Author Topic: Marijuana/THC testing  (Read 3318 times)

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Offline Cable

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2015, 02:43:52 PM »
^ word.

Helping those that are addicted to substances for part of my job, denial and rationalization is a big part of it, and for those that use also. Sure, using off the clock is cool. But at what times does moderate daily use bleed beyond that.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2015, 07:17:19 PM »
Sure, using off the clock is cool. But at what times does moderate daily use bleed beyond that.
When it effects one's ability to do his job and not before. Same as drinking, except nobody gets tested for that.
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Offline Cable

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2015, 08:57:27 PM »
That is what Marijuana will become in the workplace when legal, just like alcohol. And it will also be missed by employers frequently if people are functional addicts, or using right before work or during. Workplaces have ways to flag alcohol, and PBT or other devices are readily available. Yet I have never really seen it happen, just heard about it. Other substances are caught, and the world ends.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 09:02:55 PM by CableX »
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2015, 08:28:12 AM »
Sure, using off the clock is cool. But at what times does moderate daily use bleed beyond that.
When it effects one's ability to do his job and not before. Same as drinking, except nobody gets tested for that.

Two things: one, as noted in my previous post, the comparisons with alcohol only go so far, and two, that line of reasoning assumes that it is appropriate that no one gets tested for that.  There are certain applications where I'm sure it is more than reasonable to test for alcohol too.

Online kingshmegland

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2015, 10:25:45 AM »
As a manager of a site, I can tell you when there is damage or an accident, the company i work for tests for both.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2015, 10:46:54 AM »
Sure, using off the clock is cool. But at what times does moderate daily use bleed beyond that.
When it effects one's ability to do his job and not before. Same as drinking, except nobody gets tested for that.

Two things: one, as noted in my previous post, the comparisons with alcohol only go so far, and two, that line of reasoning assumes that it is appropriate that no one gets tested for that.  There are certain applications where I'm sure it is more than reasonable to test for alcohol too.
I'm not sure your continuum of alcohol and pot usage is accurate or relevant.

Also, we're talking about proactive testing for one and reactive testing for another. Airlines and freight companies have the least tolerance for drunks of anybody, and even they test only when there's a reason to, allowing for the fact that people should be allowed to drink on their own time. 
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Online kingshmegland

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2015, 02:09:11 PM »
I never looked into the facts but doesn't pot stay in your system longer than alcohol?  And if so,  how does it affect you after a certain amount of time.  I don't remember waking up in the morning thinking I'm still high, though it's been a long time.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

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Offline Chino

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2015, 02:12:59 PM »
I never looked into the facts but doesn't pot stay in your system longer than alcohol?  And if so,  how does it affect you after a certain amount of time.  I don't remember waking up in the morning thinking I'm still high, though it's been a long time.

It can stay in your urine for months depending on how often you toke. I've read that it can be traced in your hair as long as your hair exists.

Online kingshmegland

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2015, 02:20:34 PM »
That I know. It's how long does it physically affect you?  With alcohol, % you can feel.  I can still be drunk in the am but I wonder how long the affects are for pot.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2015, 02:33:03 PM »
That I know. It's how long does it physically affect you?  With alcohol, % you can feel.  I can still be drunk in the am but I wonder how long the affects are for pot.
Hours. The get-highs stop doing their thing once it's metabolized.
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Online kingshmegland

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #45 on: June 16, 2015, 04:28:08 PM »
So it fade quicker thend a buzz.  I wonder if the government will ever have another test to allow the usage instead of the tests they have now.  Seems like a lot of money could be had making it legal.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline portnoy311

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #46 on: June 16, 2015, 04:43:23 PM »
A company wants to make sure they know the employee they're getting. The one who showed up to the interview process is the same employee they'll be getting everyday at work. I assume most responsible people don't show up to interviews (especially the on the job interviews like at tech companies) stoned, or coming off a coke binge. It's just another way to test the reliability of the information they have on an individual they're about to invest heavily in.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #47 on: June 16, 2015, 05:14:34 PM »
A company wants to make sure they know the employee they're getting. The one who showed up to the interview process is the same employee they'll be getting everyday at work. I assume most responsible people don't show up to interviews (especially the on the job interviews like at tech companies) stoned, or coming off a coke binge. It's just another way to test the reliability of the information they have on an individual they're about to invest heavily in.
As you're no doubt aware I've got no problem with a company hiring whoever it wants regardless of the reason, and if it doesn't want to hire dopers then I'm fine with that. I'm merely pointing out the silliness and hypocrisy of it all. In principle what a person does on his free-time is not the company's business until he makes it so. Those companies are testing for something that doesn't really provide any insight into the character or work ethic of a prospective employee. Moreover, they don't seem to care if a person is a boozer on his free-time, and that will almost always cause far more carryover problems in the workplace. Stoners don't call in sick because they're hungover. They don't miss time because they fall off a balcony (sorry Chino). They don't rack up myriad healthcare costs because their body breaks down over time. Workplace intoxication aside, a stoner will almost always be a better employee than a drinker.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Online kingshmegland

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2015, 06:07:16 PM »
Well I don't know if that is completely true El Barto.

I had a guy who drank all night.  He came into work and damaged a trailer.  I sent him out for a drug and alcohol test as protocol when having $500 or more damage. (His was $1750.00 and he blew a .026.  Under the limit but the company fired him anyway.  If they come out and say they have a problem, the company will hold their job for them but if you hide it and then have an accident.  You're up the creek.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline JayOctavarium

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2015, 06:12:51 PM »
I would have (wanted to) fired him anyway... but that's off topic. lol

I just don't understand what they were trying to achieve with any part of the song, either individually or as a whole. You know what? It's the Platypus of Dream Theater songs. That bill doesn't go with that tail, or that strange little furry body, or those webbed feet, and oh god why does it have venomous spurs!? And then you find out it lays eggs too. The difference is that the Platypus is somehow functional despite being a crazy mishmash or leftover animal pieces

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Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2015, 06:34:42 PM »
Well I don't know if that is completely true El Barto.

I had a guy who drank all night.  He came into work and damaged a trailer.  I sent him out for a drug and alcohol test as protocol when having $500 or more damage. (His was $1750.00 and he blew a .026.  Under the limit but the company fired him anyway.  If they come out and say they have a problem, the company will hold their job for them but if you hide it and then have an accident.  You're up the creek.
How does that conflict with my remarks? And I probably would have fired him too, but at that point it's a matter of policy rather than, necessarily, practicality.
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Online kingshmegland

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #51 on: June 16, 2015, 06:37:27 PM »
No, I get that.  I just don't think government and companies are in a rush to set a standard like alcohol.  Though, they should.

“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2015, 08:50:31 PM »
No, I get that.  I just don't think government and companies are in a rush to set a standard like alcohol.  Though, they should.



Sounds good in theory, but how do we arrive at a clear standard when impairment varies from one individual to the next? Like Barto has said many times (and your example illustrates perfectly), the 0.08 alcohol cutoff does not guarantee impairment above or non-impairment below. Though part of me wonders whether that guy would have made that same mistake sober. Accidents happen to the best of us.

To add a little further clarification on THC testing, they don't actually test for THC, as that is metabolized and out of your system in a matter of hours. Rather, they test for THC-COOH, which is a metabolite of THC that was broken down by the liver. This is fat-soluble, so it stays in your body long after you've come down. It also means no amount of flushing yourself with water will help get clean faster. The only way drinking water will help is chugging hours before your test, which dilutes your urine to the point that the metabolite isn't present in a high enough concentration, though labs can and do reject samples they deem as too diluted.

If you want to actually detect active THC (say in the event of an accident or injury on the job), you'll need to do a blood test. But again, nailing impairment down to a single number is problematic as you can have a regular toker show non-zero THC and THC-COOH levels the following morning despite zero impairment.
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2015, 08:59:40 PM »
It never ceases to amaze me when pot is always immediately compared to alcohol as some sort of get out of jail free card. The only thing that's been argued is that alcohol comes with consequencesand should potentially be looked at by employers, not that weed is harmless. Potheads may not call in sick because of hangovers but if an employer doesn't want to hire someone whose senses may be dulled then that's not some great moral injustice. A software engineering firm not wanting their employees getting baked is reasonable.

Further, I know plenty of people who have been fired for coming in hungover or smelling of alcohol.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2015, 08:46:33 AM »
A company wants to make sure they know the employee they're getting. The one who showed up to the interview process is the same employee they'll be getting everyday at work. I assume most responsible people don't show up to interviews (especially the on the job interviews like at tech companies) stoned, or coming off a coke binge. It's just another way to test the reliability of the information they have on an individual they're about to invest heavily in.
As you're no doubt aware I've got no problem with a company hiring whoever it wants regardless of the reason, and if it doesn't want to hire dopers then I'm fine with that. I'm merely pointing out the silliness and hypocrisy of it all. In principle what a person does on his free-time is not the company's business until he makes it so. Those companies are testing for something that doesn't really provide any insight into the character or work ethic of a prospective employee. Moreover, they don't seem to care if a person is a boozer on his free-time, and that will almost always cause far more carryover problems in the workplace. Stoners don't call in sick because they're hungover. They don't miss time because they fall off a balcony (sorry Chino). They don't rack up myriad healthcare costs because their body breaks down over time. Workplace intoxication aside, a stoner will almost always be a better employee than a drinker.

First, by most standards and accounts, the traditional hiring process is a deeply flawed one.  Hiring managers tend to have little training or experience in that facet of their jobs, and the default is to hire... yourself, which is in itself an inherent flaw.   So to critique the hiring process based on how it handles pot is sort of like critiquing your band's next guitar player based on what pick he/she uses.

Second, and here's a radical thought, whether it is just or not is immaterial; for the most part, in most jurisdictions, for most of my working career, pot has been technically illegal.   And I don't say this much because it is sort of a conflict for me (internally), but that fact can't be ignored.   Sure, 9 out of 10 prison inmates are in jail because of weed, but the fact is also true that 9 out of 10 inmates are in jail BECAUSE THEY BROKE THE LAW.    That the law is unjust, or subject to change, or carries an inordinately strong penalty don't really change the fact that those 9 knew what the law was and willingly and with forethought chose to ignore it.  If I'm an employer, I have a right to know about the character of the employee I'm hiring.  This is one way of finding that out. 

Third, it's a way of ground truthing other things.   One, it is an indicator, like testing for cholesterol or sugar, of general health.   Two, it IS insight, in a way that alcohol may or may not be, to choices.   I know, I know "gateway drug is bullshit", except it isn't in some circumstances: 

•Smoking 1 to 3 marijuana joints a day produces the same damage as lung damage and cancer risk as smoking 5 times as many cigarettes.
•The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Colombia University (CASA) found that adolescents who smoke pot are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than their non-smoking peers. They also found that 60% of adolescents who use marijuana before the age 15 later go on to use cocaine.

Healthcare is the single largest expense (from an HR perspective) for employers, and that isn't even factoring in lost time. Is it the only indicator?  No.  Is it the best indicator?  Probably not. But data is data, and whether it's used in a silly or hypocritical way, well, it's not the first time that information is used as such.

What's the difference between that and a prospective employer looking at your Facebook page, and drawing conclusions from that?

Offline Stadler

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #55 on: June 17, 2015, 08:59:05 AM »
No, I get that.  I just don't think government and companies are in a rush to set a standard like alcohol.  Though, they should.



Sounds good in theory, but how do we arrive at a clear standard when impairment varies from one individual to the next? Like Barto has said many times (and your example illustrates perfectly), the 0.08 alcohol cutoff does not guarantee impairment above or non-impairment below. Though part of me wonders whether that guy would have made that same mistake sober. Accidents happen to the best of us.

I'm probably repeating myself here, but I read a post and reply, rather than read the entire thread then reply.  So be it.

But there's a point missed with the "impairment" complaint:  the exact reason you say it's flawed ("people get impaired at different levels") is the reason why there is one standard.    It's not intended to quantitatively show a level of impairment or not.   It's intended to qualify the judgment of the person that let themselves get to that point. There is no "right" to drink, and there is no "right" to toke.   It's your choice.   Because it is unreasonable and unweildly to have 225 million different standards (the number of people in the United States over the age of 18; I don't have numbers for >21 so it will have to do) we set ONE STANDARD, and say this is the arbitrary measure.  Just like "I don't owe anything" isn't an out for whether you file your taxes or not, or actual knowledge of age isn't an excuse for having sex with someone under the age of consent.   If you don't like the terminology, well, so be it, but while the euphemism is "Driving While Impaired", that's not what the law is.  The law is "Driving While Over 0.08".   There's a ton of misleading labels in this world, and this isn't, in my opinion, the most egregious. 

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #56 on: June 17, 2015, 12:03:43 PM »
Because it is unreasonable and unweildly to have 225 million different standards (the number of people in the United States over the age of 18
And it would be deemed unfair.  The talk would then be about the lack of a standard.  "How can I comply when I don't have a definitive road map?"

And why stop at 18 (or 21)?  Include it not by legal drinking age, but by driving age.  Is it really that difficult to think those under 21 are drinking alcohol?

I'm not really a serious alcohol drinker, so I've never had to dig into the weeds.  So where is it stated that there are any serious differences in impairment according to BAC (which already factors in the different physical factors of people by nature).

And there are definitely consequences to being drunk on the job.  The only wild talk I've heard is that it is a "disease" so it is protected by the ADA.  But that never came into play with any of the people I've seen fired on the spot for coming into work drunk.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #57 on: June 17, 2015, 01:50:33 PM »
I'm not really a serious alcohol drinker, so I've never had to dig into the weeds.  So where is it stated that there are any serious differences in impairment according to BAC (which already factors in the different physical factors of people by nature).

And there are definitely consequences to being drunk on the job.  The only wild talk I've heard is that it is a "disease" so it is protected by the ADA.  But that never came into play with any of the people I've seen fired on the spot for coming into work drunk.
Plenty of people handle their liquor better than others.  On the cop forum the "what's the highest BAC" topic comes up from time to time, and you'll here plenty of reports about people blowing far, far over the supposedly lethal limit. Many of those guys are still perfectly functional. When you've got people that are functional with a .6+ BAC then the whole scale becomes fairly subjective. It reduces down to simply playing with averages.

And the norm seems to be that if somebody seeks treatment before it becomes a problem at work then they get good protection. A pilot who reports to his higher ups that he's a drunk will spend a few weeks detoxing somewhere pleasant. One that shows up at TSA with a BAC of .01 will be shitcanned on the spot and the union won't go near him.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2015, 02:04:30 PM »

Plenty of people handle their liquor better than others.  On the cop forum the "what's the highest BAC" topic comes up from time to time, and you'll here plenty of reports about people blowing far, far over the supposedly lethal limit. Many of those guys are still perfectly functional. When you've got people that are functional with a .6+ BAC then the whole scale becomes fairly subjective. It reduces down to simply playing with averages.


My BAC was .20 nearly three hours after I fell of the balcony. I remember the entire experience, including making jokes with the cop as I was waiting for my ambulence.

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2015, 05:21:39 PM »
When you've got people that are functional with a .6+ BAC then the whole scale becomes fairly subjective. It reduces down to simply playing with averages.

I'm talking about scientific studies.  .60+ BAC is beyond coma levels, so "functional" seems like a very relative term.

It isn't that tolerances don't exist, but at what tolerance. The 0.60+ BAC just sounds like *forum* talk.

Offline orcus116

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #60 on: June 17, 2015, 05:42:27 PM »
Those companies are testing for something that doesn't really provide any insight into the character or work ethic of a prospective employee. Moreover, they don't seem to care if a person is a boozer on his free-time, and that will almost always cause far more carryover problems in the workplace.

The issue seems to be the perception of the average smoker. Without any proof my gut is that the general perception is of a lazy person with no real drive who just coasts. That perception then gets carried on into the hiring process and raises a red flag about an individual when being hired. Could a company be completely wrong about that? Absolutely but when viewing someone as a potential asset I can understand why the red flag would be there.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #61 on: June 17, 2015, 05:55:45 PM »
When you've got people that are functional with a .6+ BAC then the whole scale becomes fairly subjective. It reduces down to simply playing with averages.

I'm talking about scientific studies.  .60+ BAC is beyond coma levels, so "functional" seems like a very relative term.

It isn't that tolerances don't exist, but at what tolerance. The 0.60+ BAC just sounds like *forum* talk.
The scientific studies you seek say that .05 is a high probability of death,yet you'll find instances of people blowing over 1. As for forum talk, those stories are commonplace. It's not like the cops are trying to one up each other in this instance. Most of the BACs that high are from people who are borderline conscious. Some of them are from people who passed for sober or slightly buzzed. Yes, these people are the exceptions (and more often than not Polish), but that doesn't alter the fact that tolerance has a huge effect on the onset of impairment. Some people might be bad off to drive at .05 while others are perfectly good to go at .12. It's that very real variance that people are questioning.
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2015, 10:18:09 PM »
Which is all true. But a company not wanting to employ someone who drinks so much that a .20 is commonplace is understandable.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #63 on: June 18, 2015, 08:52:13 AM »
When you've got people that are functional with a .6+ BAC then the whole scale becomes fairly subjective. It reduces down to simply playing with averages.

I'm talking about scientific studies.  .60+ BAC is beyond coma levels, so "functional" seems like a very relative term.

It isn't that tolerances don't exist, but at what tolerance. The 0.60+ BAC just sounds like *forum* talk.
The scientific studies you seek say that .05 is a high probability of death,yet you'll find instances of people blowing over 1. As for forum talk, those stories are commonplace. It's not like the cops are trying to one up each other in this instance. Most of the BACs that high are from people who are borderline conscious. Some of them are from people who passed for sober or slightly buzzed. Yes, these people are the exceptions (and more often than not Polish), but that doesn't alter the fact that tolerance has a huge effect on the onset of impairment. Some people might be bad off to drive at .05 while others are perfectly good to go at .12. It's that very real variance that people are questioning.

And I'm saying that the variance doesn't matter.    It's a red herring.   We (society, not the individuals in it) have agreed that for cost, time and efficiency, we would use 0.08 as a readily quantifiable and determinable substitute for that, but it isn't intended to be equated for that. 

I guess if you want to be exact (and anyone reading the "Octivarium - 10 Years" thread knows I can be as exact as the next guy) then we need to change a fair amount of terminology, but for me - and going back to the hiring issue - my use (or not) of the weed data isn't because of perception of pot users, or ignorance of the effects, but rather an indicator of character and behavior.   The line is what the line is, and we either follow it or we don't (and either accept the consequences or not from that).  It's a popular trope in this day and age of reality TV and full sleeves on housewives for people to wear, as a badge of honor, that "I'm badass!" and "I don't let no one tell me what to do!" and "I make my own rules!" and "Fuck the man!".  That's awesome.  No, really, it is. Just do it on someone else's payroll.   Might I be missing quality, talented people? Sure.   But for almost every job I've seen posted over the last couple years (not including very specific technical positions), the responses have been in the high tens if not low hundreds. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #64 on: June 18, 2015, 09:02:51 AM »
And I'm saying that the variance doesn't matter.    It's a red herring.   We (society, not the individuals in it) have agreed that for cost, time and efficiency, we would use 0.08 as a readily quantifiable and determinable substitute for that, but it isn't intended to be equated for that. 
I think it would be more accurate to say that special interest groups decided on society's behalf that .08 would be the legal limit.

However, I'm not arguing with your greater point. In fact I'm not arguing with any of them. I've never said that companies shouldn't be able to test for pot. I defend an employer's right to do damn near anything he wants. I'm just pointing out that there's a great deal of hypocrisy and bullshit with regards to drugs and alcohol.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
E.F. Benson

Offline Stadler

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Re: Marijuana/THC testing
« Reply #65 on: June 18, 2015, 09:20:07 AM »
And I'm saying that the variance doesn't matter.    It's a red herring.   We (society, not the individuals in it) have agreed that for cost, time and efficiency, we would use 0.08 as a readily quantifiable and determinable substitute for that, but it isn't intended to be equated for that. 
I think it would be more accurate to say that special interest groups decided on society's behalf that .08 would be the legal limit.

However, I'm not arguing with your greater point. In fact I'm not arguing with any of them. I've never said that companies shouldn't be able to test for pot. I defend an employer's right to do damn near anything he wants. I'm just pointing out that there's a great deal of hypocrisy and bullshit with regards to drugs and alcohol.

I will agree with both points.  It probably was special interests. We might disagree on the level of hypocrisy or the relevance, but I'm with you.  It's there.