The word on the street is the United States Department of Agriculture is not stoner-friendly and intends to test employees living in legal marijuana states for pot. Earlier last month, a memo from USDA officials made its way to the national offices of marijuana lobbying group NORML, which stated the agency’s drug policies have not changed, despite the decision of some states to legalize medical or recreational marijuana.
The memo aimed at invoking fear of unemployment in that percentage of the agency’s more than 100,000 employees states, “use of marijuana for ‘recreational’ purposes is not authorized under federal law nor the Department’s Drug Free Workplace Program policies” and that “accordingly, USDA testing procedures remain in full force and effect.”
Of course, a memo from a federal agency regarding anti-drug policies should be no surprise to anyone. Marijuana is still classified a Schedule I dangerous drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is illegal under federal law. Yet, the USDA said they felt compelled to release a memo outlining current drug policies due to widespread employee concerns about the issue.
In addition to marijuana, the USDA says they also test for the metabolites of opiates and PCP as well as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamine. “These drugs are listed in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)…as Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, respectively. Schedule I drugs are substances, or chemicals defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. They are considered the most dangerous of all the drug schedules and invite potentially severe psychological or physical dependence,” reads the memo.
However, the USDA wants to make it clear that the agency is not discriminating against the recreational marijuana user. A failed drug test by an employee under the treatment of medical marijuana may also result in disciplinary action, which could lead to termination.
"State initiatives and laws, which make available to an individual a variety of illicit drugs by a physician's prescription or recommendation, do not make the use of these illicit drugs permissible under the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program," according to the memo. "These state initiatives and laws are inconsistent with federal law and put the safety, health, and security of federal works and the American public at risk. The use of any substance included in Schedule I of the CSA, whether for non-medical or ostensible medical purposes, is considered a violation of federal law and the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program."
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.