Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back to drugs in the workplace

A while back I got an email on my 'drug testing employees' post

"Most, I suspect are the functioning potheads that, while they dont vote on the issue, know all to well that 'a little pot' has no measurable effect on personal responsibility, safety or duty of care. There are likely on anyone day, to be more than 150,000 New Zealanders that would fail the 'metabolites' test while absent any proof of impairment. It is the logical equivalent of licking someones exhaust pipe to see if they have been speeding in the last month."

I put this aside as I was rather busy at the time, but thought it was worth commenting on.

Firstly, my position on drugs is that using them should not be a criminal act- but (and it's a big but) users need to be made responsible for for their actions relating to the use of drugs- such as any medical treatment resulting from their use or criminal acts 'under the influence'

I believe that association with the drug-dealing criminal fraternity is probably more harmful than the act of using the substances.

Secondly, while I support decriminalization, I believe that employers have every right to contract that employees may not use whatever substances they see fit or to set conditions on their use.

Now to the email above, I would reply that since more information has come to light- the conclusions are quite wrong.

With the benefit of hindsight, it has turned out that those who tested positive had a significantly higher rate of absenteeism, accidents and breakage of equipment. Perhaps they would not be impaired in some jobs but these people were operating heavy machinery and power tools.

If they were smoking on the job, we will never really know, although there is anecdotal evidence to suggest this was the case. I sure as hell don't want anyone pissed, stoned, high or just plain stupid working around me! I have worked in such places in the past and seen a few idiot stoners maimed for life- better them than me, thankfully. These retard thought it was their right to smoke up during a break. The least of it was that you always wound up carrying their deadweight.

It is worth mentioning that I can recall at least four that have been fired for drinking on the job, over the last couple of years.

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