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Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

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RebelWithoutCause
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Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby RebelWithoutCause » Wed, 11 Nov 2015 6:03 am

Howdy y'all,

I am unfrequent user of marijuana from US and I use it to fight depression. I recently applied for a job and have been clean for some time and should not have any problems passing urine test given by the company as part of pre employment. During initial interview I was asked if I would be ok with some travel to different branches (outside of LA) and I said ok. Today I had a call from different manager who informed me that the job would involve foreign travel, including Singapore. I was not aware that this US multi national corporation has moved their HQ for the department I would be working to Singapore. I was told that they do all of their corporate training, corporate retreats, etc in Singapore. I am potentially looking at 1-3 visits to Singapore per year.

I am very depressed about this and have a lot of concerns. I know that I will be clean for my first visit but not so sure about future visits. I do not smoke a lot but my research indicates that Singapore tests at 15-20mg/ml which is low and in US you only get tested for this level when its court mandated. I've read a http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/viewtopic.php?t=95387 on this forum which asked if they do random drug test at the airport upon entry as well if multi national corporations do it. The answer was that random tests at the airport are only done for suspicious people and corporations rarely do pre employment exams, but some might still do it. My questions to you:

1) What are the chances of airport random drug test for someone arriving on work visa? I would obviously abstain as soon as I would get notice of upcoming trip. I assume I would get 2-4 weeks notice before each trip (cost of plane ticket is very expensive on short notice). I would also drink a lot of water before the trip and during the trip. Since there are multiple flights that I have to take I will be able to consume large amounts of water and my urine will be dilluted. If my sample is dilluted will they ask me to take another one?

2) What are the chances of random drug test by the company beyond pre employment screening? Should I be drinking a lot of water every single day which would keep my urine dilluted at all times?

3) What are the chances of hair drug test being given at random in the airport and / or by employer during one of the visits? I've read that hair test can detect use for upto 90 days.

4) If I test positive what can happen to me? What are the chances of jail time?

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 11 Nov 2015 1:19 pm

See below.

RebelWithoutCause wrote:Howdy y'all,

I am unfrequent user of marijuana from US and I use it to fight depression. I recently applied for a job and have been clean for some time and should not have any problems passing urine test given by the company as part of pre employment. During initial interview I was asked if I would be ok with some travel to different branches (outside of LA) and I said ok. Today I had a call from different manager who informed me that the job would involve foreign travel, including Singapore. I was not aware that this US multi national corporation has moved their HQ for the department I would be working to Singapore. I was told that they do all of their corporate training, corporate retreats, etc in Singapore. I am potentially looking at 1-3 visits to Singapore per year.

I am very depressed about this and have a lot of concerns. I know that I will be clean for my first visit but not so sure about future visits. I do not smoke a lot but my research indicates that Singapore tests at 15-20mg/ml which is low and in US you only get tested for this level when its court mandated. I've read a http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/viewtopic.php?t=95387 on this forum which asked if they do random drug test at the airport upon entry as well if multi national corporations do it. The answer was that random tests at the airport are only done for suspicious people and corporations rarely do pre employment exams, but some might still do it. My questions to you:

1) What are the chances of airport random drug test for someone arriving on work visa? I would obviously abstain as soon as I would get notice of upcoming trip. I assume I would get 2-4 weeks notice before each trip (cost of plane ticket is very expensive on short notice). I would also drink a lot of water before the trip and during the trip. Since there are multiple flights that I have to take I will be able to consume large amounts of water and my urine will be dilluted. If my sample is dilluted will they ask me to take another one?


Unless you are a total hair tree, with glazed eyeballs, and reeking of ganja, the probability of you being pulled out to be tested is very close to zero. There is no random drug testing upon arrival.

I do know of a couple of teenagers, coming back from the USA, who managed to get themselves stoned in the aircraft restroom before landing. They were tested and sent back to LAX that night, much to the chagrin of their parents.

2) What are the chances of random drug test by the company beyond pre employment screening? Should I be drinking a lot of water every single day which would keep my urine dilluted at all times?


It would depend upon the company... and... once you jump through all the pre-employment drug testing hoops, no one here actually gives a shit, as compared to the USA, for example. Probability is low. I contracted into half a dozen large companies in Singapore and elsewhere and never heard of a single drug test in the eight years I was in Singapore.

3) What are the chances of hair drug test being given at random in the airport and / or by employer during one of the visits? I've read that hair test can detect use for upto 90 days.


At the airport? Zero. If you look stoned, they'll do a blood test to see if you are actually stoned... but, you are being paranoid. Employers? Again, hard to say... but look at it this way. You pass a pre-employment piss in a jar test. It keeps the lawyers happy. You're doing a good job. Why in the hell would they want to drug test you? They'd lose a good employee. Except for special categories of jobs... transport, etc... I've never heard of a random test in any company I have been associated with.

I offer an amusing anecdote to illustrate my point. About two decades ago, a peckerwood systems manager in a large IBM mainframe shop decided he was going to drug test all his system programmers. A positive test would have meant dismissal. His boss called him into the office and asked him, "Are you prepared to lose 70 percent of your programming staff? Because, that's how many are smoking weed." The test never happened.

And, I doubt that any company here thinks differently.

4) If I test positive what can happen to me? What are the chances of jail time?


IF you were to be tested at the airport, you'd be put on an airplane and sent back from whence you came with a prohibition against re-entry for some period of time. You could appeal that. Jail time for a blood test would be close to non-existent.

You are being overly paranoid. While Singapore attempts to choke off the flow of pot into the country, you can still find it if you want it. OTOH, going to Thailand, to Bali... hell... to Batam city center, and you can smoke all the grass you want. Lot's of expats living in Singapore do it... off for a holiday... a toke and poke... and back home. Just don't go through customs with a joint behind your ear and holes burned in your clothes from exploding seeds.

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 11 Nov 2015 1:32 pm

Actually, you can blow off the exploding seeds burns by telling them you like smoking unfiltered kretek cigarettes from Indonesia. I've burned more pants/shirts than I care to think about the 12 years I worked in Indonesia and flew back and forth from Singapore on the crew changes. Cloves tend to be like like firecrackers or the old cigarettes loads we used to play with as kids. Additionally, smoke a couple of sticks of kretek and you lips & tip of your nose will go numb due to the numbing effect of the cloves. (Cloves ground into poultice will often take the hurt out of a bad tooth cavity for a while).

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby RebelWithoutCause » Wed, 11 Nov 2015 8:43 pm

@ Strong Eagle & sundaymorningstaple,

Thank you for much for answering my questions. I was indeed paranoid from all the reading I've done on the subject matter. My further research also indicated that Singapore citizens, especially college students coming back from studies abroad are more subjected to random drug tests at airports. What really scared me some posts about luggage being tested for residue. My luggage is being handled by more people than when I touch it. From taxi drivers, multiple baggage handlers in the airports, etc. There was a post on tripadvisor that told someone to bring a set of brand new clothes, new wallet, etc on their tourist trip to Singapore. As a casual user I do not have any burned holes on any of my clothes. At worst some of my clothes might have had exposure to second hand smoke (never worn but perhaps hanging in a open closet in the same room where I smoked the pipe). I never smoke blunts or bongs or even joints, just tiny amounts from my pipe where its just one puff. It helps me relax and improves my mood a lot more than prescription medicine, which has its own side effects which me & my wife dont like.

I am older professional male and typically I travel in business casual attire or sometimes in a suit. I would not be presenting an appearance of stoned individual by any means. I would also assume I would be arriving on WORK visa instead of a TOURIST visa. I think it would add more to my credibility versus showing up as a hippy in a Bob Marley tshirt, shorts with burned holes & flip flops. I have a friend who smoked a blunt in the airport before boarding the plane and then almost decided to smoke a cigarette in the lavatory on the plane. It was only a 3 hour flight but he had problems resisting his urges. If he would done it he would've been arrested since its against TSA regulations. Many years ago at one of my previous jobs I left a large office space I shared with 6 people to use the bathroom. When I walked in it reeked of marijuana, someone was smoking in there right before me. There are cameras that were placed in the hallways and the bathroom was near intersection so there would be at least 2 cameras recording the movement of people. I walked right back to my office and asked a coworker to come with me to be my witness. I was only gone for 1 minute and I wanted someone to confirm that it was like that before I walked in and not after. I didnt want the next person using this bathroom to complain to security and the blame to placed on me.

Here is Louisiana a lot of business professionals smoke. Once we had a business outing and one of the junior managers was openly showing a bag of weed to our senior manager and bragging about the good stuff he had. Another time the same guy smoked before going to our Christmas party and once at after works drinks there were 10-12 of us from the same department and every person smoked when offered (ages 30-55). Your story about 70% of IBM programmers is right on the money. I never do it before work, at work or in front of my children. I dont drive under the influence and all in all a very casual user.

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 11 Nov 2015 8:59 pm

If you've come into Changi airport (and I've come in more than a 100 times) you begin to understand that those who get stopped at the customs counters have already been flagged long before they walk up to the customs agent. Once, in hundreds of flights in, was I asked to put my luggage through the scanner.

I've never seen anyone picked out to head off to a back room. Not saying it doesn't happen, just saying that's not the focus of the ICA. Finding a joint in a suitcase with a scanner is difficult, finding 5 bottles of hooch is not.

Nor have I ever seen a suitcase sniffed for drugs at customs... for bombs, yes. Again, if a suitcase were to be searched it's because it has already been tagged long ago.

Although I no longer imbibe, I wouldn't give it a second thought if I had smoked last night and flew in today.

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby RebelWithoutCause » Wed, 11 Nov 2015 9:27 pm

A few years ago I was returning from an international flight back to US. For some reason I was flagged for secondary inspection at customs. I was taken to the side and not to any special room and the officer asked me if I had any food on my checked luggage and I told him I had a bag of trail mix that I purchased abroad and didnt eat it and it was still sealed. He let me go without even inspecting my bag and told me it was just a random stop. Another time I found a notice in my checked baggage that my bag was opened for inspection by TSA. I didn't have anything bad in it and wasn't worried. Yet another time I was traveling domestically and upon arrival noticed that my checked bag was missing 1 can of beer and few bags of potato chips. I sometimes bring regional craft beer to share with my buddy and I guess baggage handler at departing airport was thirsty & wanted to eat some potato chips :)

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 11 Nov 2015 11:04 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:If you've come into Changi airport (and I've come in more than a 100 times) you begin to understand that those who get stopped at the customs counters have already been flagged long before they walk up to the customs agent.


+1

Once in the old Budget terminal, a guy arriving picked his bag, and 'randomly' was asked to open his luggage, and as he opened it, there was a big samurai sword, nicely packet at the top of the luggage.

What a coincidence it was, to see, as soon as the sword was retrieved, a couple of police officers swiftly moving in and handcuffing the visitor - all in plan view of the public, and the guy was escorted to the waiting police car.

In Singapore law, possession of real Samurai sword etc = death penalty.

Strong Eagle wrote:Nor have I ever seen a suitcase sniffed for drugs at customs... for bombs, yes. Again, if a suitcase were to be searched it's because it has already been tagged long ago.


There are a few hundred cameras and sniffers watching, or so I understood, hence the seemingly lax secondary inspection.

RebelWithoutCause : I know exactly one guy, who got high in Thailand and flew in, and was picked up. And he is a Singaporean.

Singapore law is extremely tough when it comes to Singaporeans violating drug laws etc, and that will include mandatory rehab, regular compulsory screening, and submission to tests after every overseas visit.

They aren't that crazy about going after foreigners, as, foreigners who are caught are simply refused entry on the next visit.

Heck, even some of the western pop stars caught for possession and consumption overseas are allowed
to come and perform - after all, it's $$$$

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby RebelWithoutCause » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 12:47 am

By real samurai sword do you mean an ancient sword or a modern & real sword, versus a prop? That's pretty crazy that someone tried to bring it into Singapore.

I know someone who was Georgia (country, not US state) and purchased 2 decorative daggers attached to a frame. He got necessary paperwork for it and local customs agent gave him hard time about it, all because he wanted to get a bribe. This was decorative piece that was meant to be hanged on the wall and US customs gave no problems whatsoever.

Was the guy from Thailand visibly stoned? I read about 2 college students who were coming back from Australia and were asked for a urine test at the airport and were sentenced to 1 year in jail.

I think its double standards when officials state that rules apply to everyone but allow celebrities get away with possession & consumption. I wonder what Snoop Dog does while he is in Singapore. He once claimed that he smokes 81 blunts per day. - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/0 ... 49602.html

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 3:58 am

RebelWithoutCause wrote:By real samurai sword do you mean an ancient sword or a modern & real sword, versus a prop? That's pretty crazy that someone tried to bring it into Singapore.


From the distance where I was, it looked like the real deal, and the fellow was handcuffed pretty quickly.

Was the guy from Thailand visibly stoned? I read about 2 college students who were coming back from Australia and were asked for a urine test at the airport and were sentenced to 1 year in jail.


I have no idea how stoned he looked, but that was before the days of hair sample tests.

I think its double standards when officials state that rules apply to everyone but allow celebrities get away with possession & consumption. I wonder what Snoop Dog does while he is in Singapore. He once claimed that he smokes 81 blunts per day. - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/0 ... 49602.html


I mean, as long as the visitor, known to have done stuff, doesn't do his stuff in Singapore, it's ok. But if they are in 'possession', I doubt they will get special treatment. In fact, all visitors to Singapore are pretty careful of what is allowed and what is not.

But if a Singaporean did his stuff overseas, he still gets a good lesson that will be hard to forget :)

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby nakatago » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 6:31 am

They profile people at the airport. That said, don't look nor act the part. Don't smoke before you fly. Look like a stereotypical expat. Don't look like you just came from Phuket or Bali.

About the sword: it's not the real deal but it most likely is an actual metal sword-shaped object anyway. Those things you can't fly in into MOST countries anyway (i.e. countries less conservative than Singapore) without the accompanying proper paperwork.

I was once asked to have my bag scanned; they found a folding knife. They asked me about it, I showed it to them as it's a utility knife and everything was copacetic. Hell, I went to the police HQ in Outram once; forgot I had a Swiss knife in my bag. They just asked me to leave it and come back for it when I leave. Eas y as.

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby x9200 » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 6:54 am

RebelWithoutCause wrote:I think its double standards when officials state that rules apply to everyone but allow celebrities get away with possession & consumption.

It's not really about double standards. It's more about being pragmatic. The law is to serve some purpose and if you think about what was said above in respect of the locals and the foreigners you should get the idea.
It is like this in many areas and you will start to appreciate it after living here for a while. It simply means the authorities are not constantly watching you to punish for every mistake you make but rather than this, for what may have a negative impact for the society.

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 9:44 am

The only time I've ever been drugged screened in Singapore was for a pre employment check. However if your travel includes work travel to Australia or similar and work on a site be aware that there is a LOT of drug/alcohol screening in those locations.
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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby bgd » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 11:01 am

There was a Brit on this forum a couple of years back who tested positive coming in from Thailand. If I remember correctly they gave him 30 days to sort out his affairs and then kicked him out.

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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 11:08 am

bgd wrote:There was a Brit on this forum a couple of years back who tested positive coming in from Thailand. If I remember correctly they gave him 30 days to sort out his affairs and then kicked him out.


From recollection it was for something a lot stronger than THC.
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Re: Chances of random drug tests for visiting workers

Postby RebelWithoutCause » Thu, 12 Nov 2015 10:10 pm

Thanks for all the comments.

I am coming from US and if they profile people they should also know where I am coming from. I believe most US travelers go via LHR or HKG.


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