Thursday, January 26, 2012

Passing My Piss-Test

There is a contradiction in a Republic when unreasonable search and seizure is being conducted against bodily fluids. Piss tests are something that no patriot who loves his country could ever support. They are demeaning and degrading and aimed only at workers, not at the rich and privileged owners and leaders who actually make the decisions that determine our national destiny.

If I am wrong, and urinalysis is right, then members of Congress and all CEO's should be piss-tested on a random basis for drugs and alcohol, and the results should be accessible on the web. Their jobs are far more important than ours and have far more impact on our nation's destiny. If checking urine is so important, then the urine of a CEO is more to the point than the urine of a Wal-Mart greeter. Have CEO's and Congress as a whole performed particularly well over the last twenty years? You tell me.

Sometime while I was ranting against the immorality of urinalysis tests, companies and government quietly decided to loosen their standards. I don't know when this happened and I don't know why. Old research indicated that marijuana could be detected in the urine for as long as 30 days after use, which seemed unfair, given that harder substances such as meth become undetectable much sooner. The "30 days" bit is an oft-repeated talking point. The reality, I have found, is rather different.

Recently, I was offered a job, contingent upon passing urinalysis. I researched NORML to learn more about the state of the art in regard to piss-tests. NORML is my go-to source for any questions regarding cannabis, and I regard it as the very best source on the Internet. Google should rank NORML as the #1 result for any search of "marijuana," but it doesn't. Instead, mainstream media sites with articles about pot busts are cited, followed by Wikipedia, a couple of other sites and then NORML around #7. I am not sure whether my Google results are the same as everyone else's, because Google is getting too smarty-pants, customizing their results for individual users.

Today, companies and government tend to have a cutoff point of 50 nanograms of THC metabolites per milliliter. Any amount in excess of 50 ng / ml triggers a "positive" result, with negative consequences for the poor soul being tested. However, recent research has found that this 50 ng / ml cutoff allows more leeway than previously thought and that people can pass piss-tests even if they have used marijuana two weeks prior. Marijuana remains the most easily detected substance, and the situation is still unfair. However, the "30 days" business only holds true for heavy daily users with high residual levels, the wake-and-bake crowd. A chronic daily user with a slow metabolism might test positive for as long as two months after the last use! However, an occasional, once-a-week user with a normal metabolism has little to fear after a dozen days of strict abstinence. I assume that this 50 ng / ml cutoff was established in order to eliminate the possibility of false positives, an occasional problem with urinalysis in the past.

For occasional users facing preemployment tests, there is an advantage to delaying the test as long as possible in order to increase the number of days of abstinence and reduce the metabolite concentration in the body. When an email is received with an invitation to test, there is typically a deadline to respond to the invitation. The moment the invitation is accepted, a piss-test "date" is made three days in advance. Thus, it is advantageous to wait until the very last day of that deadline before accepting the invitation. I wouldn't wait until the last hour, because the Internet may be down.

I considered substituting someone else's urine in the place of my own, but I was reluctant to blemish my record of having never cheated in all my life. I believe it is ethical to cheat on a piss-test, for the same reason that it is ethical for a nation to engage in espionage during wartime. Piss-tests are wrong, and thus any method that can circumvent them seems to me fair game. Anyone with the least amount of imagination could invent a dozen different ways to conceal and substitute another person's urine while maintaining a plausible temperature for the urine. Nevertheless, I just don't like the idea of cheating, even though I can't explain why. It is just a personal preference of mine. I prefer beating the test if possible through abstinence and background research of the testing technology. That is my way, because I'm a techie.

In the end, after researching NORML, I determined I would pass the test without any difficulty. I am an occasional user with a normal metabolism and do not drink. The test was scheduled exactly twelve days after my last use. According to the consensus of all my sources, the chance of my failing a piss-test with a 50 ng / ml cutoff was miniscule.

I did not bother with any vitamins or supplements and did not exercise any more than usual. I think that there is a lot of pseudoscientific hogwash about ways to defeat piss tests, with various vitamins and herbs promoted that have little or no actual effect but may make certain vendors rich.

I only did what NORML recommends--on the day of the test, I voided my bladder several times prior to my arrival at the clinic. This helps, because it is well-established and often repeated that the greatest concentration of metabolites is found in the first void of the day. Also, by drinking plenty of fluids, one dilutes the concentration of metabolites. The sample I provided contained only urine deposited in my bladder during a narrow 2-3 hour window. It had little or no color, because I had been drinking about double the usual amount of tea and water that day in preparation for the test.

I had no doubt whatsoever that I passed. The clinic never informed me, because their master is the employer, not me. However, the employer offered me a job, so there's my answer.


techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions