Freedom fighters.

From 2005 to 2008 I maintained a blog about my experiences working in the drug test industry. Every Sunday I revive one of those experiences here. The following was originally posted July 21, 2005.

Freedom fighters.

There are lots of websites out there that will help you fool me.

Lots of them. Go ask Google; he’ll tell you.

All you could ever want to know about passing a drug test (short of not actually doing drugs, of course) is at your fingertips, just one query away.

Small packets of bleach crystals you can hide in your wallet. Tricks on keeping a sneaked-in specimen the proper temperature by utilizing a condom, a rubber band and a piece of tape. Dehydrated urine, guaranteed clean, right off the shelf. Quick-result one-panel test kits. And for those pesky observed collections: prosthetic genitalia.

Go ahead. Look it up. Thousands and thousands of people want you to put one over on me.

Thousands of websites, each with a different product to peddle, each flying the Constitution as their banner. “Drug testing is an invasion of privacy!” they bellow. “The government should have no right to your bodily fluids!” And while you’re at it, here are some helpful products to ensure you cheat successfully.

Because when it comes to drug testing, these freedom fighters are more preoccupied with passing their next test than actually changing the laws they consider unfair or unjust.

I can think of at least three good reasons that the “violation of your rights” arguments are totally bogus. Observe:

First, nobody’s forcing you to do anything. While there are extreme cases where the contrary is true, for the most part you can not be forced to take a drug test. Especially not in the case of employment; if you don’t want to drug test to get a job, don’t work there.

Second, the argument is consistant with the popular non-smoking mantra: “Employees are entitled to smoke-free establishments so no employer has the right to allow smoking in his place of business.” Flipped to drug testing: “Employees are entitled to their illegal drugs so no employer has the right to allow drug testing in his place of business.” If your hang-up is personal rights, it’s hard to argue the second without also arguing the first. Something tells me the anti-smoking people and the anti-drug test people don’t have much of an overlap.

Third, consider the company that makes the little plastic wang to help cheat on observed drug tests. Or the company that sells instant “clean pee powder”. Do you think these guys really want the big evil laws to go away? Do you really think these guys are praying for legislation to come and rip their livelihood out from under them?

And yet, I catch them all the time. Cold samples. Lame excuses. The distinctive odor of bleach. When they’re actually here trying to pull off whatever-trick-they-read-on-website-x the story isn’t “Drug testing is unconstitutional and I believe it is an invasion of my privacy,” but rather “Well I have to go right this minute because my aunt is waiting in the car and she doesn’t have an anklebone and I have to be with her so I can help her out of the car and we have an appointment in ten minutes.”

I cannot remember one single applicant using the “big evil law” argument against me. They all just want to cheat and cheat fast.

I am, of course, not saying you shouldn’t smoke dope. I don’t disillusion myself to the point that I believe I can dictate what others ought and ought not do with themselves. Grown adults have to be left alone to make decisions for themselves, including the decision to partake of illegal substances. These decisions, however, have consequences; if you plan to shoot up regularly, you had better plan to work a job that doesn’t drug test.

In the meantime, I’m here in the trenches dealing with your over-microwaved samples, your easy-to-conceal pills that dissolve instantly on contact. Use whatever excuse you like. If pretending to be a freedom fighter helps you get through your day, rock on.

You’ll only end up here, after all.

(For the record, the story with the amazing ankle-boneless auntie was an excuse by an honest-to-goodness cheater. So that gives you a taste of what I’m up against.)

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