I’ve been at this for a long time.
I worked at High Times for eighteen years. I was the magazine’s Ad Director for five years, the co-editor for about a year and the associate publisher for what seemed like an eternity.
When I was ad director I inherited a portfolio of drug test solutions advertisers – the purveyors of adulterants, dilutions and, eventually substitutions. A few years later when I was co-editor I launched The Drug Test column in High Times. I’ve written a lot about drug testing over the years, unpacking its many lies and dissecting its few truths. I’m astonished that something can be so vast and venal ($2.2 billion in the US in 2017), and so tucked out of sight . Drug testing with all its combined platforms – saliva, hair, blood, breath and the gold standard, urine – is a multi-billion dollar industry that is very much in the shadows. Fifty million American drug tests each year and yet there is no practical oversight, no transparency and, indeed, no truth in the process. I was privileged to shine a light in those shadows.
The American drug industry would not be the behemoth it is today without specifically targeting cannabis consumers. Most drugs leave the system within a few days; cannabis is not only the most popular illicit drug in the U.S, it lodges in the fat cells and can be detected for weeks. Its startling popularity and long detection window makes cannabis the drug of choice for every consumer drug test company in the country. Unfortunately, that makes the cannabis consumer the victim of choice as well. The legalization, medicalization and regulation of marijuana will lead to more drug testing, not less, and the science will only get better.
Twenty years ago when I was just starting out there were many ways to beat a drug test, but research and development has since caught up with the adulterants and the dilutions, and among the old methods of acing the whiz quiz only substitution remains a viable option today. But no one knows that because no one covers the drug test industry anymore. Breathalyzers that can detect recent cannabis use are coming to a roadside near you very soon, but no one knows that either because we no longer report the game of cat and mouse from the perspective of the cheese.
So I’m going to continue telling that story and others too, here at The Drug Test News. Here you will find sensible reporting on current developments in drug test news, the consumer drug testing as well as features on culture, politics and pot… lots of pot…all weirdly illustrated by the gagster cartoonist Dave Roberts. Dave is here essentially to keep me honest (Good luck, Dave). His scrabbles will be a perfect compliment to my scribbles as we try what’s necessary to better describe this incredible scribble-scrabble world.
I hope you stay tuned.
Editor & Publisher
The Drug Test News