I got hit with a random drug test at work yesterday. The last time it happened was the day before my bachelor party—nice timing.
In my line of work, it makes sense to drug test since people’s lives are potentially on the line if I make critical mistakes. What doesn’t make sense though is how the company’s drug policy aligns with reality. Let me explain.
Less than two years ago, I had a major knee surgery that laid me up for months and I had to take a short term disability leave of absence. As I was nearing my return back to work, I messaged someone in human resources that I trusted and told them I was planning on coming back to work soon. I informed them that I was still planning on taking my pain medications because the pain was too much to deal with throughout the day. I asked if it was okay to take narcotics while working. Their response was: Yes, as long as I had a prescription.
The right answer should have been: No, you can’t take narcotics while working, even if you have a prescription.
I know how to handle myself while taking them because of my previous addiction and scare, but most people don’t and that still doesn’t make it okay. There are a time and a place for pain meds. But during work hours is not one of those times or places.
Fast forward a couple of years and now there are states that are passing medical marijuana laws. Now my thoughts go back to what if I had gotten a prescription for medical marijuana to deal with pain management instead of a narcotic from big pharma? Would it have been okay to be under the influence of marijuana and continue working as long as I have a prescription? Again, the answer is no. But we still discriminate against it like it’s worse than popping pills.
I’m not really worried about passing the drug test since I don’t consume any illegal drugs—I mainly just microdose Twitter which is legal in all 50 states. The only chance I could potentially fail is if something showed up from the CBD (which has less than 0.3% THC) that I have been taking recently to deal with my chronic knee pain. There is a slight possibility that it could show a false positive result. Then I would be forced to defend myself at risk of being fired.
I’m definitely becoming more liberal on the drug policy stance for not only corporations but the United States in general. The funny thing is, based on the drug policy of my company, I could be a raging alcoholic at night then come into work the next day and that would be okay. No one would know any different. Ingest any of the devil’s lettuce though and I’d be looking for a new job next week. God forbid if it could actually cure my chronic pain issues.
Something needs to change.