegal gangs is pure lunacy. The amount of money they make is a function of how much Americans spend in the black market. If laws (like Washington’s and Colorado’s) re-direct that consumer spending away from the black market, the gangs make less. It’s not rocket science, and the News Tribune should really try harder to get someone on their staff who understands it.


  1. 2

    Gimme Gimme Gimme spews:

    yes, I agree – lets have people on dope building planes, driving rigs, and working on construction sites!

    its a great idea!

  2. 3

    Deathfrogg spews:

    George Bush wasn’t a “stoner”. He was a lush. He was regularly drunk on duty and piloted his jet that way.

    When he actually decided to show up at his national Guard stint and had his pilots license pulled, permanently, when he showed up for a physical with a bad hangover and cocaine in his system. The physical was commanded after he blew the seals in the main landing struts during a hard landing.

    The only differences between him and some Thunderbird-slugging bum in the alley at Third and Pike was the fact that his family had money and highest-level political connections. This is also the reason why he was able to avoid jail.

    You notice, he’s never flown an aircraft since his little playboy stint in the Guard.

  3. 4

    Tea for everyone spews:

    Yes actually I think the company’s (Like Rick Steves firm)should just have a pot dispensor in their lunch room. After all with Owebammacare coming into effect, we want brain surgeons laughing and munching twinkies while turning out those labotomies on all progressives.

  4. 8

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Caution is the word to live by. The DEA is not going to sit idly by and let people enjoy cannabis in the privacy of their homes. That agency will injure or kill people using cannabis out in the open in a New York minute and invade peoples’ homes, too.

    Remember, the government is there to hurt you. It is only interested in its power and privileges, not your individual rights and liberties as guaranteed by the Constitution. The DEA is no different than any government agency seeking domination, power and control over the populace.

  5. 10


    You have an uncannily good ability to represent the current state of affairs in America. A great nation called the Untied States of America was built without a single drug test. To think that we need them now is very representative of the type of baseless garbage being promoted to intimidate and belittle voters under the guise of protection.

  6. 11

    Dondegroovily spews:

    For the record, most companies that test for marijuana also test for alcohol. And arguably, if you can’t quit for long enough to pass the pre-employment drug screen, you probably have a serious drug problem, whether alcohol, marijuana, or something else.

  7. 12


    Almost all of the drug screening that I’ve seen looks for non-active THC, which can be in your body for weeks after use. Things may have changed recently, but even quitting for a week probably wouldn’t help you pass a pee test.

  8. 13

    Politically Incorrect spews:


    I understand there are de-tox stuff you can buy. I saw some of it over at Fred Meyer’s the other day. The scuttlebutt is that it clears out the THC from your system fairly effectively so you can pass a drug test for cannabis.

    If I were in the situation where needed the stuff, I’d get it and try it. I think the stuff comes in a red and white box. I’ve heard it works well.

  9. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    Speaking of presidents..

    We all know about George Washington cultivating hemp (yea, sure, it was for the rope, THAT’s the ticket…)

    But in general, before Temperence America was built mostly by drunkards. Every American President imbibed prior to prohibition, as far as I know. And the 1800′s were known for their excesses in alchohol consumption across all levels of society – from Andrew Jackson and (especially) including U.S. Grant. I include the latter reluctantly, because he was a bing drinker when he was apart from his wife, but when she was with him she was able to keep him under control.

  10. 15


    The amount of alcohol consumed per capita in the 1800s in America was mind-boggling. Way, way more than what Americans consume today.

  11. 16

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 15: Yes, for a variety of reasons. Some of it made sense – as America urbanized, it’s water supplies were very unsafe, cholera would strike in waves.

    But another factor was that the working-man couldn’t afford whiskey very often, so he would buy beer by the bucket from the local saloon. It was a common site to see young children going into saloons nightly with their bucket for the evening beer. But since unpasteurize and unrefrigerated beer goes bad quickly, it couldn’t be saved, so it had to be consumed that evening.

    But of course, the whiskey distillaries did their share of business for those who could afford it, as well.