Employers are struggling to hire workers in tightening U.S. job
market. Marijuana is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C.,
meaning more than one in five American adults can eat, drink, smoke or
vape as they please. The result is the slow decline of pre-employment
drug tests, which for decades had been a requirement for new recruits
in industries ranging from manufacturing to finance.
As of the beginning of 2018, Excellence Health Inc., a Las Vegas-based
health care company with around 6,000 employees, no longer drug tests
people coming to work for the pharmaceutical side of the business. The
company stopped testing for marijuana two years ago. "We don't care
what people do in their free time," said Liam Meyer, a company
spokesperson. "We want to help these people, instead of saying: 'Hey,
you can't work for us because you used a substance,'" he added. The
company also added a hotline for any workers who might be struggling
with drug use.
[continues 747 words]
Alberta's supervised consumption sites should be permitted to offer
drug testing to help users learn what dangers might be lurking in
their illicit narcotics, the province's opioid commission recommended
While questions persist about the effectiveness of fentanyl-sensing
strips and other testing devices, providing insight to users on what
they plan to inject or ingest will undoubtedly save lives, commission
"Anytime you can give people a bit more understanding than absolutely
none about what's in their drugs, I think that's a positive," Elaine
Hyshka, co-chair of the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response
Commission, told a news conference downtown.
[continues 390 words]
The country's biggest airlines, train and trucking firms, construction
companies and transit authorities are urging the government to allow
them to conduct mandatory drug tests for key members of their work
The issue of testing is currently in front of the Senate, where two
bills are being studied: C-45 to legalize cannabis by the summer, and
C-46 to make it easier for law-enforcement authorities to crack down
on impaired driving.
Ottawa wants C-46 to be adopted before the prohibition on cannabis is
lifted to deal with the potential consequences of increased
consumption. Among other things, the legislation will create new
drug-impaired driving offences and make it easier for police to
conduct random roadside tests for alcohol.
[continues 636 words]
Chief's comments come after confirmation that constable died from
Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders says he's actively looking at drug
testing for officers in the wake of a constable's fentanyl overdose
death this year.
"I don't want to lose any officers to anything, especially drugs of
any kind and if there are things that we can do to reduce that, then
I'm very interested in that," Saunders said Tuesday during a year-end
[continues 462 words]
Suncor faces "profound problems" with drugs and alcohol at its
oilsands operations, including accidents, injuries and death,
according to documents filed to support the company's push for
The energy giant wants to start random drug and alcohol testing Friday
in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), more than five
years after Unifor local 707A won an injunction putting the proposed
program on hold until an arbitration board's decision.
Although the board sided with the union, a judge later overturned the
ruling, a verdict upheld in September by the Alberta Court of Appeal,
which ordered a new arbitration hearing. Unifor, which is seeking
leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, will ask for another
injunction Thursday, but Suncor argues in court documents there has
been 73 safety incidents in the last four years where workers tested
positive for drugs or alcohol. These include a driver whose idling,
unattended truck rolled into a gas oil unit; a forklift operator
lifting a 4,500-kg pipe that rolled to the ground; and a dozer driver
whose machine tipped over, environment, health and safety
vice-president Mike Agnew states in an affidavit.
[continues 337 words]
Province widens availability of device for detecting the presence of
fentanyl; medical health officer says lives will be saved
British Columbia has expanded a program allowing people to check their
street drugs for fentanyl before using, becoming the first
jurisdiction in Canada to facilitate the experimental testing on a
Health officials have also purchased a device that detects both the
presence and quantities of deadly adulterants and can provide a more
detailed analysis of not just fentanyl, but other chemically similar
drugs being cut into the local supply.
[continues 684 words]
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter is reviving a fight over drug
testing that could have major implications in Georgia.
The Pooler Republican introduced a bill in the House of
Representatives on Thursday that would let states screen unemployment
insurance applicants for drug use if they so choose.
"Unemployment Insurance recipients should be drug-free and ready to
reenter the workforce and my legislation works to make that happen,"
Carter said in a statement.
Under Carter's legislation, an applicant would be denied unemployment
benefits for 30 days if they test positive for drug use. A second
positive test would bar people from receiving the federal perk for the
rest of the year.
Scientists, public health experts and volunteers working with them
have started to show up at music festivals, concerts, raves and other
public gatherings where illicit drugs are frequently used. Equipped
with special chemical testing kits, they help attendees test pills and
powder for purity in real time so people can make better informed
decisions about whether to take them.
The practice - more common in Europe than in the United States - is
controversial, and the debate has been similar to the early days of
needle-exchange programs in the 1980s. Proponents argue harm
reduction. They say people are more likely to reject taking drugs to
get high if the substances do not contain what they think they do,
which reduces the risk of overdose and other harmful effects. Critics
say such programs implicitly encourage the use of illegal drugs.
[continues 580 words]
As he prepares to run for a third term, Gov. Scott Walker of
Wisconsin, ever the devotee of low-road, right-wing politicking, is
hoping the Trump administration will allow his state to be the first
in the nation to mandate the drug screening of childless individuals
who apply for Medicaid help.
"It borders on immoral," Lena Taylor, a Democratic state senator,
warned, accusing Mr. Walker of indulging in a "meaningless contest to
see how cruel and discriminatory we can be to the poor."
[continues 300 words]
CEO says results 'concerning' but justify transit agency's push for
substance abuse checks
Well that didn't take long.
Two TTC employees have been suspended for being impaired on the job
after they both failed tests on the first day of the transit agency's
new random drug and alcohol testing program.
The first employee given a breathalyzer that morning blew over the
limit, according to agency spokesperson Brad Ross. The employee was
found to have a blood alcohol level of more than .04 per cent, which
the TTC considers impaired.
[continues 732 words]
Testing to see who's too stoned to drive is a cumbersome system that
results in few convictions, says a law professor who has studied
The federal Liberals have tabled legislation to legalize marijuana
while having severe penalties for drug-impaired driving. But Robert
Solomon of Western University says that enforcement of laws involving
pot and driving can be difficult.
First, forget about a handy roadside breath test like the test for
alcohol, he advises.
"There is some preliminary research indicating that a breath test can
be developed for cannabis. It's slow, expensive and not yet reliable,"
he said. "So we're a long way from a breath test for cannabis ...
(despite) some promoters out there who have been touting miraculous,
easy, cheap" breath tests.
[continues 444 words]
Despite a completely clean campus always being the goal, top brass at
Royal Military College are pleased with the results of a blind drug
test conducted in mid-October that weren't exactly perfect.
"Having now tangible, fact-based information is really great. It gives
us a good assessment of the current situation," Brig.-Gen. Sean
Friday, commandant of RMC, told the Whig-Standard on Wednesday. "The
whole idea of a blind drug test is so that we can get actual
information to see if our [Canadian Armed Forces] drug control program
at large is succeeding or not."
[continues 694 words]
Police forces in Canada testing out devices over February
Next time you come across a police checkpoint in Halifax, you might be
asked to help test a roadside drug-screening device.
Halifax Regional Police (HRP) began a new Public Safety Canada pilot
project a week and half ago, and have until the end of February to
collect 100 saliva samples from anyone who'd like to anonymously
volunteer for the testing in a regular traffic stop.
"This is for us. It's not about any of the public, it's about how
user-friendly are these devices for the police at roadside," Const.
Kristine Fraser of the HRP traffic unit said Thursday. "If you say
'um, no,' (it's) 'okay, thank you for your time,' and you drive away.'"
[continues 283 words]
A recommendation by state Rep. Joel Kleefisch would have parents request
their high school students be tested for illegal drugs.
Students drive out of the parking lot at the end of the school day at De
Pere High School on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Students who have parking
permits at the school are subjected to random drug testing throughout the
school year.(Photo: Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wi)
GREEN BAY - Rep. Joel Kleefisch had a ready response for lawmakers and
school administrators who were quick to speak out against a proposal late
last year for statewide random drug testing in high schools.
[continues 1701 words]
Mandatory drug testing of students at a two-year technical college in
Linn, Mo., has been banned by a federal appeals court.
The court has reinstated the ban on mandatory drug testing for most
students at the State Technical College of Missouri. The decision was the
latest ruling in a 5-year-old lawsuit.
The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Associated Press reported that
by a 9-2 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit overturned an
earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the court.
[continues 132 words]