The Drug Test
How dare you drug test me!? How dare you. Email comes in on a Wednesday while I’m at this brutal week-long training: “Action Required – Employee Drug Screen”. My heart sinks. I leave the training during the afternoon break and don’t return. The rest of my day is spent panicking, strategizing, calling friends for insight, and reading dense studies about drug tests. The email is menacing: If I don’t submit to the test, I may be fired. If I do submit and fail, I may also be fired. This is a very poor turn of events.
Here’s the rub. I smoke weed maybe once a week, if that. Twice a month I may smoke recreationally on a Friday or Saturday night for the purposes of making myself anti-social and sleepy. My primary motivation on these occasions is to pass out early so that I can be productive the next day as opposed to bar-hopping with friends until 2 AM. The other twice a month I’ll hit some indica (a.k.a “in the couch”) at 11 PM on a weekday because I’m wired from working until 1030 PM and my only hope of falling asleep before 1 AM is some sort of sedative. Good thing they’re drug testing me, it’s important that the company weed out 😊 degenerates like me who pursue mild, legal activities once a week.
The drug test studies / guidelines from the Mayo Clinic and NEJM are infuriating yet encouraging. Here is what’s infuriating: Apparently, virtually every other drug you could possibly take clears out of your system in 48 hours. Want to blow coke deep into Friday night / Saturday morning and then pass a drug test on Monday? No problem. PCP – same deal. Barbiturates – I don’t know what the hell those are but apparently, they clear out in 2-3 days. However, smoke a joint on a Friday, well, depending on your physique, exercise habits, metabolism, frequency of smoking, how you smoked it…. You could be screwed for weeks.
Here is the encouraging part. NEJM conducted a study on seventeen “chronic, heavy smokers” to see how long it took for the THC to clear out of their systems. “Chronic” and “heavy” indeed. These cats smoke weed all day, every day. Multiple joints a day, every day. Some are fat, some are skinny, some are old, some are young… all of them were able to pass a drug test within two weeks. Except for one loser. Some short, fat, 24-year-old chick who reported smoking an average of FOUR BLUNTS A DAY, every day, for the last 9 years. What a total waste of life. It took her 45 days to pass a test. She basically set a world record of degeneracy.
The Wednesday email marks my 4th day since I last smoked, I realistically only need to buy another 10 days; but I am taking no chances. Step One: Stall. I ignore the email until someone brings it up again a few days later. When that happens, I inform them that “I have questions” at which point I play hard to get on nailing down a time to meet about my questions. I stall so successfully that I don’t even start the background check paperwork until 8 days from the time I receive the initial email…… Step 2: Buy a myriad of home drug testing kits as well as “THC Detox” cleansers. (Side note: Want to impress your spouse?.... Blanket the dining room table with all of these products for half a month and then run out of the bathroom waving a piss-soaked strip of paper gloating loudly: “I passed!!!”)
My irritation with the whole situation really stems from one critical fact: I am not flying planes, driving trucks or performing surgeries. The workplace concern here isn't that I drive a truck full of bananas into oncoming traffic cause I'm busy doing lines off of the dashboard or seeing dragons on the road cause I’m still feeling last night’s PCP. No. My output, my work product, is Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. No joke, that's it. You want to make sure that I'm not smoking weed on weekends cause it might "impair" my work. Impair what exactly!? My Font selection on slide 47? The circular set of arrows that say "collaboration" on them?
If anything, you should be intervening if I test negative! If I don't have at least some residual kind bud in my system when I come in on Mondays, and the prospect of strong cocktails Thursday through Saturday, I (along with the rest of your workforce) might have a moment of sober clarity, realize how shitty our jobs are, and tender our collective resignations. Don't worry you fucking pricks, I'll make sure and submit my two weeks in the form of a PowerPoint deck.