Riding the bus from her Lake View apartment to downtown Chicago, Adele (not her real name) carried a jar of fake pee between her breasts. A few days earlier, a client had requested that all the consultants working on their account at Adele’s firm be drug-tested. Now she was commuting to a urinalysis clinic two days after smoking weed.
In the clinic bathroom, she retrieved the synthetic pee from her bra, ready to pour it into the provided cup. But there was a problem: During the 30-minute ride, the warmth from her cleavage had overheated the sample. The bottle came with a thermometer on the side, indicating the range for average urine temperature; hers was so hot it didn’t even register on the gauge.
“I was a little nervous and I was sweating because I have this hot Fake Urine in my tits,” she tells me. “So I had to sit there and pretend I was pee-shy for a couple minutes until it cooled down.”
When the temperature finally lowered back to 98 degrees, she transferred the pee to the cup and handed it in. She passed.
This was Adele’s second time using a product from Quick Fix Synthetic, a company that sells fake urine. In fact, the imitation pee market is quite saturated with legitimate companies with names like UPass, Clean Stream, Whizzinator, Xstream, and Monkey Whizz.
The existence of these companies is a marker of this particular moment in drug policy. Widespread workplace drug testing started in the “Just Say No” era of the late ’80s. Today, 56 percent of employers require pre-employment drug testing, according to one estimate. At the same time, marijuana policy is slowly moving toward legalization, so workers who are drug-tested and use drugs are in a bind — and many look to the ethically and legally questionable synthetic urine market to fix it.