Dear Sober Thinker:
I sent a WSJ commentary around the other day on the supposed dangers of pot. My prefatory remarks said that whatever the facts of the matter, at least in my daily picking up of litter, I've never come across cannabis litter but do come across scores of beer and liquor bottles.
Well, forget that.
This morning I picked up a 4-inch by 1.5-inch box that contained an empty cannabis vape cartridge. The brand was Kingpen, which billed itself on the box as the "World's most awarded cannabis vape." The percentage of THC was noted as 75.13%. CBD was noted as .34%, but I have no idea what that is and don't want to know. The product was from California and had all kinds of warnings, including this: "The intoxicating effects of cannabis products may be delayed up to two hours. Consumption of cannabis products impairs your ability to drive and operate machinery. Please use extreme caution."
The product looked expensive. I wonder what each vape costs and how much an average user spends per month. Is it more or less than what the average Starbucks customer spends? And how many users have tuition debt that they say they can't pay off? Whatever the numbers, the users are no doubt delighted with the talk by eggheads and politicians for free healthcare and college, as well as for a guaranteed basic income. That will give them more money to spend on getting high, which is just what the nation needs: more people who are high.
Small business owners have told me how difficult it is nowadays to find workers who don't have a drinking or drug problem, or a criminal record. Even problem-free workers are on their smartphones on personal business during the workday. Yet self-anointed experts can't figure out why, with all the new technology, productivity has stagnated in the nation.
The vape debris was found along a twisting, hilly, two-lane road near my house in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains outside of Tucson. It's a favorite road for littering, because there are no street lights or houses along the road. It's also a very dangerous stretch of road if someone is driving impaired and/or too fast.
A high-end resort is about a quarter-mile off the road. There is evidence that the alcohol (and now pot debris) is left by resort workers who like to get a buzz before starting their shift.
I can imagine the safety issues in the kitchen or other dangerous jobs. Safety was one of the functions that I oversaw as an executive for a mining/manufacturing/timber company, which had a random drug testing program. It's very sobering to have an employee on your watch being ground up like hamburger in conveyor belt gears when he violated the lock-out procedure on a night shift and ignored his extensive safety training. Or to have a contractor die of asphyxiation in a carbon black furnace because he skipped the required step of first checking for carbon monoxide, as he was extensively trained to do. It doesn't matter to OSHA if the employee was high, as it holds the employer responsible for letting impaired workers endanger themselves and others.
Now that pot is legal in many states, and given that THC can stay in the blood for days, I don't know how companies can discipline someone who fails a drug test, as the person can say that they smoked some pot at home over the weekend and not in the employee parking lot or restroom. I'm glad that I no longer have to deal with this.