Let's Make Peace With Drugs
300,000,000 + tablets of speed issued to GI's during Vietnam war. R Stone 5/5/94
16,500,000 U.S. Justice Department estimate of citizens smoking marijuana.
40,000,000 NORML estimate of Americans who have smoked pot.
$5,600,000,000 yearly cost to taxpayers, off just arresting, not imprisoning, cannabis users in 1994. Extrapolated from U.S. Justice Dept.
8,700,000 Americans arrested for marijuana between 1965 to 1991 . 81% were charged with possession not sale.
$350,000,000,000+ expenditure on the Drug War since 1980.
$13,200,000,00 1995 US Drug Enforcement budget. 700% increase since 1981. Source NY Times
183,000 1993 number of drug offenders in state prisons. 20% no prior offense. 80% no crime of violence. N.Y. Times 7/9/'94.
180,000,000 Benzedrine tablets taken by the U.S. Air Force during W W II

The War on drugs is another attempt to legislate behavior. It failed during Prohibition. At the statistics show, it's failed now. Urine tests are just a part of the greatest intrusion into American' citizens private lives in the history of our country.

Politicians have manufactured a hysteria over drugs , and then manipulated that hysteria to remove our civil liberties. But common sense is slowly returning. Forfeiture laws, where citizen's property is seized without a conviction and even for the most minor possession, are being struck down. Federal Judges Like Jack Weinstein and Whitman Knapp are refusing to sit on drug cases that require mandatory sentences.

Many people are seriously concerned about drug and alcohol abuse on the job that involve public safety like airline pilots, bus drivers, police, etc. With over 70% of accidents occurring from alcohol abuse, these problems can be better solved with a not-intrusive video game test, than an inaccurate urine test.

When an accident occurs because of abuse, a clamor rises to restrict people's rights to improve security. But there is a price in living in a free democratic society. Life can only be reasonably safe. If you want to safeguard against every danger then you give the government totalitarian powers.

Excessive drug or alcohol use is not desirable. But chasing after the weekend party goer who blows off a little steam is going overboard. People in every culture have needed outlets to release frustrations, or explore levels of perception. Drugs are as old as the human family. And America is a particularly drug oriented culture. So much so, that we are the culture which invented, the DRUG STORE.

In a multi cultural society of 250,000,000 trying to solve cultural problems with science and technology, rather than common sense, winds up with a Big Brother world where politicians manipulate or create fear for personal gain and power.

If this sounds overstated, consider the legal body searches that constitute urine testing. Female workers have contacted Byrd Labs who have been fired, though they tested negative for drugs. These women worked in small companies and believe their employers also tested their urine sample for pregnancy. The said they were told they were terminated because of "cutbacks", but believed the company did not want employees who were going to take time off to have children. They also believed the cost to the company health plan was a factor. Regrettably they had no recourse.

In another case, a boss announced that he was "personally supervising" the testing program. He then demanded his female employees allow him in the bathroom to observe them because he wanted to make sure that he was getting a "good sample".

Often the medication listing is added to your personnel file. In this economy of job cut backs many employees are fired because they pose health risks that have nothing to due with drugs. Your records from urine tests enter the computer maze, and false entries may follow you for life.

If you give up your urine, with today's technology, you are giving up a mirror to your inner body. The prospect of giving this power to the government or private employers is frightening...and in the long run, ominous. What is more private than your own body? Is non alcohol drug use really so widespread that we have to pit worker against company, and give up even more of our personal rights?

Useful Phone Numbers:
Many people who fail urine tests must challenge the results quickly. The organizations listed here are a good starting place for information about defending your rights. We would appreciate readers sending us any other numbers or contacts that might be helpful.
American Civil Liberties Union
Butterfield Jay Foundation
California NORML Hotline
CAPP High Tech workers union
Digit Press (GA) Info Line
Legal Action Center
National Lawyers Guild
N.O.R.M.L. Legal Referral
N.O.R.M.L. Information Line
Performance Factors Makes video impairment test
Testing Expert Witness Good for Legal Cases
(212) 944-9800
(405) 521-8746
(415) 563-5858
(404) 924-1393
(212) 243-1313
(212) 614-6464
(202) 483-5500
(900) 97-Norml
(415) 769-8300
(615) 579-5425