Unfair drug testing isn’t a recent issue: it has existed for years. The government started drug testing welfare applicants in the 1990’s, and the government has been pushing for discriminatory drug testing ever since.
Until now! Recently, the CDC stated that opioid prescribing doctors must stop testing for marijuana. This is groundbreaking. This edict may influence other government agencies to stop mandatory drug testing as well.
The CDC states, “Clinicians should not dismiss patients from care based on a urine drug test result because this could constitute patient abandonment and could have adverse consequences for patient safety, potentially including the patient obtaining opioids from alternative sources and the clinician missing opportunities to facilitate treatment for substance use disorder” (Brosious 1).
Unfortunately, the CDC has no plan of reducing opium with marijuana. Brosious states, “‘The guidelines also don’t make any mention of medical marijuana’s potential to replace certain opioid drugs for pain management. Despite a strongly worded letter Senator Elizabeth Warren recently wrote to CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden urging the agency to research the ‘effectiveness of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain treatment in states where it is legal,’ as reported by High Times” (1). the CDC’s statement did not address the request.
The CDC went on to say, “Although passing a drug test is not usually a prerequisite for an initial prescription for painkillers, patients who end up passing through the corridor from the family doctor to a pain management clinic are often held to a higher standard in order to continue receiving these medications.
Typically, these patients are required to test free of any illegal substances, including medical marijuana, before being allowed to participate and/or continue in a pain treatment plan. Additionally, there have been many issues with false positive screens for THC when in fact the patient had not consumed the drug.
Approximately one out of five “positive” screenings for THC were actually false-positives” (Roussele 1).
As a whole, drug testing violates people’s privacy. Time has come to let representatives know that drug testing is unfair and discriminatory.
Why should the government have the right to refuse help to people who need it, especially on the basis of marijuana use?
The time has come for marijuana laws to change. The old laws are unreasonable and draconian. Therefore, we must continue to push for fair marijuana laws. At the same time, we must embrace the changes that are taking place and see that our efforts are not in vain.
Brosious, Emily G. “New CDC guidelines urge doctors to stop marijuana drug testing.” Extract. 23 Mar. 2016. Web, 25 Mar. 2016. http://extract.suntimes.com/news/10/153/17742/new-cdc-guidelines-urge-doctors-stop-testing-patients-for-thc-marijuana
Roussele, Christine. “CDC: Doctors, Stop Testing for Marijuana.” Townhall. 24 Mar. 2016. Web, 25 Mar. 2016. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2016/03/24/draft-n2138449