Over the weekend there was a major hue and cry over the fact that Gov. Jindal signed HB 379, a bill by Rep. Paul Hollis and Sen. Edwin Murray that would provide for accrediting testing facilities for the testing of hair samples for drugs. It seems the individual rights of people who might use drugs are forfeit thanks to this bill, and it proves Jindal is secretly a proponent of big government.
This post won’t defend Jindal, nor will it defend the bill. The bill is a big fat nothing, because in Louisiana it’s already legal to do drug testing using hair samples. All the bill does is standardize the accreditation process for the labs doing the testing.
But the people going ballistic about the bill, particularly in the comments under Emily Lane’s Times-Picayune article about it over the weekend, managed not to notice something about the bill and Jindal’s signing of it.
Namely, that it passed with 89 votes in the House against ZERO nays. There were 16 members absent. And in the Senate it passed 34-0, with five absentees.
To the extent anybody really cares about the bill, a Jindal veto of it would have been wasted. There are more than enough votes to override his veto. So he signed the bill.
And what does the bill matter to you? Well, if employers start using hair for drug testing instead of having their employees pee in a cup, you will have less success passing a drug test if you’re using drugs. Evidence of drug use is stored in your hair for as much as 90 days, whereas your urine will only hold the evidence for a few days.
So if you work someplace where drug use is particularly verboten, like a chemical plant, they’re going to find out if you’ve been smoking weed, or dropping acid, or whatever, within the last 90 days. It’ll be tougher to get away with it. Unless you shave all your hair, that is. Perhaps the trend will go from long-haired dope smokers to skinhead dope smokers. At least they’ll look a little cleaner.
That, and stoners will be dying their hair and shampooing with vinegar and laundry detergent.
And if you want to smoke weed, you might consider occupations where nobody cares if you get high. Simple as that. You might have the right to get high (you don’t, because at least for now marijuana, cocaine, heroin and the like are illegal), but your employer also has the right not to have stoners in his employ.
This isn’t a particularly controversial notion, which is why nobody opposed Hollis’ bill at the legislature. But the cranky commenters at the Picayune site and on social media sure are pissed off about it. One supposes they don’t like the idea of better drug testing, and perhaps for quite intimate reasons.