Baltimore should not do away with marijuana testing

Baltimore councilmember Shannon Sneed wants the city to stop testing all potential hires for government jobs.
Baltimore councilmember Shannon Sneed wants the city to stop testing all potential hires for government jobs. (Michael Robinson Chavez / The Washington Post)

Things are getting pretty bad in Baltimore when a City Council member like Shannon Sneed can say of marijuana, “If it’s in your system and you are a good candidate, I would think we want the best candidate.” (“Baltimore City Council to consider banning marijuana testing of candidates for many city government jobs?” Sept. 9) Even “recreational” marijuana smokers have to know and associate with the black market pot purveyors, and they may even have them on speed dial. Those “recreational directors” commit felonies all day long with sales and distribution and manufacture of recreational marijuana. Oh yes, they don’t pay taxes. Best candidates who are regularly involved with felonious individuals in these pursuits are, to me, already ethically flawed. Thus, I would think these “best candidates” should be the first candidates for Baltimore work to be eliminated from consideration, merely on their associations and more importantly, their black market mentality.

Maybe nobody worth a hoot is even applying to work in Baltimore government. So now we should lower the standards to deal with this new easier and softer way of going called harm reduction? To me, Baltimore City can’t afford to hire slackers at this critical period in its history. They are a city that is already in a world of harm. If they do elect to follow this course, let them deal with these best candidates who go out to lunch (or break) and come back with a buzz for a while and then get back to me. Can Baltimore really afford to hire sluggish, un-motivated people?


Today’s marijuana is ultra potent and highly addictive, and people are high 3 to 4 hours after even minimal to moderate exposure. Oops, there goes the afternoon. Oh yes, it is expensive as well. Many regular recreational marijuana smokers smoke a gram a day or $500 a month minimum out of their take home pay. By the way, these recreational enthusiasts are actively supporting domestic terrorism known as the black market. Eventually, many “recreational” users begin to sell pot themselves due to the progression of their use. They’d rather make money and have free pot than spend money that goes up in smoke. Sell three pieces and mine is free. That’s how marijuana sales work. Does Councilwoman Sneed really want to open up Baltimore City Government to this element?

So Ms. Sneed would think. Really? What’s her background in drug addiction? Maybe Ms. Sneed should do some research on the progression of addiction. Maybe her thinking would change.

Here's mine. I have been working as an internationally certified addictions counselor for 25 years. I see it every day.

George Hammerbacher

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