I'm glad that I managed to escape the indignity of drug testing when I was young, although I'm sure there are Drug Warriors out there right now who are trying to come up with ways that elderly freelancers like myself can be drug-tested as well.
When I was a teenager, the major injustice of the hiring process involved having a rent-a-cop test you to see if you were lying - and I lost at least one job that way, not because I was lying but because the whole scientistic process of the "lie detector" test made me extremely nervous (with wires everywhere and a community college freshman taking notes like he's some kind of Einstein carefully crunching numbers to determine my precise level of personal integrity). Plus, I have a habit of overthinking questions. ("Have you ever stolen anything?" Do they mean as an adult? What if I stole from my little sister in grade school? "Have you ever lied?" What exactly constitutes a lie? Am I lying if I don't even realize it at the time?) And it turns out that this habit of overthinking things brings about the same physiological symptoms that the second-rate Einstein associates with lying.
That's why you never saw me behind the counter of a convenience store in Gloucester, Virginia, in the late 1970s: because some rent-a-cop pegged me as a shady character thanks to the magic of American pseudoscience.But I had it easy compared to kids of today: they have to face the blatantly unconstitutional indignity of drug testing, which enforces the Christian Science theological doctrine that human beings must not use "drugs," but rely only on faith instead.
Bullcrap. I would end up starving if I had to start my career today. No way am I going to urinate so that young amoral lab technicians can find out if I've been using plant medicines of which politicians disapprove. None of their blankety-blank business.
In a sane world, someone would be "outing" these lab technicians who are in the business of ruining the lives of Americans merely because they demand the same rights that everyone in the world had prior to 1914: the right to use the plants and fungi that grow at our very feet. But these amoral pseudoscientists no doubt get fancy benefit packages thanks to their daily efforts to ruin American lives for no reason whatsoever.
Funny, back in the '80s, when Bush and Reagan did everything they could to demonize this boogieman scapegoat that they called "drugs" - including the Stalinist practice of asking kids to turn in their parents should they use substances of which politicians disapproved - the very few who protested this injustice were considered crazy spoilsports. What's wrong with making sure that everybody is straight and sober and a good Christian, after all?
The problem, of course, is that I have a right to the plants and fungi that grow at my very feet. This is my birthright as an American under the natural law upon which Jefferson founded this country. That's why Jefferson spun in his grave in 1987 when the DEA marched onto Monticello in jackboots and confiscated the ex-president's poppies, in a blatant coup against the very concept of natural law. And who says "drugs" are bad in any case? A psychoactive substance gave birth to the Vedic religion and the psychedelic Eleusinian mysteries were the most important event in the lives of such western heroes as Cicero and Plato.
Moreover, there has never been any proof that the drugs for which one is tested actually conduce to poor work behavior.
To the contrary, Sigmund Freud used cocaine to improve his work performance, in the same way that Benjamin Franklin and Francis Crick used opium and psychedelics respectively to improve theirs. If work behavior was a factor, then drug-testers would blacklist the users of Big Pharma dope such as SSRIs, which are highly addictive and lead to anhedonia, a lack of feelings, which is not exactly a good employee trait, at least in the service industry. Meanwhile, responsible marijuana use and the use of Ecstasy actually lead to more friendly employees: which in a sane world would be considered a good thing.
But the Drug War is all about judging folks by the substances that they have in their digestive systems, rather than by the way that they actually behave in life. That's why the Drug War is a recipe for endless violence - a fact that conservatives love, because it lets them steer public debate off of bad social policies (like the Drug War itself) and indulge in militarizing the police and cracking heads of political opponents, both at home and abroad. How? Through tyrannical laws that guarantee that the police, the Army and the DEA have carte blanche to be as mean as they wanna be. Far from decrying this trend, Americans cheer it on. They flock to drug-war movies, like Ancient Romans flocking to Gladiator fights, applauding as the DEA agents on screen hang Latino "drug suspects" from meat hooks and shoot them dead in cold blood.
This is the kind of world that we create when we fight a boogieman called "drugs" instead of dealing with the real social problems, like the Drug War itself, which lies about drugs (falsely claiming that they fry the brain) and then limits our access to plant medicines to the point where only the most addictive and dangerous substances are available on the black market - a black market created out of whole cloth by the Drug War, complete with worldwide gangs and cartels and omnipresent government corruption thanks to the great financial temptation that prohibition dangles before the unscrupulous bureaucrat.
And we haven't even gotten to the part where the Drug War blocks research on godsend psychoactive substances that hold the promise of curing Alzheimer's, beating depression, and helping hospice patients make their peace with death.
For these reasons and many more, I would "just say no" to drug testing were I transformed into a teenager at this very moment, destined to live my life again.
At least I hope I would. Mind you, I can't blame young people for docilely acceding to drug testing, even though it represents the extrajudicial enforcement of Christian Science Sharia. The government message to Americans, after all, is: comply or starve.
But someone's got to start pushing back.
Back in 1732, Polish nobleman Tadeusz Retjan collapsed in front of the door of his country's Parliament building to protest the partitioning of Poland among the Russians, the Prussians, and the Austrians. His message to his fellow deputies: "you will destroy our Motherland over my dead body." Unfortunately, he was the only one to complain against the apparent fait accompli: everyone else was too scared or too demoralized to resist the aggressors. But Poles remember Retjan to this day while the names of the other deputies have faded into obscurity.
Where are the modern Retjans that will actually say what so many of us know in our heart of hearts: that the Drug War is a canard, an excuse to ignore social problems and to militarize the world - and that drug testing is the extrajudicial enforcement of Christian Science Sharia, thus the establishment of a religion and the overthrow of the natural law upon which America was founded?
I can't ask young readers to "play the Retjan" and spoil their job chances by refusing drug testing. Perhaps, though, we freedom lovers (we fans and would-be avengers of the trampled rights of Thomas Jefferson) can find a creative way to fight back.
Here's an idea: the next time you're asked for a urine sample, submit that sample along with a signed copy of this essay (warning: you'll still be taking a chance, of course, since the employer may be so mean-spirited as to disqualify you for a job merely because you dared to protest the corrupt status quo):
I am providing this urine sample under protest since I do not believe that this business has the constitutional right to demand it. My rationale for this action is explained in the essay above.
Need money and to hell with human rights? Listen to this job offer from Urine Testers United -- working to strip Americans of their dignity and human rights since 1973.
Bone up on slam-dunk arguments against the drug war, starting with the fact that it was a violation of natural law to outlaw plant medicine in the first place. Check out
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for fun ways to learn more about the manifold injustice of the status quo, including many knock-down arguments never made before. Why? Because even the majority of drug-war opponents have been bamboozled by one or more of the absurd assumptions upon which that war is premised. See through the haze. Read on. Listen on. And Learn how tryants and worrywarts have despoiled American freedom, thereby killing millions around the world, totally unnecessarily, ever since the fateful day in 1914 when ignorant America first criminalized a mere plant -- and insisted that the rest of the world follow suit or else -- an act of colonialist folly unrivaled since the days of the genocidal Conquistadors.