Pissing Rite

Every day, laboratories across the nation inspect thousands of vials of reekin’ piss, all to weed out job candidates who might dabble in illicit drugs. Drug-testing firms tend to go after pot-inhalers in particular. It’s the easiest drug to detect and the most commonly used.

“There would be no testing industry if it weren’t for marijuana,” says Dr. John P. Morgan, co-author of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts and professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School. “The number of positives would be so low that nobody would pay to test. After all, urine testing is a $2 billion industry in the Unites States, so marijuana is critical.”

Bud lovers try inventive methods to nab the new job, preserve the habit and maintain their right to privacy. Some have been known to smuggle a hidden bag of drug-free urine and rig their undies with a hose. But increasingly, these smokers are turning to the free market, fueling a multimillion-dollar boom among purveyors of anything that claims to help, whether it does or not.

One market leader is “The Clean Machine,” a pre-testing kit available over the Internet from a company called Extreme Enterprises, LLC, which has offices in Garland, Texas, and Northridge. It promises that its dietary supplements can rid urine and blood of toxins while “promoting a holistic approach to better health.” Says company CEO Travis Buchanan, “The average time to remove toxins from the system is 30 to 90 days. But our line is designed to act as an accelerator and speed up the body’s natural cleansing process.”

The 30-year-old Texan and admitted marijuana-smoker says several “herb masters” helped him concoct these advanced tablets. “I can’t reveal my sources, but that’s their forte,” says Buchanan, who used to work for a lab that conducted pre-employment drug tests.

He offers a menu of programs based upon your level of toxin intake. For instance, there’s X-treme ($99), a six-day program for daily users, and Seek-N-Destroy ($49) for the one-time-a-week-or-less user. The curriculum is challenging: You have to avoid all drugs for at least 48 hours, swallow 10 pills every hour for 10 hours over the course of three to six days, stick to a strict high-protein, low-fat diet and drink gallons of water and cranberry juice.

The company also provides a self-drug-test kit for extra peace of mind, and if you’re in dire need of advice, you can always contact a “personal customer service coach” — they’re available 24/7.

Dr. Morgan is skeptical that such cleansing kits do any cleansing. The key, he says, is flushing out your system. “There’s no scientific proof that anything you swallow will rid you of marijuana metabolites. What all these products do recommend is to consume large amounts of water and cranberry juice. When you do that, you are diluting the concentration of drugs in your system.”

The occasional pot smoker doesn’t really need artificial help, adds Dr. Stuart Bogema, a chief toxicologist with Advanced Toxicology Network, a subsidiary of an occupational health company called Concentra, which provides drug-testing services in the L.A. area. Bogema says the body will naturally clear itself of metabolites within two to three days — not the purported one to three months.

 

Christine Pelisek contributed to this story.


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