The media world was rocked this weekend when the New York Times Editorial Board came out in support of marijuana legalization. The New York Times is in the midst of releasing a six part series dedicated to marijuana legalization. The endorsement was welcomed by marijuana activists around the world, and got the attention of just about every media outlet on the planet by the end of the weekend.
While the endorsement is very much appreciated, I still find it troubling that the New York Times plans to continue to drug test its employees. Every drug test that is paid for by the New York Times financially supports companies who have led the fight to keep marijuana illegal, in addition to penalyzing prospective employees for marijuana use. Per the Huffington Post:
But the editorial board's new stance doesn't mean incoming Times employees can partake. As Gawker recently noted, the Times is one of several big media companies that require prospective hires to take a drug test. A Times spokeswoman told HuffPost that the paper's policy for drug testing hasn't changed, despite the editorial board's decision.
"Our corporate policy on this issue reflects current law," the spokeswoman said. "We aren't going to get into details beyond that."
Arbitrary drug testing is wrong. People should be hired based on their skill set, not on the purity of their urine. An impairment based drug testing system is much better, and is more accurate. A drug test shows that someone has consumed marijuana within the last 30 days, but does not indicate if that person was under the influence at work, or even if they are a bad worker. I have had marijuana in my system consistently for over two decades, and I've always been an exceptional employee, and I know I'm not alone.
There is a Change.Org petition calling for The New York Times to change its drug testing policy. I encourage you to sign it. As of this post, there have been 607 supporters signed up.