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O.penVAPE Drug Tests Its Employees


Drug TestThe press release (http://rad-r.us/openvape) is a couple of weeks old, but I am still stunned by the triumphant declaration by a maker of cannabis vaporizer pens that it proudly drug tests its employees.

O.penVAPE (reviewed as #28 in the HIGH TIMES 2014 Vape Pen Guide) sent out the release of April 17, entitled, “O.penVAPE, the Nation’s Largest Cannabis Brand, Will Test Employees for Dangerous Drug Abuse.”  Ignoring for the moment the audacious claim to brand supremacy for a product that placed second in its category at the latest Cannabis Cup, let’s hear from the public spokesperson for O.penVAPE, Todd Mitchem:

“Unlike dangerous drugs, cannabis can be part of a healthy lifestyle that promotes wellness,” Mitchem said. “We always encourage consumers to use cannabis responsibly, and, as such, we have implemented a stringent drug policy for our own employees. O.penVAPE understands that, as the largest brand in the cannabis industry, our view holds weight — and our view is simple: we won’t tolerate dangerous drug use by our employees.”

Dangerous drugs, like, say psilocybin mushrooms or LSD, which, like cannabis, can’t cause fatal overdose?  Dangerous drugs like ecstasy, which as former UK drugs advisor Professor David Nutt once noted is safer than horseback riding?  Or perhaps ketamine, the horse tranquilizer that still ranks lower than cannabis in overall danger?

Or would it be the most dangerous drugs, alcohol and nicotine, that O.penVAPE will be testing for?  Nope, because those drugs aren’t scheduled, and O.penVAPE seeks to “reinforce the important differentiation between cannabis and other scheduled drugs.”

Sadly, some cannabis consumers working for O.penVAPE seem to approve of the policy, happy to drop trou and submit to the drug war discrimination tactic of peeing in a cup to demonstrate fitness for employment… just so long as it isn’t their drug being discriminated against.  Testing positive for cannabis won’t get you fired / not hired by O.penVAPE, but testing positive for anything else will.

O.penVAPE, it’s not the danger of the drugs you are testing for that matters.  It’s the disgusting breach of personal privacy.  It’s the warrantless accusation that we’re guilty of being drug criminals until proven innocent by the seizure of our fluids.  It’s the Big Brother attitude that people who won’t submit to revealing their off-hours habits to an employer have no right to work.  It’s the inevitable false positives that will subject innocent people to stress and scorn.  It’s the fact you’ll end up with some employees wandering around work with fake dongs and clean urine under their clothes to beat your drug test.

Some cannabis consumers and, now, some cannabis businesses just don’t get it.  This fight for marijuana legalization isn’t really about marijuana; it’s about freedom.  It’s about being free citizens with sovereign jurisdiction over our own minds and bodies.  It’s about not having to surrender our rights and dignity and freedom over our personal private choices that harm no others.  This is a war for liberty; marijuana is just one of the battlefields.  We didn’t fight to legalize marijuana just so a vape pen company could demonize other drugs to make a public relations score.  Until O.penVAPE reverses its traitorous policy of drug testing employees, I call on all cannabis consumers to boycott their products.

O.penVAPE Drug Tests - BOYCOTT!


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.


  1. FYI: http://hempshare.org/high-driving/ This is the only thing I have found to date on High Driving. There are a couple other tests that have been undertaken since this time, but I don’t find anything conclusive published to dispute this report. It seems to me they keep on trying new “high driving” studies, but they can’t get he results they are looking for.

  2. Just meant for driving ability among very inexperienced and young users. I agree with everything else.

  3. Cite your sources on those statements. Cannabis has NO “super impairing” effect on anyone. The human is suffering from chronic cannabinoid deficiency syndrome which is quite evident in children gulping down pharmaceuticals. I think you mean Ritalin has a super-impairing effect on high school kids etc.

  4. I don’t think you guys get it. What they are doing is discerning between DRUGS and recreational plant use. Cocaine, Heroin, Oxycontin etc are dangerous drugs. If I’m correct they will NOT be testing for Cannabis use to point out it is NOT DANGEROUS. Forgive me if I’m incorrect, but this is how I read it.

  5. Subtle_Hustle on

    lmao, this coming from a company that could land everyone involved in federal prison. fuck o-pen vape.

  6. ImaDawn Baker on

    I’ve stopped buying their products & now regret ever having purchased their products ! I’ll be encouraging all my friends to do the same & I’ve asked Harborside & BPG to quit selling their overpriced pens & cartridges immediately or I’ll take my business elsewhere. BOYCOTT o.pen vape !!!

  7. Do you think that the hash and BHO makers in Colorado should stop using MMJ too? The Pink Lab and Top Shelf Extracts employees smoke daily, and don’t have issues. The only people who marijuana has a super impairing effect on are high school kids, college freshman, and people with very weak tolerances.

  8. This isn’t an illegal move on the part of the company. Now that Colorado has legal weed they can test for other drug use in their employees. Is it a shitty thing to do? Yeah. However, its within their rights to do so. Some of these comparisons are silly. Can LSD, Ketamine & Ecstacy “be part of a healthy lifestyle that promotes wellness?” Not likely. Used for occasional relaxtion and self discovery, sure. But not on the same level as cannibis. Has this drug testing resulted in any action against an employee?

    I actually own one of these pens. It’s ok.

  9. Good analysis, Sari – I agree. Drugs like alcohol and cocaine are currently affecting you if they show up in your system, thus, some employers should reserve the right to test some employees if they have cause to suspect on-the-job impairment (even for cannabis levels above the legal driving limit – yes, let’s get real indeed, otherwise our arguments are nothing but propaganda).

    I agree with Russ, however, that o.pen’s announcement seems like a publicity stunt. I seriously doubt that hungover / high vape pen workers put anyone’s lives at risk. If one of them fails to fulfill the functions of his or her position, that in itself should be a firing offense.

  10. You don’t need a special “vape pen”. You can fill any e-cigarette with a hash-oil / 0% nicotine juice blend – just make sure it’s liquid-y enough.

  11. look at the difference between Russ’s article and the much better one today by Jonny Green. You can see why Russ needs to use “ad hominem” defenses so much. i guess its a pet peeve of mine when someone who represents our side says ridiculous bullshit that defies common sense just cause they saw some study somewhere,but NO real life experience regarding what theyre trying to say.

  12. I have mixed feelings on this. I have always thought the Marijuana testing was a crock because of the length of time is stays in your system. I have always thought that testing for retail jobs was a waste of time and money. I also believe that the fact that insurance companies offer discounts to companies that drug test, and that should be illegal.

    However, if someone is using equipment that is a danger to themselves or others, or is in a position that could endanger the lives of others if they were impaired, I have no issue with on the spot testing for opiates, amphetamines, barbituates, alcohol and the like, if someone is behaving suspect to being impaired, but the company also must have a policy that allows people to perform a less dangerous task if they are being treated with any of these drugs, or allow them sick leave without repercussions.

    Let’s face it, do you really want to get on the bus with a driver who binged on cocaine and Jack the previous night and showed up to work still high? Or get on a plane with a pilot who is nursing an old injury by popping oxy or vicodin by the handful. Or work with a buddy who’s running the forklift just after blowing a blunt of some righteous 30% THC indica in his car over lunch? I know its a rights/freedom issue, but let’s get real.

  13. Check your doctor’s eyes next time you’re getting a surgical proceedure. Eyes of red; I’m off the bed! There are some jobs where working stoned is fine. Manufacturing? Nope!

  14. Do you click reference links or do you just spout ad hominem when new data scare you?

    From a data set compiled at MedicalMarijuana.procon.org, Cannabis rated as a “20” in terms of danger to self and others, whereas ketamine ranked a “15”. Damage to self on ketamine was greater, but damage to others was greater from cannabis, presumably because if you’re on K, you’re not going to get up and do anything to anybody…

  15. ketamine ranks lower in overall danger than cannabis?? damn, theyre not wrong..,Russ you really are one dumb fuck. ever seen/experienced a k-hole? Or just say shit from your a-hole?

  16. I recently ordered an M Cig pen. Okay, I chose it because it’s cheap and it’s my first time to try one. Looks like I could have made a worse choice.

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