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Workplace Drug Testing = Corporate Welfare for Hoffman-La Roche


imagesSometime during the 1980s — if not earlier — America’s anti-drug hysteria began turning into a lucrative industry.  The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) is the trade association for the multi-billion-dollar drug testing industry.

Hoffman-La Roche — a DATIA member, needless to say — got this whole thing started in the mid 1980s.  By 1987, Hoffman-La Roche’s drug-testing labs were “earning” $300 million a year from the Pentagon.  The following year, Hoffman-La Roche launched a huge PR campaign to get corporate executives all fired up over the evil drug menace.  Their campaign was called “Corporate Initiatives for a Drug-Free Workplace.”

Hoffman-La Roche teamed up with a lawyer, David Evans, and together they organized workshops all over the country to convince employers to start drug-testing their workers.

By 2006, workplace drug-testing had reached its peak.  84% of American employers reported that they were testing their employees for drugs.  Since then, the percentage has been steadily decreasing.  More and more employers have decided either that the drug tests aren’t worth the expense and/or that the “problem” had been exaggerated.

After losing so many corporate clients, the drug testing industry had to search for new frontiers.  Voila!  In recent years there’s been a tsunami of new state laws requiring drug testing for everyone who applies for public assistance of any kind.

Coincidence?  Hoffman-La Roche is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Birds of a feather.  And ALEC is the source of these boilerplate state laws requiring all public assistance applicants — including laid-off workers applying for unemployment benefits — to be drug-tested.

And here’s another gold mine for Hoffman-La Roche and other DATIA members:  School children.  Besinger, DuPont & Associates — another member of DATIA — has described schools as “potentially a much bigger market than the workplace.”

Invest your sons and daughters Now!

And that’s not all.  The recent trend of decriminalizing and even legalizing marijuana has produced an Astroturf “grassroots” backlash.  Three guesses where this manufactured “grassroots” backlash is coming from.

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