|Ethics of Drug Testing|
Many believe drug testing is an unreasonable search, and that it forces people to incriminate themselves, a violation of the 4th and 5th amendments. Employers, like anyone, have been effected by the "Reefer Madness Movement". Drug testing is un-American because guilt is assumed until the test proves innocence. There are greater negative effects in drug testing than in drug use.
The only effective way to select workers is to evaluate their performance on the job. Drugs can actually improve performance. Aspirin relieves pain, allowing a worker to continue. Marijuana (when consumed on the job) makes repetitive factory oriented work more interesting, which lengthens a workers attention span. Stimulants will keep workers productive at the end of long work days. If the negative effects of drug use begin to show in the worker's performance, their employer has a number of options for dealing with it. Phil Smith summarizes an article in March 1990 Scientific American suggesting that workers who tested positive for marijuana only:
1) cost less in health insurance benefits;
2) had a higher than average rate of promotion;
3) exhibited less absenteeism; and
4) were fired for cause less often
than workers who did not test positive. Since marijuana is the most common illicit drug used by adults, and the one detected in up to 90 percent of all "positive" drug tests (half of which are false), this fact has radical implications for current public and employer policies.
Now it's becoming popular for parents to drug test their children. Drug hysteria is breaking up families, cutting down lines of communication, and violating children's privacy. The U.S. Supreme court ruled June 1995 that public high schools can require drug test for all student athletes. Many high schools already do random searches on students; not for weapons, but for drugs.
It's also important to consider the discrimination factor. People with dark skin may fail the urine test due to the false positive melanin. Drugs are detected easier in dark haired people when the hair test is used.
We are sacrificing too many important rights by allowing drug testing to continue. Until this unjust drug testing frenzy is put to an end, children, workers, military service people, and parolees need to learn how to protect themselves from drug testing.