Doctors and drug tester/insurers(?) who collude in taking away rights

Kim,

  Boy, a doctor saying that to me -- would be easy to be outraged in such a situation. This Dr. Watson of Lodi needs to find his Sherlock Holmes so he can get a clue! Good for you trying to educate him even if it seems to have been unsuccessful. As with Jen I encourage you to name names so we can spread the word of who is being intolerant. Might it be worth filing a complaint against him with the California Medical Association for violating your privacy?

  It's pretty obvious too, but I think still worth stating for the record, that of course the companies that do drug testing have a vested financial interest in drug tests being used. Are you saying that this company Occupational Health Services does drug testing as well as providing insurance to the companies whose employees they test? If so, it sounds like they are trying to use their status as the dominant insurer in the area to pressure companies into spending additional money with them on another service, e.g. "buy our drug testing service or we won't insure you." It's kind of like a bank saying, "bank with us, or we won't consider you for a home loan."

  My sense is that usually when a single company has such a dominant market position as 85% of a well-established market like worker insurance, it's because government is somehow preventing others from competing with them. I wonder if that's the case here, and if so, what barriers to entry there are that shield them from the kind of competition that might make it impossible for them to get away with trying to impose such a self-benefitting requirement. Some responses that the cannabis movement could make to this situation could be to organize a boycott, protest outside their headquarters, etc., try to get employers to switch to rivals that don't requires such testing (assuming they exist), etc., though of course we need more facts first.

  There is a pro bono legal group called the Institute For Justice (www.ij.org) that has helped many entrepreneurs and small business owners fight against unfair business restrictions that protect the interests of established industry players at their expense. You might consider contacting them and telling them about the situation -- they might be willing to file a lawsuit, for instance on behalf of someone who wanted to offer competitively-priced insurance without drug testing but was being prevented from doing so due to discriminatory regulations, if such a situation exists in this case.

Love & Liberty,
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