Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Friday, October 22, 2004

an ESR marketing strategy "taking the piss"

(650 tests per week @ 100ml x 52 = 3,800 ltr or about 3 tonne of piss )

Absent the analysis 'if any of this is worth the effort'?. This is more a marketing exercise than a rational informed considered business practice response.

Workers caught in drug net


Workplace drug tests are showing growing use of amphetamines by workers.

While cannabis is still by far the most common drug found, amphetamines - including ecstasy, speed and P - are becoming more prevalent, with their incidence rising rapidly in the past year.

(**** no analysis of which drug is which or even dangerous; given NZ is #1 in cannabis consumption in OECD, hardly surprising that this is a cludged up aint we doing well report to ESR shareholders)

Testing of staff for drug use is rapidly increasing.

Last year the Institute of Environmental Science and Research did 19,000 tests. Five years ago, only 6000 tests were done in a year.

ESR programme manager Shelli Turner said drug testing had become popular with employers who wanted to ensure safer workplaces. ESR does most of the drug testing in New Zealand, with about 650 tests a week.

Results from the past year found 9 per cent of pre-employment tests and 8 per cent of post-accident tests were positive.

Cannabis was the most common drug identified, but amphetamines were increasingly showing up. In the first three months, amphetamines had been identified in 8 per cent of positive tests.

Two years ago only 4 per cent of positive tests were for amphetamines.

"We're seeing a real trend towards an increase in amphetamines," Ms Turner said.

ESR is contracted by 400 companies for testing at 700 workplaces. During the past year revenue from workplace drug testing has nearly doubled.

ESR would not say how much money was made from the testing, but its annual report showed a significant increase in total revenue.

The most common industries drug testing their staff were forestry, fishing, dairy, transport, power and roading, mining, and the poultry and meat industries. Personnel and legal firms were also on ESR's books.

Ms Turner said most of the companies did pre-employment tests on prospective staff, as well as random and post-accident tests if necessary. Companies had different policies on what happened to staff who tested positive.

Labour Department principal adviser Bob Hill said drug testing at a workplace should be part of a wider occupational health and safety package, which would reduce accidents. OSH did not recommend random testing except in industries with a high number of serious injuries or fatalities.

Civil Liberties chairman Michael Bott said the trend toward drug testing employees was worrying.

"It's an invasion of a person's right to privacy."

Testing was understandable in some industries, such as aviation and construction, but Mr Bott was concerned it would spread to industries where knowing a person's drug history was irrelevant.
sig. Blair Anderson
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  • At 11:04 am, October 23, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry for posting anonymously. I don�t have an account. My own account is at (username jjkbee). I just want to say I am a little confused about this government�s attitude towards drugs in general. Our home was in the path of Maf pesticide planes approaching a neighbouring spray area. On one spray day my son vomited and saw �comic book illustrations� in the carpet. No one in government or Maf has responded to my concerns, or told me why it is acceptable for them to dump chemicals that cause hallucinations on my home.


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