There are job opportunities galore in our region and employers can not find enough people to fill them. One reason is that too many people can't pass a simple tinkle test. In other words, too many folks would prefer to smoke weed than make money.

I have heard from the private sector and government staffing people that finding candidates to fill positions is tough enough, but finding candidates who can then pass a drug test is even more challenging. What is up with that?

I get it. We are living in an age where a lot of folks have dabbled with weed and other intoxicants, but there comes a time when Johnny and Janie must grow up and learn how to prioritize. Smoking ganja and playing video games is fun and all but what about the future? Maybe you can hang on to a low-skill job and still smoke your doobies all day long, but it's a dead-end road. Who's gonna support your sorry hide when you get old?

I hear from employers who say potential workers have walked away from good-paying job opportunities with benefits and potential for advancement because they didn't want to pee in a cup. Seriously!

On yesterday's program alone, I heard from people in construction, manufacturing, landscaping and staffing agencies who tell me they cannot find qualified applicants to fill jobs. And most employers say they are willing to train. Granted, the economy is gangbusters and it's a worker's market out there, but still. Many of them also tell me qualified people who are willing to learn and who can actually pass a drug test are scarce these days.

This is a rare time in our history where folks who might otherwise have a difficult time finding meaningful employment can find meaningful employment. It is also a time when people who have been waiting for an opportunity to find better employment with a chance for advancement can find better employment with a chance for advancement.

But you have to be willing to trade in the roach clip for a commitment. Why is that even a question?

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420