is it immoral to beat a drug test

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is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby edy420 on August 23rd, 2011, 1:33 pm 

My stance on smoking marijuana, includes protesting my right to smoking no matter what the consequences.
To make a stand I do things like smoke in front of the court house.

But making a stand with regards to drug testing means I won't get the job I want, so I'm left to weigh up smoking vs working.
My end decision is, I'm giving up Marijuana to pass the initial drug test. (which should take me another week or so)

I find the drug test absurd.
I can accept that most employers don't want their workers smoking at the work place and from my own personal experience I can see good reasons why.
But what I do at home in my own time should be entirely up to me and not my employer.
The drug test does not show that I don't smoke at work and only smoke at home, instead it just shows that I'm a criminal and implies I'm not fit for work.

The person hiring me is an old workmate who's now the second in command and he knows about my use.
After I pass the first drug test, If anyone asks if I use marijuana at home, I will reply yes.
And when it's time for random drug testing, I won't have long enough to give up and flush out my system, so I will most likely fail that one.
But my foot will be in the door and I'll have to do rehab etc, but at least I'll still have a job :P

From what I have seen it is ethical to beat a drug test.
I can see how it is immoral to cheat a drug test by taking a sample of someone else's urine.
But is it immoral to give up temporarily for the sake of beating a drug test and starting a job?
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby rboisson on August 24th, 2011, 9:25 pm 

To begin with, I’ll say that I’m not passing any judgment on you for smoking. Whether you smoke or not is your business, and that decision should be up to you, not anyone else.

However, I’m not sure I agree with the logic that you are using. You state that it would be unethical to use someone else’s urine to beat the drug test, but quitting smoking only for the purposes of the drug test would not be unethical.

If you use someone else’s urine, you are creating the false impression to the employer that you do not and will not smoke pot. If you quit only for the drug test, you are creating the exact same impression. The tactics are different, but the intent and outcome is the same. If the intent and outcome is the same, the method alone cannot be a justification for the action.

It’s like saying, stealing a CD from the store is unethical; but if the cashier forgets to ring it up amongst other items, I realize the mistake, and I walk out with it anyway, this is not unethical.

Smoking may not affect your job performance, but the employer may feel, probably correctly, that on average, people that smoke are riskier hires. Since it is an illegal activity, I see the drug tests as a method to eliminate risk on the part of the employer. While it may be unfair to some, it protects the employer; especially considering a failed drug test could indicate the presence of other, more serious drugs.

It seems like you are taking an ethical stance that drug testing is not ethical on the part of the employer. That’s a legitimate stance, and brings up the issue of what an employer should be able to dictate in terms of your personal life. But if you are going to take this stance, then you should maintain that cheating the test is ethical IN ANY MANNER, including using someone else’s urine.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby Lomax on August 25th, 2011, 7:03 am 

rboisson wrote:However, I’m not sure I agree with the logic that you are using. You state that it would be unethical to use someone else’s urine to beat the drug test, but quitting smoking only for the purposes of the drug test would not be unethical.

If you use someone else’s urine, you are creating the false impression to the employer that you do not and will not smoke pot. If you quit only for the drug test, you are creating the exact same impression. The tactics are different, but the intent and outcome is the same. If the intent and outcome is the same, the method alone cannot be a justification for the action.


I'm not so sure, I think it depends how frequent and recent your marijuana use needs to have been, in order to make you a "user". I mean, suppose the last time I smoked marijuana was 2 years ago; most drug tests would fail to pick this up, and I also think most employers wouldn't care, because in their judgement I would not currently be a user.

At any rate, Edy420 clearly (judging from past threads) doesn't think that smoking MJ is immoral itself, despite its illegality, so I'm not sure on what grounds passing the drug test could count as any worse. Technically he would have passed the test by fair means, and the employer presumably knows that the drug test reports "Edy420 has not consumed cannabis in the last [x amount of time]" rather than "Edy420 has not consumed cannabis ever".
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby Eclogite on August 25th, 2011, 7:40 am 

I have difficulty giving you a meaningful reply here edy. For the record I smoked one marijuana cigarette over thrity five years ago and once inadvertently ate a tray of hashloaded brownies.

My problem in answering your question is that I believe the immorality in this instance lies with the employer. Employers are paying you to carry out certain work to a certain standard in a certain time frame. What you do outwith that time frame is absolutely no concern of theirs. It only becomes a concern if your external behaviour affects the quality of your work. That can be discerned by examining the work, not by examining the worker.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby rboisson on August 25th, 2011, 8:01 am 

Eclogite wrote:I have difficulty giving you a meaningful reply here edy. For the record I smoked one marijuana cigarette over thrity five years ago and once inadvertently ate a tray of hashloaded brownies.

My problem in answering your question is that I believe the immorality in this instance lies with the employer. Employers are paying you to carry out certain work to a certain standard in a certain time frame. What you do outwith that time frame is absolutely no concern of theirs. It only becomes a concern if your external behaviour affects the quality of your work. That can be discerned by examining the work, not by examining the worker.


Using that logic, you're saying it is also immoral to conduct a criminal background check. Criminal acts usually occur outside of work, so the employer should have no rights to inquire about these acts and base decisions off of them? The issue is not whether or not smoking should be illegal, the fact is smoking marijuana is illegal. Therefore, employers have the right to know the personal character of the people they are hiring. Imagine that you are an employer, you are going to want to hire the people you feel are most qualified for the job to minimize risk to yourself.

Say you are hiring for a position and you have two people who are similar in qualifications and in every other way. One smokes marijuana and the other does not, this is the only differentiating characteristic. Which person are you going to hire? Yes I understand that smoking pot does not necessarily mean the person is irresponsible or a poor worker, but it does mean, without knowing the person, that additional risk is assumed if you hire the person that smokes. Smoking marijuana is associated with the type of person that COULD be disrespectful of authority, lazy, etc.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby edy420 on August 26th, 2011, 8:48 am 

Well, to shed a little more light on the situation, the owner of the business knows that 80% of his forestry workers smoke marijuana.(although its probably a lot less now)
He's never pushed for a drug test himself, because he knows he will lose most of his top workers.
In fact, the forestry supervisor who is the one pushing for regular drug tests did end up firing over half of his crew when they all failed the first random drug test. (mostly the reason why my old workmate is now the second in command :P )

What the drug test asks, is have I smoked in the last 2 weeks.
By cheating the test, I will have lied, but by actually giving up for a week or two, I am telling the truth.
My employer just honestly doesn't give a damn what I do, as long as I can smash out the hard yards.

I guess I just have a gut feeling that I'm misleading the forestry supervisor.
I've worked with him also and we know each other quite well, but his stance on the use of marijuana is quite clear, he's dead against it's use entirely.
Imo, that's because he thinks that marijuana kills brain cells, causes cancer and makes white woman sleep with black men etc.
So to get around this gut instinct that I am misleading him, I plan on telling him upfront that marijuana is on the verge of legalisation and ill start a speech along the lines of, what I do at work will be strictly professional but what I do at home should be entirely up to me.
But that won't be until after I've got my foot in the door and proved myself as a hard worker :P
If he wants to fire me after that, then its his loss.
Last edited by edy420 on August 26th, 2011, 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby edy420 on August 26th, 2011, 9:05 am 

Eclogite wrote:I have difficulty giving you a meaningful reply here edy. For the record I smoked one marijuana cigarette over thrity five years ago and once inadvertently ate a tray of hashloaded brownies.

My problem in answering your question is that I believe the immorality in this instance lies with the employer. Employers are paying you to carry out certain work to a certain standard in a certain time frame. What you do outwith that time frame is absolutely no concern of theirs. It only becomes a concern if your external behaviour affects the quality of your work. That can be discerned by examining the work, not by examining the worker.


When I first worked for this employer, I was against marijuana use and didn't dare smoke it.
I skipped smoko's and lunch breaks and could easily finish a day and a half's worth of work by 1pm, which would leave me 2-3 hours to just cruise through the bush, sometimes even take a power nap :P
It wasn't until at least 4 years of working with these people that I found out most of them used marijuana. (maybe I look like a nark or something lol)

I'm not as young as I was, but if I can get back at least some of my old work habits and smoke at home after work, then I don't see what the problem is.
If I can't keep up, then I'm 100% positive my boss will be up my butt using the usual old school bush ethics a long the lines of "get up that f#$%^ng hill you useless c***" (oh how I miss the good ol days)
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby xcthulhu on August 26th, 2011, 10:27 am 

edy420 wrote:Well, to shed a little more light on the situation, the owner of the business knows that 80% of his forestry workers smoke marijuana.(although its probably a lot less now)


Are you a reddit.com/r/trees guy? If so I think it's hilariously apropos that you would be working in forestry.

While I think marijuana prohibition laws are immoral, when you sign up for a job with an employer then you agree to work under certain conditions. If you were a brain surgeon, the restriction "Do not smoke marijuana recreationally" seems like a reasonable commitment as part of your job.

In your case it prohibition doesn't make any sense. So I say, read your contract. Did you sign something saying you wouldn't smoke? If so then you're breaking the contract; your employer has full rights to fire you. But if what you signed says you are have committed to passing drug tests, then you are just obligated to passing them.

edy420 wrote:What the drug test asks, is have I smoked in the last 2 weeks.
By cheating the test, I will have lied, but by actually giving up for a week or two, I am telling the truth.
My employer just honestly doesn't give a damn what I do, as long as I can smash out the hard yards.


In this case I recommend just quitting for two weeks.

edy420 wrote:I guess I just have a gut feeling that I'm misleading the forestry supervisor.
I've worked with him also and we know each other quite well, but his stance on the use of marijuana is quite clear, he's dead against it's use entirely.
Imo, that's because he thinks that marijuana kills brain cells, causes cancer and makes white woman sleep with black men etc.


Marijuana does not kill brain cells.

Whether it causes cancer isn't certain; I think a study like this one would be worth performing.

Marijuana doesn't make white woman sleep with black men; I think we all know why, right? If your supervisor is a white guy of little endowment then he only has himself to blame.

edy420 wrote:So to get around this gut instinct that I am misleading him, I plan on telling him upfront that marijuana is on the verge of legalisation and ill start a speech along the lines of, what I do at work will be strictly professional but what I do at home should be entirely up to me.
But that won't be until after I've got my foot in the door and proved myself as a hard worker :P
If he wants to fire me after that, then its his loss.


Good luck buddy.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby Forest_Dump on August 26th, 2011, 10:54 am 

Quite a dog's breakfast of issues here. So:

I consider laws against pot laws but the exist in some democracies so to some degree they have to be considered a price of living in a democracy - you don't always win.

I am also against drug tests. Too much of an invasion of privacy. I have no problem with a criminal record check however. Thats is external, etc.

I see nothing unethical about cleansing your system before a scheduled drug check because I see it as no different than an athlete sweating off water, etc., prior to a weigh-in. Swapping out someone else's urine, however, is different.

Oddly enough, I might even prefer a surgeon smoked pot. Based on what I heard during an earlier Olympics, pot can even be performance enhancing as a beta blocker and give a steadier hand although I am not saying a surgeon should be high during an operation but I wouldn't care if they smoked the night before. But no coffee or booze.

On the other hand, I have knocked down my fair share of trees and I know forestry work can be extremely dangerous and you need to keep your wits about you at all times. So, while I may not care if you smoked at night, I would come down on you with a fury if you smoked or drank before or during work.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby Eclogite on August 29th, 2011, 12:54 pm 

rboisson wrote:Say you are hiring for a position and you have two people who are similar in qualifications and in every other way. One smokes marijuana and the other does not, this is the only differentiating characteristic. Which person are you going to hire?
I have hired many peopl over the years, with considerable success, and I have never encountered a situation where candidates could not be distinguished one from the other. And that distinction was not on incidentals like pot smoking habits, but on key elements of performance, which can be revealed by good interview technique.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby edy420 on August 29th, 2011, 5:52 pm 

xcthulhu wrote:Are you a reddit.com/r/trees guy? If so I think it's hilariously apropos that you would be working in forestry.


Interesting website.
I spend a lot of time keeping up with the Norml websites.
Apparently marijuana law reform is right around the corner, but that's been a lot of peoples beliefs for around 50 years now, so I'm not so sure.

I first started in forestry when I was 17 but left about 5 years ago to take up an electrical apprenticeship, but it took me 4 years to realise where I belong :P
This drug test comes as a big surprise.
They told me that I would have to do an initial drug test, but it never happened, the same with everyone else who worked there.

I guess that has a lot to do with the ethics of some of the forestry jobs. (mostly silviculture jobs like planting and pruning etc)
The bad apples are quickly identified by the workers and they either pick up their game or end up quitting. (mostly the reason I want to go back there)
If drug abuse is affecting a workers ability, then it is dealt with in this way.

Some of the people who are still at this job turned to the "legal highs" which turned out to be extremely unhealthy for the human body when used in this recreational manner and have recently been removed from the shelves.
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/1671 ... ed-shelves
Kronic Pineapple Express contained a benzodiazepine called phenazepam

I tried to warn my mates about taking something that has bads sprayed on it, but they wanted to keep their jobs.
These (ex) legal highs will still pass a drug test.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby kidjan on September 7th, 2011, 10:27 pm 

There's another angle to all this--whether or not it's ethical for an employer to administer a drug test as a precondition for employment.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby saynotodawkins on December 19th, 2011, 1:09 pm 

No its not.
I think the more immoral thing is to intrude on someone's personal life and use one element of their personality to pass judgement.
pass the drug test and keep on smoking.
The illegality of marijuana is pointless, people smoke it, prohibiting it wont make it go away, just like saying its legal for dogs to walk on two legs wont make it happen.
Drugs fills the gap, induces moral panic and turns us away from real moral dilemmas, like; where our food and clothes come from, our carbon emissions etc.
One may also question who's more likely to do something unethical or immoral? a drunk man, or a stoned man?
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby Marshall on December 19th, 2011, 4:03 pm 

saynotodawkins wrote:No its not.
I think the more immoral thing is to intrude on someone's personal life and use one element of their personality to pass judgement.
pass the drug test and keep on smoking.
The illegality of marijuana is pointless, people smoke it, prohibiting it wont make it go away, just like saying its legal for dogs to walk on two legs wont make it happen.
Drugs fills the gap, induces moral panic and turns us away from real moral dilemmas, like; where our food and clothes come from, our carbon emissions etc.
One may also question who's more likely to do something unethical or immoral? a drunk man, or a stoned man?


I think you are right, Sayno. If I understand what you are saying I think you are making an important point. I'll try to rephrase it so if I am getting it wrong you can correct me.
I think you are saying that the real problems our society faces (and probably the world in general) are so daunting that we are tending to MAKE UP FAKE PROBLEMS to take our minds off the real ones.

Admittedly Edy faces a dilemma, how to deal with being put in an artificial unnecessary bind, but it seems crazy that our society would be obsessing about home pot smoke when there is so much else to be concerned about.

What are the real moral dilemmas which our society faces or humanity more broadly faces? You started to say or give some examples---what the world will be like 100 years from now for our grandchildren. how can we keep democracy alive. do the food and clothes really come from a sustainable system or is it somehow killing itself and all the fish. how do we set priorities. do we want to get money-power out of the process of regulating predator financials. and how should education and healthcare be allocated. Or are some of these I mentioned fake problems themselves?

You could start a thread asking what are the real moral dilemmas.

It seems really neurotic of our society to be worrying about the home use of marijuana.
Like this guy who is being cheated in a crooked poker game who keeps picking his nose and straightening his tie. His real problem is he is sitting at this table being cheated and he thinks his problem is a booger up his nose or that his tie isn't straight.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby CanadysPeak on December 19th, 2011, 8:22 pm 

It is, of course, not stopping with that. Some US employers are now testing for tobacco use as a way to control skyrocketing health insurance rates. I am suspicious that glucose tolerance is not far behind. There's a larger question of privacy in general, but it's not very popular any more.
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Re: is it immoral to beat a drug test

Postby H-K on December 20th, 2011, 7:05 am 

It is so hard to find a new job today that many a worker would let himself be beaten with a stick if that meant keeping his job.

Imo it's your choice to let yourself be beaten with that stick or find a new job and the only thing im sure about is that these days we are slowly going back to slavery not by violence but through dependence.
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