You the Juror:




Public safety and health are the most common justifications given in favour of drug testing, but are these justifications valid? What is drug

Testing, and does it make our skies, roads, workplaces, schools and streets safer?

 If you do not want to be a casualty of the drug war, the following text may be of help in protecting your job, driving licence, reputation and freedom of choice.


Public Information Document

Published by: Don Barnard

The fully informed jury

No victim no crime!

TRAGICALLY, few people are fully informed about the duties and rights of the juror. Those of you who have done jury service before will recall the judge reminding you of your oath: "You must reach a verdict on the evidence alone."

But do you remember him telling you that you could also return a verdict according to your conviction? He should have!

Since the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, trial by jury has been a fundamental right for the accused person, acting as the final safeguard against tyranny by the state. Moreover, according to that document - one of the fundamental elements of our unwritten constitution - the law itself can and must be called into question: Is the law fair? Is the law just?

This right was first put to the test in 1670 - From around 1650, common law juries begun to refuse to enforce the religious intolerance of the Crown by acquitting Quakers for violating Parliament's degree that "All, Religious services conformed to the Anglican ritual."

Jurors were frequently fined by judges for returning not guilty verdicts in these cases. Things came to a head when the government increased the severity of the enforcement on the Quakers, ordering that all the doors of Quaker Churches be locked and guarded by soldiers.

This resulted in Penn and Mead preaching in the street and their inevitable arrest and trial. The jury acquitted them. A plaque commemorating this historical event can be found at the entrance to the Old Bailey law courts:

"Near this site William Penn and William Mead were tried in 1670 for preaching to an unlawful assembly in Gracechurch Street. This tablet commemorates the courage an endurance of the jury, Thomas Vere, Edward Bushel and ten others, who refused to give a guilty verdict against them although they were locked up without food for two nights and fined for their final verdict of Not Guilty.

In short, it is a juror's duty to judge the application of law itself, and not just whether a defendant has committed a crime according to that law. It was because of US jurors using this right to bring in not guilty verdicts in alcohol prohibition cases that the US government was forced to repeal alcohol prohibition...everyone knew someone who consumed alcohol; people no longer saw it as a crime.

A more recent case of a jury exercising these rights was in at Manchester Crown Court July 1999 in the case of Colin Davies. Davies had admitted to cultivation of cannabis plants, possession of cannabis, possession with intent to supply and of illegally supplying cannabis to two friends who suffered from MS.

Davies who suffers from a serious back injury argued that he used cannabis out of necessity to alleviate his own pain and discomfort and supplied his friends with cannabis to help them in the same way.

The jury unanimously found him not guilty on all charges.

As a reader juror, rather than being constrained by the allegations about cannabis hemp which have been foisted on society for the past few generations, you are expected to keep an open mind and review the evidence put before you to.


Drug testing stands the presumption of innocence on its head. Does sacrificing this right serve any legitimate moral or economic purpose?

Table of contents


Are universal drug screening tests the way forward?

We need to talk

What's happening now

Could it happen here


What is drug misuse

Defining a drug

Socially accepted drugs

Are the reasons given in support of drug screening tests a myth

What is wrong with drug testing

False positive test results

Passive inhalation

False negative results

Over-the-counter medication


Drug tests and doubts


Unanswered questions

A challenge


How cannabis became illegal

A picture paints a thousand words

A brief history of UK cannabis control


Drug offences in the UK 1985-95

Breakdown of drug offences into possession and trafficking 1985-95

Extra government spending to tackle drugs 1999-2002

All drug seizures by drug type and year


How long does a drug stay in your system


Common sense

Drugs and driving

Drugs and the workplace

Schools and drug testing


Action open to you

Employment Protection Act

Some important tribunal judgements

International law


Drug testing and you: Questions and answers


Political overview


Sources, acknowledgements and further reading


Consultation document


Are universal drug screening tests the way forward?

DURING a job interview or at work have you been asked:

Ever wondered why? What can your employer tell from these tests?

At the turn of the century, company spying was pervasive, and privacy almost non-existent. Your employer had the right to know everything about you: whom you lived with, whether you went to church, to which political group you belonged. With the growth of the trade union movement and heightened awareness of the importance of individual rights, workers came to insist that life off the job was a private affair, and not to be scrutinised by employers.

Recently major chinks have begun to appear in the wall that has separated life on and off the job, largely due to the advent of technologies that make it possible for employers to monitor their employees' off-duty activities. Today thousands of UK workers, in both the public and private sectors, are subject to drug tests as a condition for getting or keeping a job.

Public safety and health are the most common justifications given in favour of drugs testing. But is this justification valid? What is drug testing, and does it make our skies, roads, workplaces, schools and streets safer?

Can we achieve a drug-free society via the extensive use of drugs testing?

We would require:


We need to talk!

IF the current trend of the UK drugs prohibition policies continues the situation being described could soon become your future.

We seek your leadership in stimulating a frank and honest evaluation of global drug control efforts. We are deeply concerned about the threats that drug pose to our children, fellow citizens and our societies. There is no choice but to work together, both locally in the UK and across borders, to reduce the harms associated with drugs.

We believe that the global war on drugs with particular reference to cannabis is now causing more harms than drug abuse itself. Every decade the UN adopts new international conventions, focused largely on criminalisation and punishment, that restrict the ability of individual nations, to devise effective solutions to local problems.

Every year our government enacts more punitive and costly drug control measures. Every day politicians endorse harsher drug war strategies.

What is the result? UN agencies estimate the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry at 400 billion dollars, or the equivalent of roughly eight- percent of total international trade. This industry has empowered organised criminals, corrupted governments at all levels, eroded internal security, stimulated violence, and distorted both economic and moral values.

These are the consequences not of drug use per se, but of decades of the failed and futile drug war policies.

In many parts of the world, drug war policies impede public health efforts to stem the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases. Human rights are violated, environmental assaults perpetrated and prisons inundated with hundreds of thousands of drug law violators.

Resources better expended on health, education, and economical development are squandered. Realistic proposals to reduce crime, disease and death are abandoned in favour of unrealistic proposals to create drug-free societies.

What's happening now

Since the mid 1980s, consecutive UK governments have increased funding and actions to tackle drug misuse on five main fronts: international co-operation, enforcement, deterrence, prevention and treatment.

Estimated Government funding in these areas for 1993-94 was 526 million UK Pounds. Today this figure is obviously considerably higher, though by how much is unclear .The figure is estimated between 2-4 billion pounds annually but there are no comprehensive figures available.

Despite these increasing efforts clearly drug misuse continues to increase steadily year on year. That is why we believe it is right to review the existing approach involving everyone affected.

You have a legitimate and important role to play in this regard - but only if you are willing to ask and address tough questions about the intentions, success and failures of past and current efforts.

We appeal to you to initiate a truly open and honest dialogue regarding the future of UK drug control policies - one in which fear, prejudice and punitive prohibition yield to common sense, science, public health, human rights and practicality.

If UK drugs policies continue on the same lines as they are now, we can look to the USA for the shape of things to come:


Could it happen here?

IS this state of affairs too extreme to become reality in the UK? Wake up, it is already happening under our noses!

In the name of the war on drugs, the Government has spent - some would say wasted - a vast amount of public money drug-testing the armed forces, prisoners, and drivers involved in accidents or suspected of a variety of offences.

Jack Straw, (then Home Secretary), has said this "ridiculous" problem is costing police forces up to 250 million pounds a year and he has threatened forces with punitive budget restrictions unless they reduce the burden.

Controversially, these drug-screening tests are designed not to expose officers for dismissal. Even those officers using Class drugs will be dealt with in a "supportive, not punitive" manner. The aim is for officers to come forward for counseling and rehabilitation (Independent 12/10/98).

"You may feel that drug misuse isn't a workplace problem at all, but a significant proportion of people who misuse drugs are in work. Studies of known illicit drug users suggests that at least 30 per cent are in employment [more recent statistic suggest 35%], some of them, perhaps, in your company. Workplace safety, job performance, efficiency and productivity can all be affected by the misuse of drugs. That makes drugs a workplace issue."

In his recent review on drug strategy (1999) Mr. Hellawell places great emphasis on the 'treatment' analogy as opposed to the 'war' metaphor (This idea is not new: US drug czar Lee Brown said this in 1993, as did US drug czar McCaffery in 1996) and we agree, the emphasis should indeed be on treatment.

After all, doctors do not arrest their patients and test them for cancer in order to cure them!

Unfortunately, like the former US czars, Czar Hellawell's rejection of the 'war' metaphor is hollow rhetoric. All he has rejected is the word 'war' but the war on drugs continues. Just look at the proposed drug control budget. The vast majority of the funding is for detection, testing and enforcement.

In his first annual report Mr. Hellawell states that enforcement activity would seem to be working. To support this he claims from 1984 to 1997 drug seizures increased tenfold! His report, however, is surprising in that plays down the role that cannabis may be contributing to the drug problem. Is this because he is going soft on 'soft drugs'?

All too frequently we are hearing that the focus on drugs' prevention is on drugs like heroin, crack cocaine and MDMA, the so-called hard drugs, as opposed to cannabis, However, drug offences statistics do not support this.


The future UK drug strategy is more of the same: continued surveillance, hunting down, arresting, tagging, fining, imprisoning and drug testing.


 Picture reproduced from The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer.


The debate

What is drug misuse?


DRUG misuse is defined as the non-medical use of drugs that are intended for use in medical treatment, and the use of drugs which have no acceptable medical purposes and a high potential for misuse.

This, however, should not be confused with drug abuse, which is:


Defining a drug

This is difficult since thousands of substances consumed every day can be described as drugs. Most of these have very little effect on the nervous system and are unlikely to cause any severe physical or mental harm unless used to excess.

Another problem is that in general conversation the word drug is used in many different ways. Many people for example still do not see caffeine and nicotine as drugs. Others use the word drug when they really mean narcotics, and some take 'drug' to mean any man-made chemical.

Socially accepted drugs

Are the reasons given in support of drug screening tests a myth?

What happened in the USA

IN the early 1970s, reports on the use of cannabis in the workplace began to appear in the US media. One estimate based on a 1976 survey suggested that about 15 million American people used cannabis regularly and possibly as many as 36 million had tried it at least once.

As a result, the 1970s and 1980s saw the number of companies who subjected employees to drug testing rocketed from an initially very small percentage to 21% by 1986.

In 1987, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation should be permitted to do business with the Federal Government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty.

In 1989 President George Bush went to great lengths to promote drug testing. He went on record as saying drug abuse by US workers cost businesses $60 billion to $100 billion a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, accidents, medical claims and theft.

By 1989, the number of companies testing for illicit drugs had risen to over 50%, with more than 8 million workers tested in 1998 alone.

Today practically all US workers employed in a job subject to the national minimum wage are subject to random testing for illicit drug use including all White House personnel (for the protection of the president)!

Over the last decade thousands of people have been refused employment, dismissed or forced into expensive drug programs solely for failing a chemical test for substance use.

Just as worries were expressed about drug use in the workplace, concern was expressed in respect to cannabis use by students. Fears included possible effects on students' development, potential loss of motivation, and decline in health.

In 1976 a US survey suggested that over half the 18-25 age group had tried cannabis, and a quarter of these smoked it regularly. Over the next few years, other reports emerged asserting serious health harms associated to cannabis use.

The extensive media coverage given to these asserted harms resulted in the introduction of drug's education program into US schools, even though many other reports declared cannabis to be safe.

On September 12th 1983 a program named "Drug Abuse Resistance Education" (DARE) was introduced by a Los Angeles police officer, its sole aim being zero tolerance - a drug free society. Police officers were paid to go into classrooms to give education on drug misuse. These talks were almost invariably slanted towards cannabis.

As a result of the alarmist information given various charities and organisations began to surface, all calling for stiffer penalties for drugs.

Schools sent parents pledge letters of "drug-free" homes, and lists were made of which households had not returned them, even when the respective pupils' tests were negative.

Students and parents were encouraged to wear a red ribbon to indicate they supported the drug-free policy. It was not long before politicians and organisations began calling for drug testing of students.

Drug testing gradually became increasingly prevalent across the US education system, using a program that specifically concentrated on cannabis use.

During 1985 in Milton Wisconsin all high school students, at the request of organisations like Families Against Marijuana, were ordered to take weekly drug tests to see if they had smoked cannabis (but not for any other substance).

Ironically while corporal punishment had been outlawed in many states, little attention was given to the degrading and humiliating strip searches and urine tests of school students for cannabis use.

From 1985 onwards more and more schools implemented testing for drug use; some states, which already tested all their athletes, used court orders to extend the testing program to all extra curricular activities!

By 1993 testing of high school students had been widely adopted and the policy continues today throughout the USA.

What is wrong with drug testing?

"Drug tests fail on their own terms: their greatest shortcoming is their inability to determine intoxication or impairment at the time the test was taken."

THE question of impairment through taking cannabis (or indeed any drug) is far from clear-cut. As will be shown below, the presence of a drug or metabolites of a drug in the biological body fluids says nothing about the competence of an individual, whether he or she is at work, at school or behind the wheel. This raises interesting questions:

Drug concentrations in biological fluids are affected by the size of the dose, how the drug was taken, the longer-term pattern of drug use and the individuals' metabolism, and rate of excretion.

As most drugs are distributed to the site of action by the blood, a drug concentration in the blood should give the best indication as to the potential effects on behaviour.

However, due to the wide individual variations in the rate at which the drugs appear in an individual's plasma, drug concentration for the estimation of impairment has not even been established for most drugs.

There are numerous problems with testing body fluids or hair for indication of an individual's impairment through drug use.

Some of the these problems relate to the test itself and its limitations, and others relate to the involvement of imperfect human beings at all levels of the testing process. No single analysis technique or method has immunity from errors or omissions. All can yield and have yielded incorrect or unacceptable results in some hands. There are several causes of inaccuracies, including problems of interfering substances, cross-reactions between illicit substances and other legal substances, human error and inadequate testing procedures.

Clearly, it raises both social and legal issues if an individual can test positive for cannabis without consuming it - especially where person's integrity, freedom or future prospects are at stake

False positive test results

A false positive is when the test shows recent drugs use when the person being tested has not consumed it - a false allegation. A major concern here is the ability of prescription, over-the-counter drugs and natural substances to show up as illicit drug use. Codeine, for example, is rapidly absorbed with maximum concentrations 1 hour after ingestion. It is extensively metabolised, primarily as conjugated 6-codeine-glucronide. This shows up as a positive test for metabolised opiates such as morphine, and will register for 2 and 4 days after use. Poppy seeds often found on seeded bread loaves will produce positive test results for opiates up to 60 hours after being eaten. Cannabis seed oil is recognised as causing false positive for cannabis use in urinalysis tests.

Passive inhalation

Passive inhalation is another problematic area, particularly with reference to cannabis and to limited extent cocaine. Although you are not likely to be effected by it you can inhale enough smoke to test positive for cannabis use. There have been several reports and studies on passive inhalation, all of which support this fact. These studies all failed to find and identify a level showing whether the drug was passively or intentionally taken, but did document cannabis metabolites in the urine. In a 1985 study, cannabis metabolites were also found in the blood as a result of passive inhalation.

False negative results

FALSE negatives are test results that fail to detect the presence of a substance, when it is present.

The most common cause for this is tampering with the sample.

However, it is worth pointing out that although drug-screening tests are far from infallible it is difficult to challenge positive test results, aside from launching a legal challenge.

Your best defence is to stay clean - don't rely on excuses!

Over-the-counter medication

A further drug-testing problem is posed by the use of over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs many of which warn against driving or operating heavy machinery for fear of disorientation, drowsiness, etc.

These medications can often show up as illicit drugs use in drug screening tests, a point illustrated by instances where MPs and high-ranking policemen have tested positive for opiate use after using proprietary painkillers.

According to a report in the Daily Mail (September 16 1999) Conservative MP David Maclean and the national secretary of the Police Superintendent Association both failed a voluntary drug test at a conference [drug testing trade fair] which was debating compulsory random drug testing of all police officers.

A similar case was reported in the New Scientist (The prying game, July 24 1999). According to the report an 82-year-old German woman tested positive for LSD after using Ambroxamol, an over-the-counter medicine prescribed to clear mucus from the lungs.

Further investigation by German researchers uncovered 11 other false positives for the drug following urine tests of the kind widely used in German drug screening labs.

Although in the case of the MP & the policeman it was an opiate-based analgesic, which caused the incorrect, reading there are alleged to be hundreds of commonly used medications that can produce a false positive test result.

Are we to punish or sack those who are using cold remedies for treating themselves with Beecham's or a similar medicine?

This seems a ludicrous course of action but the argument is equally sound, after all, such remedies are known to effect reaction, dexterity and co-ordination. So why pick on illicit drug use only?


Drug tests and doubts

THE inherent possibility of error in drug screening tests for recent drug use is one of concern that escalates in proportion to the consequences of a positive result. One false positive in 100 true positive is insignificant in an incidence survey for research purposes.

One false positive, however, is of great concern if it is a forensic sample from you and your freedom, career, reputation or civil rights hang in the balance.

Drugs test must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that a person deliberately took a substance and was impaired, at the time of the test, however, drug tests are unable to do this. These tests are unsafe, unjust and unfair, and have nothing to do with competence or health and safety.

Positive results of drug-screening tests, standing alone, are not precise enough to supply the formal proof needed for prosecutions, such as driving under the influence of drugs, or for use in other prosecutions or proceedings - such as disciplinary action by employers, or the denial of a job or which will adversely affect the person being tested.

The possible variations involved in drug screening tests render the task of the general acceptance of a presumptive level of impairment for cannabis practically impossible, therefore, any standard levels of presumptive impairment become meaningless in practical application.


Drug screening tests for recent illicit substances are a creeping invasion into private life.

Arbitrary and irrational, they say nothing about competence or impairment.


Unanswered questions

OVER the last few decades, the government has given out massive amounts of misinformation to gain support for its self-proclaimed war on drugs. The most obvious examples are the alleged health harms from using cannabis. Is the Government now doing the same with its information on drug testing?

A challenge...

We invite you to join in a healthy democratic debate, in the confidence that it will strip away many of the misconceptions about cannabis hemp, demonstrate the cannabis hemp plant is so much more than a recreational substance, and show that many long-term social, ecological and economical benefits can be reaped by rescheduling the substance.

We believe that the laws that prohibit cannabis are money-motivated, not in the public interest and have created many social problems. Rescheduling cannabis would release funds for other social programs, helping those who need help. We are concerned by the failure of our current democratic institutions to concern themselves with putting this wrong to rights.

Finally, we accept there will always be those of you who are passionately against cannabis use for any purpose. However, there does come moments, when a particular combination of circumstances calls for deeper investigation of all the factors involved. We seem to have reached one of those moments.

We can only hope that you will open some of the doors we have knocked on, to increase your understanding of the cannabis plant and the controversy surrounding it.

Appendix 1

How cannabis became illegal

AT present, cannabis is classified as a dangerous drug, under the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, on which the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is based. Cannabis was first made illegal in the UK on September 28 1928, because of its misrepresentation as a narcotic, i.e. a harmful drug.

Until 1879 cannabis hemp was the most-cultivated non-food crop on earth and its fibber was the most-traded commodity. Cannabis hemp production and growing then went into decline with the introduction of cheaper, though inferior fibres like jute, sisal, manila hemp and cotton.

Cannabis hemp's decline was halted in 1930 when an efficient processor, known as a decorticator, was developed and it quickly became apparent that the cannabis plant would again become a prominent crop in agriculture and commerce.

But by the late 1920s the multinational pharmaceutical and petrochemical giant, DuPont, had geared up to release its new wonder fibber, Nylon. DuPont had invested many millions of dollars into its development, and with cannabis hemp suddenly poised to make a comeback, it became the new synthetic fabric's main rival.

DuPont's banker Andrew Mellon - the head of Mellon bank and of the US Treasury - was a close relative of Harry Anslinger, (head of the FBI 1930-62). When alcohol prohibition laws were repealed, Anslinger, a bureaucrat who had previously been with the US Treasury Department enforcing the prohibition of alcohol, was faced with being out of a job, so he turned his attention to cannabis or "marijuana." With a little bit of help from his friends and family, he assumed control or the newly formed 'Bureau of Narcotics.'

With the help of ally Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate, Anslinger began a campaign of misinformation against cannabis hemp, which they renamed marijuana, playing on racism and xenophobia.

It was so effective that by 1938 the US Congress passed the Marijuana Transfer Tax Act, quite unaware that what they were banning was cannabis hemp, a plant they had been trading profitably for centuries.

A myth was born and still lives on today

Things began to change in the early 1940s when the LaGuardia Report was published. It concluded: "The use of marijuana did not lead to physical, mental or moral degradation and no permanent deleterious effects from its continual use were observed."

To counter this criticism Anslinger solicited the support of religious women's groups and the media, using the emergence of a more dangerous drug - heroin. Around this time stories claiming heroin use was widespread and its use was spreading fast.

Anslinger was not one to miss an opportunity to support his one-man war against marijuana. He simply blamed the use of heroin on cannabis, by the simple statement: "Marijuana leads directly to heroin addiction." He called it: "a gateway substance."

Another myth was born and still lives today

Anslinger continued his cannabis vendetta effectively, at home and abroad. He was the prime mover of the 1961 UN Single Convention Treaty regulating narcotic drugs throughout the world - ironically; it was not until May 1967 that the US Senate ratified the Single Convention Treaty.

The 1970's saw a new era of science against marijuana when hundreds of scientific (sic) reports began to appear claiming marijuana caused all kinds of diseases: brain damage, lung cancer, deformed babies, impairment to drive or work, to name but a few.

More myths were born and live on today

Anslinger died in 1975: it was truly the end of an era. However, by then, the damage had already been done. Cannabis had been unfairly labelled, across the majority of the globe, as a dangerous drug, which required legislation to ban it.

A picture paints a thousand words


Atlanta Georgian, February 27 1935 New Orleans, Times-Picayune, June 5 1930

A brief history of UK cannabis control

THE first moves to control drugs in the UK occurred during the First World War, because of concern that troops were using heroin. This was dealt with by the defence of the realm regulations that made it an offence to sell intoxicants to a member of the armed forces; these were later to be extended to the civilian population by restricting the possession of cocaine and opium to authorised persons.

After the war the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920 - the first of a long series - became law. In the discussions leading up to the 1925 convention, the Egyptian delegate proposed that hashish (cannabis) should be included in the list of drugs to be brought under control, he spoke of the evils of 'hashish' and stigmatised its use as the principal cause of most of the cases of insanity in his country.

The UK and India (then under British rule) adopted a cautious attitude to complete prohibition. The UK at the time had no domestic interest in cannabis apart from some minor use of medicinal preparations (extracts and tinctures of cannabis).

The Indian representative pointed out cannabis had been used in India from time immemorial for customary use and religious purposes and doubted whether total prohibition of a plant that grew wild could be made effective.

The 1925 convention, as finally agreed, brought cannabis hemp under a measure of international control for the first time. The sole purpose of this was to give effect to the Geneva Convention.

This act seems to have attracted very little attention in the UK and passed through parliament with little debate, finally coming into force on September 28th 1928.

As a result of changes in international controls further acts followed in 1932, 1950 and 1951, but these did not affect cannabis. From 1954 it was decreed that cannabis no longer served any useful purpose in medicine.

There were no further changes until 1961 when the UK signed the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which consolidated and extended the earlier conventions on narcotic controls.

This act brought cannabis within the full regime of control, requiring the parties to limit the production, manufacture, export, import and distribution of cannabis and other drugs exclusively to medical and scientific needs.

Further, having regard to the 'particularly dangerous properties' of cannabis it was placed in schedule IV, denying any medical usage, and requiring parties to adopt special measures of necessary to control it.

The obligations accepted by the UK as a party to the 1961 Single Convention were translated into UK domestic law by the 1964-1965 Dangerous Drugs Acts, which prohibited all transactions in, and the possession of cannabis, (apart from a few minor specialist uses).

The 1965 act remained in force until 1971 when it was replaced by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 that made important changes in the system on control and introduced a number of completely new features.

"Controlled drugs" - a new term - were divided into three classes: A, B, and C, according to their considered harm. Cannabis, while remaining an illegal drug in Schedule 1 of the UK Misuse of Drugs Act, was placed in class B. Another important change effected by the 1971 act was to distinguish between unlawful possession and unlawful supply.

The 1990s saw further changes with the introduction of the 1992 Transport and Workers Act. This act introduced urine testing into the arena, requiring people in safety-critical jobs such as train drivers and pilots to be random drug tested by their employers.

In 1994 the UK government introduced its 'Tackling Drugs Together' initiative, with the publication of a consultation document (a collection of inter governmental department memos) which heavily promoted the use of drug testing on soldiers and prisoners, a practice which is being expanded by today's Labour government.

Appendix 2

Statistics (Data source: Home Office)

Appendix 2.1 Drug offences in the UK 1985-95
















All Trafficking













Intent to supply








































Use of premises













Other offences






















































































































All offences















Appendix 2.2: Breakdown of drug offences into possession and trafficking


Appendix 2.3: Extra government spending to tackle drugs 1999-2002 (£millions)



Appendix 2.4: All drug seizures by drug type and year 1985-95 (percent of all drug seizures)




Appendix 3

How long does a drug stay in your system?

CANNABIS. The cannabis constituent that produces the high is called Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC, widely known as THC.)

Delta-9-THC enters the bloodstream rapidly after smoking (in minutes) or more slowly when ingested orally (20 minutes to 1.5 hours). It is rapidly metabolised into inert molecules known as metabolites. These chemicals also have the word Tetrahydrocannabinol in them and are called THC, which can be quite confusing.

Delta-9-THC is detectable in the blood for a few hours, but none of this active chemical is found in the urine or stored in the fatty tissues such as the liver and brain.

What is frequently described as THC's lingering in the body fluids and organs are metabolites of Delta-9-THC, the inert substances that the body disposes of in the urine and excrement, in much the same way as it disposes with Vitamin A.

It is these that are detected in the body organs and urine, long after the effects of Delta-9-THC have worn off.

These metabolites can linger more than 90 days in some cases. For occasional users, an average of 13 days was recorded. Some people had metabolites detectable for just three days; others found the substances still in the urine after up to 29 days.

But a positive body fluid or hair test for cannabis does not mean that the person was under the influence of the substance, or impaired in any way at the time the specimen was collected. All it tells the tester is that the person may or may not have ingested cannabis in the recent past.

COCAINE is rapidly absorbed after smoking with the maximum plasma concentration occurring in 5 minutes.

After snorting or sniffing maximum concentrations are reached in 30 to 40 minutes. Cocaine is metabolised extensively with only 1% being excreted unchanged in the urine. The major metabolite -Benzoylecgonine - can be detected by an immunoassay test for approximately 48 hours. Again, a drug test cannot show the level of impairment at the time the test was taken.

AMPHETAMINES are metabolised and the drug will appear in the urine. Unchanged amphetamines have been detected in the urine up to 29 hours after a single dose of 5 mg. A positive amphetamine analysis indicates the use of amphetamine 24 to 48 hours previously. Again, it cannot show the level of impairment at the time the test was taken.

OPIATES including morphine, heroin, are rapidly absorbed after oral ingestion, with peak plasma levels occurring about 15 to 60 minutes after the drug has been taken. After injection it peaks in 15 minutes. The principal metabolite for detection is morphine-3, glucronide, which can be detected in the urine for around 48 hours. Again, it cannot show the level of impairment at the time the test was taken.

HEROIN has a similar pattern of metabolisation and excretion to morphine, and a typical test will show a positive result between two and four days after use. Again, it cannot show the level of impairment at the time the test was taken.

LYSERGIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE (LSD) has its effect within minutes after use but can last for 12 hours. LSD is rapidly metabolised and only a very small portion of the dose is excreted unchanged in the urine. LSD itself, however, can be detected up to 30 hours after use and the metabolites can be detected for periods of up to 72 hours. Again, it cannot show the level of impairment at the time the test was taken.


Appendix 4

Common sense

A CAUTION against some terminology, doublespeak and innuendo often quoted by the authorities concerning drug and their effects (a lot of this misinformation particularly refers to cannabis use).

  • Words such as: may, might, could, possible. These simply mean that no harm has been established. They are not scientific or material facts, and should be disregarded as hearsay.
  • Comparative evaluations such as "Cannabis is more dangerous than tobacco," or "Cannabis has a similar effect on a person to alcohol." These are entirely subjective statements.
  • Comparisons between cannabis and so-called "hard' drugs (another misnomer - there are only drugs, some more harmful than others). Ecstasy, cocaine, heroin and cannabis are all Schedule 1 drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Any direct comparison should be approached with extreme caution.

Clearly, in spite of the current ban there is no doubt that cannabis is being consumed on a substantial scale, and the illegal cannabis market has succeeded to a remarkable extent in maintaining the supply of a commodity for which there is a rapidly increasing demand. And it is an open-ended question whether or not this trend will continue!

At the same time enforcement has had a number of undesirable social consequences, the most important being that a considerable number of people of good character have found themselves at odds with the law who would not otherwise have done so. It is against this background that we examined the implications of 'random drug screening tests' for impairment:

We find the suggestion drug screening is designed for health reasons and not to expose employees for dismissal controversial. Drug screening leaves at least one important unanswered question: What do employers do with employees that are found to have traces of cannabis use at any level in their body fluids or hair?

Today many people caught with cannabis opt to take drug rehabilitation programs instead of prison time. This treatment option may reduce actual prison costs but does not substantially reduce surveillance, arrest and other pre-sentencing costs.

However, people who break the cannabis laws are neither physically dependent nor psychologically sick - if they are, cannabis has not made them that way. Most simply refuse to conform to a law that they hold to be unjust.

Those who wish to stop using cannabis only need willpower - medical research has shown that cannabis is not addictive. Indiscriminately forcing cannabis offenders into rehabilitation programs means the system wastes resources trying to "cure" people who have no need or real desire to be cured and probably resent the whole process. The NHS does not even have specialised treatments for cannabis users as they have said they see no need for them.

At the same time, overcrowding will mean centres will be forced to turn away cocaine or heroin addicts and alcoholics. Such a policy not only makes drug treatment less efficient; it may well increase crime committed by genuine drug addicts who cannot get treatment.

Cannabis and driving

INCREASINGLY there have been calls to test drivers for drugs other than alcohol.

Consider the resources implication of this proposal. Over 500,000 drivers take the Breathalyzer every year. If we were to test for illicit drugs also, it could add at least another £50 million to the bill every year.

Do cannabis users have the same, higher or lower rates of road traffic accidents as the general public? In very high doses, cannabis probably does cause driving impairment. But there is no real evidence to support claims that cannabis consumption contributes significantly to road traffic accidents.

Strange as it may sound, much of the evidence suggests that cannabis use may actually make you a more careful driver!

The largest ever study examining road accidents with regard to drugs and alcohol found drivers with cannabis in their blood were no more at risk than those who were drug-free.

The findings of a pharmacology team from the University of Adelaide showed drivers who had smoked marijuana were marginally less likely to have an accident than those who were drug-free.

A study representative, Dr. Jason White, said the difference was not great enough to be statistically significant but could be explained by anecdotal evidence that marijuana smokers were more cautious and drove more slowly because of altered time perception.

Research has also suggested that drivers under the influence of cannabis retain insight into performance and tend to compensate for impairment, either by slowing down or by increasing effort.

The study has policy implications for those who argue drug detection should be a new focus for road safety. Dr. White said the study showed the importance of concentrating efforts on alcohol rather than other drugs.

  • Should we be drug-testing drivers at such great expense?
  • How effective would drug testing be in decreasing road accidents?

We know that the presence of certain drug-residue metabolites is no indication of when the substance was consumed, and no indication that the person was still under the its influence.

Surely it would make more sense to test driving skills themselves? All the necessary laws are already in place to enable prosecutions against erratic or dangerous drivers.

It would seem the only group that would stand to gain from the widespread introduction of drug testing would be the manufacturers of the drug testing kits and the companies contracted by the state to carry out the subsequent analysis.

Drugs and the workplace

THERE are approximately 3.5 million regular illicit drug users in the UK, of which approximately 94% are of working age. If 35% (1,225,000) of these are in employment and there are about 27,358,000 people in work, only 4.5 % of the actual total workforce is alleged to be using illicit drugs! Clearly, the government's figure of 35% is meant to mislead.

One suggested solution to drug abuse in the workplace is random drug testing the whole workforce. But can we afford it? Assuming tests cost 25 pounds and we test 5% of the workforce monthly, this would involve 1,367,000 tests every month, at an annual cost in excess of 34 million pounds.

In a healthy, productive society and workplace employers do have the right to expect their employees not to be drunk, asleep, or under the influence of illicit substances on the job.

But the bottom line should be work performance, health and safety, not whether someone has tested positive for recent use of a prohibited substance.

These chemical tests cannot prove impairment when other factors may be the cause for an employer being dissatisfied with an employees performance such as stress, family difficulties, underlying mental or physical health problems or incompetence, to name but a few.

Efficient supervision of the workforce is a much better way of ensuring that individuals are assessed on dexterity and competence in their duties. It would not take long to establish problem areas and address them by appropriate action, which could involve sacking after all aspects, have been fully investigated. Otherwise, employers may find themselves having to dismiss some of their best workers for no good reason.

Surprising as it may seem some of the data use to support workplace tests can be used to prove drug use has minimal derogatory effects on workers and could even have beneficial effects.

For example, in a recent study involving 132 workers at the Utah Power and Light Company and the Georgia Power Company, companies annually spent $215 per employee less on the drug users in health benefits, than on the control group!

Those who tested positive at Georgia Power had a higher promotion rate than the company average. Further, workers who tested positive at the Georgia Power Company for cannabis only - 35% of the total positives - took 30% less time off than the national average.

This suggests an employer's best course of action is to test only when they have to, then disregard the results and hire the positives!

Schools and drug testing

If a student is impaired by drugs their studies and work will surely suffer, and the slipping standards will highlight any problems. These can be addressed and help can be offered to individuals to face and overcome them.

Competent supervision and assessment may not be a simplistic an option as drug tests, but they will prove a better investment in our children's future.

The bottom line is trust. Schools need to concentrate in creating an atmosphere of trust and cooperation, not one of suspicion and fear. Good student morale is important to the efficient running of a school, and drug testing demonstrably harms it.

Appendix 5

Action open to you

THE case for urine screening tests, although well intentioned, is fundamentally flawed, as it has been shown that drug-screening tests are unsafe. But this will not stop some employers imposing drug-testing clauses in their employee's contract of employment.

How can you protect yourself against being unfairly selected for a drug screening and the possibility of being forced to go into a drug rehabilitation centre, asked to resign or being dismissed?

Employment Protection Act

There is very little in the Employment Protection Act to give you protection against unfair treatment during the course of employment. The most relevant in reference to unfair dismissal as a result of a company applying it's drug or alcohol policy is Sections: 54, 55, and 57; An employee may claim re-instatement, re-engagement or compensation. An industrial tribunal hearing the claims will have to decide if the reasons for the dismissal were potentially fair and if so, whether the dismissal was fair or unfair, in all the circumstances of the case.

  • Where an employee is faced with a drug screening test that he/she considers unreasonable and /or and invasion of privacy the employee may refuse to have the test.
  • Where a sanction is one of dismissal, the employee could subsequently bring a claim for unfair dismissal before an industrial tribunal.

The employer's argument would be the reason for the dismissal was the employee's conduct (namely refusing to be drug tested) or alternately, some other substantial reason namely. The need to ensure a safe working place by the screening of employees who take controlled substances and/or their need to avoid any breach of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, section 8, and would be likely to establish a potentially fair reason.

The issue before the tribunal would then be whether or not such dismissal was fair in all the circumstances under section 57. The factors that a tribunal is likely to take into account would include the duties of the employee and their connection with safety at work and for the members of the public, the illegality of the employee's actions, the effect on the employer's reputation, whether the conduct was on or off duty, and if there was any contact with children.

Unfortunately for the purpose of advice there appears to be few reported decisions specifically on the issues raised by drug screening tests whether random or for cause. But in today's anti drug climate many tribunals would uphold the right of an employer's right to have a policy requiring random testing of employees in safety critical posts.

This would leave open a challenge by the employee whether his/her position was truly safety critical. If an employee could show arbitrary or unreasonable identification of their posts, a tribunal could well rule in their favour.

It would also leave open a challenge as to the procedure for carrying out drug screening tests. If the procedure unnecessarily infringes the employee's privacy and/or personal dignity this would be a strong argument before the industrial tribunal for saying that it was reasonable for the employee to protest and/or to refuse to undergo such a test.


As to the effectiveness of drug screening tests, if it was shown in any case that the employer was in possession of evidence suggesting the tests they were carrying out were not effective in measuring current impairment, and yet took disciplinary action against an employee on the strength of such a test, it would be strongly arguable that such disciplinary action was unfair.

More generally, as to whether or not dismissals for breaches of company rule will be held fair, the following decisions set out some principals generally followed by industrial tribunals and courts.

The fact that a company rule is strictly applied and all breaches of it are automatically result in dismissal does not make all consequential dismissals fair under Section 57(3) of the Employment Protection Act 1978. It still has to be decided whether dismissal is a reasonable response to a particular breach of rules. Each case has to be considered on its own merit.

When facing an unreasonable accusation that they have been taking illicit drugs and/or the unreasonable imposition of drug screening, the employee's position will normally be strong if, rather than resigning, they await the outcome of any disciplinary proceedings and see whether the employer decides to dismiss.

If an employee resigns they must first establish that the resignation constitutes 'dismissal' for the purpose of Section 55 (2c), and only if the employee surmounts this hurdle will the issue of reasonableness come before the industrial tribunal.

Some important tribunal judgements

It is frequently stated that the small consumption of some drugs, for example, cannabis, will not affect performance when consumption has been approximately 3 hours subsequent to reporting for duty.

However, when it comes to the use of occasional small use illicit substances there would appear to be reason for concern, as has been shown the traces of cannabis use remains in the system long after any impairment of faculty has vanished.

While the case of Norfolk County Council v. Bernard indicates that possession of illegal substances will not necessarily lead to a finding of fair dismissal it is highly unlikely in today's anti-drug hysteria that many industrial tribunals would overturn a dismissal.

Tribunals would in probability, uphold an absolute policy of forbidding the consumption of illegal drugs in safety critical posts.

A further consideration would be the employee's use of illicit substances in itself is a crime punishable under criminal law.

As previously mentioned there is a wealth of case law from the United States, especially surrounding the fourth amendment. However, there is currently no equivalent to this in UK law. It would be up to an industrial tribunal considering the case whether or not to accept any relevant case law from the US in support of the of the employees or indeed the employers' case.

International law

One can turn to the European Convention of Human Rights 8(1):

"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence."

8(2), however, override these:

"There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society, in the interest of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morality, or for the protection of the rights and freedom of others."

The difficulty in respect of a complaint as to the imposition of a drug-screening test is that one of the exceptions specifically relates to "public safety" where, for example, the employer in question is concerned with the provision of a service to the public. The policy clearly seeks to ensure safety of such a service.

An employer would be likely to succeed in justifying such a policy under Article 8 (2). It would however still be open to argument whether while the policy in general might be justified the particular steps complained of, for example random drug screening tests by way of testing body fluids or hair, was not necessary for public safety.

This would require detailed and careful argument and would depend on establishing that the public safety could be fully safeguarded by other means.

It would be for the employer to show that the measure under attack was both necessary a proportionate to the ends. That would require consideration as to what other steps could achieve the objective in a manner that did not infringe Article 8 (1). Many cases have been found to be a breach of Article 8(1) but justified under 8(2).

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)/Universal Declaration of Human Rights may also offer a means of redress. Article 17 provides:

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.
  • Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attack.

Article 12 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides similar terms.


Appendix 6

Drug testing and you: Questions and answers

If you do not use drugs, you have nothing to hide - so why object to being tested?

Incorrect. Innocent people do have something to hide: their private life. The right to be left alone. The most comprehensive of rights and the most valued by civilized societies. Analysis of persons' body fluid can disclose many details about that person's private life other than drug use. It can tell an employer whether the person is being treated for a heart condition, depression, epilepsy or diabetes to name a few. It can also reveal whether a person is pregnant.

Are drug tests reliable?

No, the drug tests used by most companies are not. These tests can yield false positive results of at least 10 percent, and possibly as much as 30 percent of the time. At a recent conference 120 forensic scientists were asked, "Is there anyone who would submit urine for drug testing if his career, reputation, freedom or livelihood depended on it?" Not one single hand was raised.

Are there more accurate methods of testing than urine?

Yes, but these are very expensive and infrequently used. Moreover, even these tests can yield inaccurate results due to laboratory error. A survey by the National Institute of Drugs Abuse (NIA), a US government agency, found that 20 percent of the laboratories surveyed mistakenly reported the presence of illegal drugs in drug-free urine samples. Unreliability also stems from the tendency of drug screens to confuse similar chemical compounds.

Drug use cost industry millions in lost productivity. Do employers have the right to test for drug use as a means of protecting their investment?

There are no clear estimates about the economical costs to industry resulting from drug use by employees. Proponents of testing claim the costs are high, but they are hard pressed to translate that claim into real figures. In any event, employers have better ways to maintain high productivity and good morale, as well as to identify and help employees if they have a problem. Competent supervision, voluntary rehabilitation programs and professional counseling may not be as simple as a drug test, but they are a better investment.

Have any court cases been heard contesting urine tests?

Yes. Many federal courts and US states have ruled that testing programs in public workplaces on schools are unconstitutional if they are not base on individualized suspicion. Courts have struck down programs that randomly tested police officers, fire fighters, teachers, and civilian army personnel, prison guards and the employees of many federal agencies.

One federal judge in Washington had this to say about drug testing programs for government employees: "This case presents for judicial consideration a wholesale deprivation of the most fundamental privacy rights of thousands upon thousands of law-abiding citizens..."

In 1989, the US Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of drug testing government employees not actually suspected of drug use. In two cases involving US Customs guards and railroad workers. The majority of the court held that urine tests are searches, but that these particular employees could be tested without being suspected drug users on the grounds that their fourth Amendment right to privacy was outweighed by the government's interest in maintaining a drug-free workplace.

But should exceptions be made for employees who are responsible for the lives of others?

Obviously, people who are responsible for others' lives should be held to a high standard of job performance. But testing for drugs will not help employers do that because drug testing does not detect impairment.

If employers in transportation or other industries are really concerned about public safety, they should abandon imperfect drug testing and test performances instead which do not invade privacy, and can improve safety far better than indiscriminate drug tests can.

Still, is not universal testing the way to catch drug users?

Such tests may be the easiest way to identify drug users, including passive users. But is by far the most objectionable it infringes on the very principle and tradition that the general searching of innocent people to find the minority who might be guilty of an offence is unfair. The long-standing principle of fairness should apply to drug testing. 'There must be good reason to suspect a particular person before subjecting him or her to an intrusive body search'.

Surely if traces of drugs are found in a person's body fluids it must follow they are under the influence of that drug?

No. Drug tests cannot tell when or if a drug has been used. They can only detect the "metabolites," or the leftover traces of a previously ingested substance. For example, whether a person smoked cannabis on a Saturday night has nothing to do with his fitness to work the following Monday, long after cannabis has ceased to have any effect. In this case, what a person did on Saturday has nothing to do with his fitness to work Monday. At the same time, a person can snort cocaine on the way to work and test negative that same morning. That is because the cocaine has not had time to metabolise and will therefore not show up in a person's urine.

To protect the young and ensure they are not involved in clandestine use of drugs surely it makes sense to use drug test to detect, deter, and determine any violation of school rules?

The US courts have also considered the legality of drug testing school students. An Arkansas judge ruled that students could not be subject to mandatory urinalysis to prove or disprove the offence of using cannabis at school.

The court noted that the drugs' test could not establish when cannabis had been consumed, and provided "no information at all as to the effects of cannabis on the user...whether any given student had used cannabis while at school...or was under the influence while at school."

The court ruled that using urine test to determine violation of school rules was "irrational, arbitrary and capricious."

What about drugs and driving? If you use drugs and drive surely you should be subject to the same restrictions as drink drivers and tested for drugs as well as drink?

As previously stated a positive test for drugs in the body fluids is not indicative of impairment. If tests were used, since it is estimated that 10-12 percent of all drivers use illicit drugs, at any given time there will be thousands falling foul of these tests as with the drink and drive tests.

However, any increased detection will have resource implications. Over half million drivers are stopped each year and pass the Breathalyzer. If these were all to be tested for drugs also, the extra cost could be as much as 50 million pounds each year, assuming an average cost of 100 poundsper test. Each case taken forward would necessitate a confirmation test and other extra costs.

More importantly, it would bring into focus the legal difficulties of defining what constitutes being unfit to work or drive through drugs!

Appendix 7

Political overview

PEOPLE differ in what they perceive as being the most needy and urgent problems to solve. As far as the CLCIA is concerned, the most pressing problem is the government's attitude to the use and trade of a natural herb, cannabis.

Despite the fact that every argument against rescheduling cannabis so far presented has been shown to be mistaken, the main political parties appear to be doing nothing towards solving the social problems caused by cannabis prohibition, insisting the case for change has not been made out.

Labour: The present Labour government is firmly against rescheduling any drug controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: "The Government believes it would be a serious mistake to legalise the drug and has no intention of moving in that direction." (George Howarth MP 24/7/98)

It argues rescheduling would 'send out the wrong message that it was OK to take drugs.'

Conservative: Tory policy is no better - any consideration of rescheduling cannabis is rejected out of hand as fundamentally misguided. They support the view expressed by drug czar Keith Hellawell: "The evidence that I've seen has indicated that legalisation or decriminalisation just isn't the answer... I've not yet met a heroin, or ecstasy or crack cocaine user that didn't start on cannabis and cannabis itself of course impairs the efficiency of individuals." (BBC Radio 4, The Today Programme, 30th October 1995)".

Conservatives claim any relaxation in the drug laws would be a disaster, leading to more addicts and children put at risk. Seemingly they put more faith in a policeman's observations and opinions than in scientific research.

Liberal Democrat: The Liberal Democrats project a liberal attitude, with individual MP's stating various views. As a party, however, they are simply calling for another royal commission.

Yet the current Labour Government has proclaimed the irrelevance of any judgment not to its liking arrived at by a royal commission, asserting that even if such a commission recommended rescheduling; it would take no notice.

It's a familiar story, because this is what happened after the publication of the UK Royal Commission 1969 (The Wootton Report).

The report recommended lighter penalties for possession. James Callaghan, the Prime Minister, dismissed the findings, and increased penalties. Since then the overall drug problem has escalated out of control.

Green: The Green Party, at a glance, seems to have a radical forward-thinking policy. It advocates decriminalising the possession of all drugs held for personal use, legalising cannabis grown at home for personal use and de-penalising small-scale supply.

On close examination a huge flaw appears in this policy: there would be no legal supply. What is being proposed is that illegal profiteers - drug dealers - should supply a legalised commodity!

What none of these political party seems to have explained is why it should be necessary to punish people for choosing what they put into their own bodies.

 Appendix 8

Sources, acknowledgments and further reading

With thanks

"The Lindesmith Center." 888 Seventh Avenue New York, 10106. USA.

"1992 Transport Act" (Public transport section).

"Marijuana Intoxication by Passive Inhalation" 1987 - American Journal of Psychiatry.

"Texaco UK Drug Policy" & "British Rail and London Transport" Contracts of Employment.

"Wootton Report (UK ) 1968-70 Cannabis" - Report By the Advisory Committee On Drug Dependence.

"Drink Drugs and Work Don't Mix" Pub ISDD. ISBN 0 948830 61 1

"Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts": A Review of the Scientific Evidence" Zimmer, Lynn, and Morgan John P. ISBN: 0-9641568-4-9

"Cannabis Campaigner's Guide." ISBN: 0 9535693 2 2

"Cannabis: Legalise and Utilise." Legalise Cannabis Alliance. ISBN: 0 9535693 1 4

"Hemp - Lifeline to the Future" Conrad, Chris: 1993. ISBN: 0-9639754-0-4.

"The Report: Cannabis: The Facts, human Rights and The Law" 'd'Oudney, Ken, & Joanna. Scorpio Recording Company Ltd., London. ISBN 0-9524421-9-1

"Drug Metabolism and Disposition" 1973 - L. Lember

"Marijuana the Forbidden Medicine" Grinspoon, Lester & James Bakalar 1993, ISBN: 0-300-054351

"The Emperor Wears No Clothes And The Marijuana Conspiracy, HEMP" Jack Herer,

"Marijuana and actual driving performance" US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT HS 808 078), Final Report, November 1993:

"Shafer Commission" (US Federal Government, 1973)

"A Single Issue" by Howard Marks.

"Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain." (Annual Report 1998/99 & National Plan 1999/2000) Keith Hellawell. Cabinet Office

"Universal Declaration of Human Rights," December 10 1948.

"Opinion and recommended ruling, findings of fact, conclusions of law and decision of Docket No. 86-22" US Dep. of Justice DEA. Administrative law judge. Young, Francis ' 1988.

"Technical Problems With Urine Testing For Marijuana and Other Drugs" 1990 - National Union for the Reform of the Marijuana Laws (NORML) USA

"Cannabis options for control" - Ed. Frank Logan ISBN 0 905898 05 2

"Drug and Alcohol Testing in employment - Advice. Tess Gill 1994. National Council for Civil Liberties.


"Transforme" 1 Roselake House, Hudds Vale Road, St. George, Bristol. BS5 7HY

"Drugs, Alcohol and mental health" Alan and Vicky Cornwall. ISBN 0 521 3131 5

"Psychopharmacology: The Fourth Generation" - ed. Floyd Bloom and David Kupfer, 1995

"Employee Drug Screening" 1986 - Walsh and Hawks, National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"Drugs - Just Say Know" - A Green Briefing. Green Party Drugs Group.

"American Civil Rights Union". "UK Parliamentary office of science and technology."

Other selected sources - details on request


Appendix 10

Consultation document - your future!

YOUR employer is reviewing its policy on the use of drugs with particular reference to impairment, its statutory duty to maintain your health and safety whilst at work and to conform to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The company finds it necessary to make the following proposals to insure it conforms to the laws below governing the use of illicit substances and alcohol in the workplace.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Section 2 Prohibiting the use of controlled drugs.

Section 5 Restricting the possession of controlled drugs.

Section 8 Punishing occupiers of premises permitting certain activities to take place there.

Section 10 Providing the power to make regulation for preventing the misuse of controlled drugs.

Transport and Works Act. 1992 Sections 27 - 30

Under this act all employees have a duty not to turn up for work or be at work unfit and unable to carry out their duties in safe and competent manner as a result of using illicit substances or consuming alcohol above the prescribed limits.

Common law and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1994

It is the company's duty to take reasonable care for your safety and provide a safe working environment.

It is therefore clear that the company must take all appropriate steps to insure that the standard of work of all its employees and to insure their performance and behavior is not adversely affected by substance abuse. Particular attention is given to employees in 'safety sensitive positions' who might directly affect the safety of fellow employees or members of the public they come in contact with when carrying out their duties.


Proposed changes to contract of employment

THE abuse of any substance by any employee on company business shall in the first place be primarily considered a health problem and eligible for sick leave.

However, substance abuse can also be a disciplinary problem. The company therefore has taken a balanced look at the issues at hand with particular reference to the need to insure that we have a safe and healthy drug-free workplace.

The company proposes to implement a strict policy of control by:

  • Not employing anyone who is a registered drug addict.
  • Operating a pre-employment drug-screening test.
  • Random drug testing of all employees in safety and security sensitive positions. (Safety and security areas are to be agreed).
  • Any employee who is offered or applies for promotion or transfer will be subject to a drug-screening test.
  • Mandatory screening 'for cause or post cause' i.e. where illicit drug use may have been a contributory factors in an accident.
  • Any employee convicted in court of an illicit substance offence may be subject to a disciplinary hearing as to their suitability for continued employment by the company.
  • The company will reserves the right to search an employee if there are reasonable grounds to suggest the worker be in possession of an illegal substance.
  • Any proven case of possession or supply of illicit substance against an employee whilst at work will be reported to the authorities.

How will this affect those already employed by the company

Present employees who feel they may have a problem or develop one while in the employ of the company may voluntarily refer themselves. The company after assessment will if needed, offer medical assistance and meet all reasonable treatment and rehabilitation costs.

The company will reserve the right to impose mandatory referrals for treatment where there is a suspected breach of the prohibition laws, or if an employee's behaviour or work performance appears to be impaired by illicit substances.

Mandatory referrals will not normally be considered a gross misconduct and could with the offender's agreement result in the company offering to pay for treatment.

When an employee has been made subject to a referral for treatment they will only be allowed to continue working under advice of the company doctor, otherwise they will be placed on sick leave. On satisfactory completion of a rehabilitation program, the employee will be expected to agree to a five-year monitoring period, during which the employee will be expected to attain a satisfactory level of performance, submit to regular check-ups by the company doctor, and submit to random drug screening tests.

Any positive drug test results, breaches of the conditions during the monitoring period, failure to submit to a lawfully requested drug screening test, or refusal to give consent for the results of any medical examinations, assessments or evaluations of tests being disclosed to the company, shall in normal circumstances be treated as gross misconduct that may result in summary dismissal.


Public Information Document