Feds To Overhaul Employee Drug Testing Standards

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Feds To Overhaul Employee Drug Testing Standards

    January 15, 2004 - Washington, DC, USA

    New Policy Will Encourage Use Of "Unproven Procedures," Including Hair, Saliva, And Sweat Patch Testing

    Washington, DC: New government standards regulating employee drug screening will strongly encourage employers to conduct hair, saliva, and sweat patch testing among the nation's 1.6 million federal workers, a spokesman from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced this week. The agency - which sets the screening guidelines and is responsible for approximately 6.5 million of the 40 million workplace drug tests conducted annually by US employers - said that the policy changes would likely take effect within one year.

    NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre criticized the pending change, emphasizing that the tests will not increase either workplace safety or production. "These tests, in particular hair testing, are for the most part unproven procedures unsupported by the scientific literature or well-controlled clinical studies," he said. "In addition, these tests do little if anything to detect an employee's actual impairment on the job - which should be the employer's primary concern. Rather, these tests allow employers to go on a virtual fishing expedition of their employee's private, off-the-job personal habits and practices, none of which are the employers' business."

    Currently, federal employers and the majority of private companies that drug test rely on urine screens, which detect the presence of non-psychoactive metabolites indicative of past drug use, but do not indicate impairment.

    For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Further information on drug testing is available on NORML's website at:

    updated: Jan 15, 2004


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