The press release (http://rad-r.us/openvape) is a couple of weeks old, but I am still stunned by the triumphant declaration by a maker of cannabis vaporizer pens that it proudly drug tests its employees.
O.penVAPE (reviewed as #28 in the HIGH TIMES 2014 Vape Pen Guide) sent out the release of April 17, entitled, "O.penVAPE, the Nation's Largest Cannabis Brand, Will Test Employees for Dangerous Drug Abuse." Ignoring for the moment the audacious claim to brand supremacy for a product that placed second in its category at the latest Cannabis Cup, let's hear from the public spokesperson for O.penVAPE, Todd Mitchem:
"Unlike dangerous drugs, cannabis can be part of a healthy lifestyle that promotes wellness," Mitchem said. "We always encourage consumers to use cannabis responsibly, and, as such, we have implemented a stringent drug policy for our own employees. O.penVAPE understands that, as the largest brand in the cannabis industry, our view holds weight -- and our view is simple: we won't tolerate dangerous drug use by our employees."
Dangerous drugs, like, say psilocybin mushrooms or LSD, which, like cannabis, can't cause fatal overdose? Dangerous drugs like ecstasy, which as former UK drugs advisor Professor David Nutt once noted is safer than horseback riding? Or perhaps ketamine, the horse tranquilizer that still ranks lower than cannabis in overall danger?
Or would it be the most dangerous drugs, alcohol and nicotine, that O.penVAPE will be testing for? Nope, because those drugs aren't scheduled, and O.penVAPE seeks to "reinforce the important differentiation between cannabis and other scheduled drugs."
Sadly, some cannabis consumers working for O.penVAPE seem to approve of the policy, happy to drop trou and submit to the drug war discrimination tactic of peeing in a cup to demonstrate fitness for employment... just so long as it isn't their drug being discriminated against. Testing positive for cannabis won't get you fired / not hired by O.penVAPE, but testing positive for anything else will.
O.penVAPE, it's not the danger of the drugs you are testing for that matters. It's the disgusting breach of personal privacy. It's the warrantless accusation that we're guilty of being drug criminals until proven innocent by the seizure of our fluids. It's the Big Brother attitude that people who won't submit to revealing their off-hours habits to an employer have no right to work. It's the inevitable false positives that will subject innocent people to stress and scorn. It's the fact you'll end up with some employees wandering around work with fake dongs and clean urine under their clothes to beat your drug test.
Some cannabis consumers and, now, some cannabis businesses just don't get it. This fight for marijuana legalization isn't really about marijuana; it's about freedom. It's about being free citizens with sovereign jurisdiction over our own minds and bodies. It's about not having to surrender our rights and dignity and freedom over our personal private choices that harm no others. This is a war for liberty; marijuana is just one of the battlefields. We didn't fight to legalize marijuana just so a vape pen company could demonize other drugs to make a public relations score. Until O.penVAPE reverses its traitorous policy of drug testing employees, I call on all cannabis consumers to boycott their products.