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13 Fail Drug Tests

By Hempology | October 2, 2006

With what looked to be 15 solid applicants, one Quesnel mill thought they’d have no trouble filling their labour opening.

But after 13 applicants failed the mill’s drug test, it wasn’t so certain.

Justice and Safety chair Coun. Sushil Thapar directed a meeting where committee members decided to take the fight into schools and educate today’s youth because they’re tomorrow’s employees.

“It’s a sad situation,” Thapar said.

“Employers are looking for people who are drug free.”

With entry-level mill labourers fetching $23 an hour, Thapar said such jobs lead people to a better life.

“They can take it to the next step,” he said.

With that kind of money, people can afford to go back to school or support their families, Thapar explained.

“Now, these people have to work for minimum wage jobs somewhere.

“The bottom line is this hurts the city. They can’t afford anything and someone else from out-of-town gets the job.”

Quesnel Addictions Services Director Bea Thatcher said young adults just don’t know any better.

“Drugs are affecting large numbers of people trying to enter into the workforce,” she said.

“They often don’t realize how long drugs stay in the system.

“They may not have smoked a joint the night before, but marijuana stays in the system for up to three months.

“Cocaine for a week.”

Both Thatcher and Thapar said educating at the secondary school level is key.

“Most youth start drugs because they’re curious,” Thatcher said.

“Then they find it alleviates stress,” Thatcher said.

“We need to give them the facts and let them make a choice.”

Thapar agreed.

He wants to bring human resource officers from mills into high schools to talk with students about drugs and employment.

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