Fingerprints, drug tests & polygraphs


I recently saw this article about new technology that can test for drugs in fingerprints.

If someone’s fingertips are leaving residue everywhere, what’s to say it isn’t transferred? Law enforcement agencies are known to use tests that have been proven to be wrong or indeterminate. Look at how many agencies and companies – and now even lovers! – are demanding polygraph tests even though it is incredibly easy to get false positives AND negatives. They claim polygraphs are 90%-95% accurate. That’s a miserable rate! 5% getting a false result means every 20th person’s marriage or job being ruined. Why are they proud of this ‘success’ rate?

Current methods of drug testing are bad enough.

This article at AskDocWeb states there are about 1200 drug testing labs in the US, but less than 100 meet federal standards, and most states have no regulation regarding drug testing labs. Depending on the lab, false positives can run as high as 50%.

In 2006, I was fined about $800 at the US/Canada border and forced to turn around back into New York instead of being allowed to enter Montreal because the Canadian border officers allegedly found cocaine residue on my driver’s license. My girlfriend was strip-searched while the other three of us were interrogated! How many bartops, bartenders, bouncers, store clerks and others had touched my license in the years I’d had it? The US is famous for the cocaine residue on its currency. Most of that is not from being used to sniff it, but rather is transferred from bills that had been used in such a way. At the time I had kept my license in my wallet with my money (not anymore!) When I mentioned this fact, I was told to just pay the fine, since hiring a lawyer and going to court would end up costing more. As we were leaving, one officer added “don’t even try coming back for a few years.” (I also got a $200 fine for attempting to bring a weapon into Canada – the Leatherman tool in my backpack.)

This new drug test claims to give immediate results for cannabis intoxication. Cannabis stays in the body sometimes up to a month. Your body is continually metabolizing it, even though the high doesn’t last longer than several hours. How is sweating out the metabolites through your fingertips days later any different from pissing them out days later? Even the US Department of Justice says that a positive result in a test for the presence of a drug metabolite “does not indicate abuse or addiction; recency, frequency, or amount of use; or impairment.”

Considering all of the misery in the world, this hysteria in seeking out what people do in their own time – to their own bodies – reeks of totalitarianism, and is especially hypocritical considering the dangers of the legal drugs alcohol & tobacco, and the massive profits raked in by the dealers – er, I mean companies, that sell them.

I can understand doing tests on someone found driving dangerously or who has caused an accident on the road or at work, but this rampant testing of everybody all the time is a HUGE invasion of privacy – even if my fingerprints are declared public.


Mark Kirk Backs Gay Marriage

It’s nice to see some good news! Maybe decency is on the upswing.

As for Murkowski, when people say their “position is evolving” all I hear is “I’m a coward”.
That includes you, Mr. President. Biden did you a huge favor by forcing you to change your position.

Sometimes people need a push. Obama was pushed by Biden. Sen. Portman was pushed by recognizing the humanity of his son. Sen. Kirk was apparently pushed by his own conscience, by far the morally superior push of the bunch, especially considering the hostile state of today’s GOP.

The set-in-stone mentality of politicians is a huge problem. People change their minds, they learn and grow. Why do politicians so often feel ashamed and fear some perceived weakness if they change their stance on a policy?

Publicly admitting you were wrong and doing something about it takes real courage and conviction.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost