Ask a Stoner: To Test or Not to Test?
Dear Stoner: The holidays are coming up, and I'm thinking about getting a seasonal job for extra income, something with low responsibility, like retail or working with Christmas trees. I enjoy cannabis recreationally. Do you have any advice on how to surreptitiously find places of employment that do not conduct a new-hire drug test? I'd rather avoid those that do altogether than find out about the drug test after they already have all of my information. Thanks!
Dear High: Urine luck. Get it? Man, we crack ourselves up after a few dabs. Anyway, the good news is that most low-paying, low-responsibility seasonal jobs don't give a shit about your marijuana use. Christmas-tree stands are great places to work and sneak in a toke now and then, just as long as you're not operating a chainsaw or anything like that. And if the seasonal gig is anything like the jobs my friends have had over the holidays, your boss will probably toke with you.
In retail, they just need a live body to fold clothes and clean up after insane consumers. Most stores in the mall that will hire your stoned ass aren't going to waste the money on drug-testing you for a month's worth of employment at minimum wage. They know you're getting high, because you'd have to be stoned to take the job in the first place. If by some chance they do end up asking you for a drug test after the job interview, simply don't show up. Who cares if they have your information? Not showing up doesn't imply you're guilty of drug use — not to mention that the 24-year-old half-drunk manager at Lucky Brand jeans is too busy sifting through a hundred other applications and trying to land a rich, hot customer to even notice if you don't follow through. If you're that concerned, call him and tell him you got a better job offer at H&M.
Stoned or just blowing smoke?
Dear Stoner: I would like to get a test for my THC levels without risking my driving privilege. If the marijuana industry is so smart and innovative, why is nothing being offered to consumers?
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Dear Steve: Didn’t know the marijuana industry was responsible for your self-control or driving habits. I probably wouldn’t blame my local craft brewer or even Pabst if I got a DUI; I haven’t needed a breathalyzer test to figure out that I’ve had too many since... ever. Still, I can see how the lack of science and clarity behind marijuana impairment is frustrating for all parties involved. Sadly, there isn’t much of a solution on the horizon, because proving marijuana consumption and actual impairment aren’t one and the same — and science can currently only do the former.
Proving a pot DUI is difficult because THC can linger in the bloodstream long after the driver would be considered impaired — if, indeed, the driver ever was. Habitual marijuana users routinely test above the five-nanogram limit more than 12 hours after they last consumed marijuana; infrequent users can test below the limit despite having smoked just a couple of hours earlier, creating a headache for police officers and prosecutors alike. Some companies are trying to develop breathalyzer tests to better detect THC, but they currently face the sort of accuracy issues leveled at blood tests.
Alcohol breathalyzers didn’t appear overnight either. Let's hope THC detection can catch up soon. Until then, it’s up to you.
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