A reader writes:
This is in response to the law student and aspiring judicial clerk. I clerked for a federal circuit court judge within the last few years, and I was not drug-tested, nor was any other clerk that I know of. Federal judges are quite independent, so perhaps there are judges or even whole districts or circuits who do test. But the general sense I got was that the judicial branch cared a lot less for this sort of thing than the executive (I turned down a job with the Justice Department in part because I was not willing to lie on the background check). I think it's telling that the judges tasked with sentencing drug offenders (or denying their appeals) at least partly recognize the absurdity of the whole thing.
As an attorney I have no sympathy for the law student who "won't be able to pass a drug test" after graduation because it would compromise their beliefs to stop smoking marijuana. That sounds like classic addict talk.
To use their examples: if someone drank every night they would be called an alcoholic; if they used cocaine every night they would be labelled a drug addict. What is someone who gets high every night? This person sounds more like a person with a dependency problem than a righteous crusader: they have preemptively decided that their habit is more important than their career goals.
I do not think smoking marijuana is inherently wrong, and am in favor of discussions towards legalization. However your entries on this topic seem to have a large number of high-functioning addicts pissed off that their illegal habit makes things harder for them rather than cogent arguments for legalization.
While undergoing the post-hire security clearance process for one of the Departments of DHS, I was pulled aside by my superior. Without knowing if I had or had not, she wanted to make sure I was going to tell them of prior drug use. If I denied ever using pot, she told me, it would raise a red flag and my clearance would surely be held up.
"Fortunately" for me, I have only smoked a very minor amount of pot many years ago during my undergraduate years, and that seemed to fit the investigator's mold of typical behavior. My clearance went through. And sure enough, when a colleague of mine, who honestly had never used any kind of drug, said so to her investigator, she was treated with suspicion and incredulity.
The hypocrisy is astounding. Drugs are bad, but we know everone has used them, and that's ok - but only if it was a long tome ago. Actually, it's so ok that if someone claims to NOT have used drugs at some point, they must be lying.