By on March 20, 2017

Marijuana weed pot joint

If you end up purchasing a BMW 3 or 4 Series model build at the automaker’s Munich assembly plant in early march, just know this: two of the workers building it might have been high as a kite.

A report in today’s Bild newspaper claims that two workers were so blitzed on booze and synthetic marijuana that they passed out while working on the assembly line, causing a temporary — and costly — shutdown. Yes, this happened, BMW has confirmed.

The two gassed workers apparently made it almost to the end of their shift before hitting the deck.

In response to the report, an embarrassed BMW confirmed to Deutsche Welle that the employees had indeed consumed “copious amounts of alcohol” and the aforementioned fake weed before putting their best efforts into building premium sedans and coupes. An ambulance was called, while production has halted for 40 minutes.

Assembly plants are a well-oiled machine, and any delay can lead to big bill for wasted time. Well, that’s what happened here. By keeping the previous night’s party going, the two workers cost the automaker approximately $1.06 million, according to an anonymous source — hardly a dime-bag expense.

The Bild report claimed that one of the two workers was subsequently fired, while another was shuffled off to another plant.

BMW’s hooch and reefer incident is reminiscent of a similar event at Fiat Chrysler’s Jefferson North assembly plant. Back in 2010, 13 workers were fired after being filmed smoking up and drinking while on break. Two years later, those workers returned to their jobs. Union dues sometimes pay off.

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31 Comments on “German Autoworkers Discover Bimmers, Booze and Bongs Don’t Mix...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I think The Sweater just found his new paramour.

  • avatar

    I remain amazed that the illegal status of cannabis, which usually won’t kill you, makes “synthetic weed” a thing, and displaces a low toxicity drug with Russian Roulette.

    The only reason it exists is that it isn’t tested for on the cheap tests most companies use so they can claim “drug free”. They don’t usually pay for more than the most basic “dip a strip” test, which will catch real cannabis, but not synthetics.

    Having seen a lot of drug test readouts, the comprehensive screens do test for the most common synthetic chemicals. Most of the synthetic cannaboids come from old academic papers, and then put together by labs in China, and are sprayed onto some other green leafy stuff.

    So, you don’t know what you are getting, how strong it is, or the very non cannabis effects it will produce, because don’t think any of this stuff has ever been tested-or if it ever was, never followed up on for good reasons.

    Synthetic weed causes way more problems than the real thing….there was a recent incident in NYC where the police picked up 20 or so folks in one neighborhood literally off the street, all of whom had bought a batch of “bad stuff” from the local bodega.

    No, you shouldn’t work an assembly line stoned on anything, but this is most likely a bad reaction to the unknown chemical at unknown dosages the synthetic stuff puts you at risk for. After all, parts from China are high quality…why not the drugs, too ?

    One thing is for sure, this isn’t a marijuana story-it isn’t THC, CBD or any of the other natural molecules.

    • 0 avatar

      Well said.

    • 0 avatar

      Unless one uses mass spectrometry or another highly sensitive testing method, reagent strips aren’t all that accurate. Many things can cause false positives.

      I do agree that this “war on *some* drugs” is stupid and has had many unintended consequences. It has made drug cartels billions and filled prisons with “potheads”.
      Canada has been struggling to legalize cannabis and part of the problem is international treaties on the “war on drugs”. Unfortunately we will most likely see some significant backwards movement in the USA in the realm of legalization of cannabis.

      THC and CBC hasn’t been proven to be bad for adults. It has been shown to affect brain development in children i.e. teens and younger. Experts now recommend oils and vaporization as opposed to smoking but even if one smokes cannabis, it has been shown to be less damaging to lungs than tobacco.

    • 0 avatar

      The workers probably figure that if Chinese glass is good enough for them to install, Chinese grass is good enough to smoke!

    • 0 avatar



    • 0 avatar

      I can only assume that terms such as “synthetic marijuana” and “synthetic weed” originate from an agenda to besmirch cannabis. It should be called exactly what it is: a random package of unspecified and unregulated chemicals that fucks people up.

      • 0 avatar

        I work in a crisis center which caters to mental health and substance-related emergencies, and have a lot of experience with these products.

        They are often sold in head shops as “incense”, “K2”, “Spice”, and “bath salts” and are marketed as a legal alternative to MJ (they have the “not for human consumption” disclaimer on the packaging, which lets them weasel out of drug laws, FDA regs., etc.).

        The problem is, their pharmacology is very different from that of THC. They do occupy the same cannabinoid receptors, but bind irreversibly and have agonist effects in other areas of the CNS as well. Unfortunately, given the illicit nature of these substances, they have not been as thoroughly studied and there are a lot of unknowns.

        The effects are just as others have pointed out. In my experience, people intoxicated on these substances frequently exhibit a level of agitation, aggression, and psychotic symptoms that is similar to high doses of methamphetamine or PCP – nothing at all like what is normally observed with MJ. These individuals can be very dangerous, and we have had to call 911 on several occasions due them becoming assaultive at a level we are simply unequipped to handle (I’ve seen groups of 4-5 officers struggle to control them, even using tasers).

        The stuff is an absolute nightmare, and is unquestionably orders of magnitude more harmful than MJ.

  • avatar

    Awkward! Hopefully this didn’t happen while a factory tour was going on.

  • avatar

    At least the UAW guys can hold their liquor.

  • avatar

    Having read “Rivethead” by Ben Hamper, I’m impressed the assembly line was shut down at all, much less any disciplinary action taken.

    • 0 avatar

      Classic book. He described how he would put away *three* 40-ouncers of malt liquor on his lunch break, then head back to the assembly line.

      • 0 avatar

        The “Quality Cat” story was my favorite. The disconnect between line/management and general cynicism is not confined to factory workers.

        • 0 avatar

          I once worked a miserable factory job, and having a Quality Cat figure parade around would have made things so much better (having read the book first).

          • 0 avatar

            “Rivetedhead”…Is the most accurate portrayal of life on the assembly line ever written.

            “A Savage Factory” written by Robert J Dewar , a former Ford supervisor gives a little different perspective …Also an excellent read.

  • avatar

    A while back there were videos put out of Chrysler employees from one of the Detroit plants getting high and drunk during their lunch breaks. Much was made of it and plenty of people used it as an example of why American cars are crappy.

    I wonder how many of the folks who condemned UAW workers or the domestic automakers in general over that incident will have anything to say about German factory workers.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Nah, we all know BMW goes the extra mile and injects the crappiness at the engineering level.

      – Former BMW owner.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. American cars as a group surpassed German cars for reliability at least a decade ago in my estimation, initial quality surveys notwithstanding.

        • 0 avatar

          EHH… Having owned all kinds of cars, (asian, european, domestic), growing up with parents who owned domestic cars, and seeing where the brands end up on surveys, I laugh hysterically for about 45-50 minutes when people make the assertion that American cars are more reliable than practically anything in their class. All they really have going for them is that they are cheap to repair when something will go wrong. At the end of the day, if you want a fuss-free car, you’re going to end up with a Toyota. If that’s not what you’re after, you could practically buy anything. What will differ is the price of repair.

      • 0 avatar

        And yet you don’t seem to have learnt with your VW and Lincoln purchases.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          This is a good point. I’m a masochist. My most recent two Volkswagens have been quite reliable, but I think that was by accident, rather than design. They were too busy engineering the cheat mode, and didn’t have any time to engineer self-destructing features you’d typically expect on German cars :P

          The Lincoln, I expect, will be okay. The electronics might be glitchy, but I doubt it. Plus, it’s warrantied for four-and-a-half more years, or 70K more miles.

    • 0 avatar

      @Ronnie Schreiber
      How automated is the BMW plant versus the Chrysler plant? As far as I know Robots do not get stoned, just badly programmed

  • avatar

    This harshed my mellow.

  • avatar

    I’m not the least bit shocked, at this story out of Germany. I am a little bit shocked that someone didn’t pick up on just how wasted these dudes were..Having never worked in Germany perhaps there is some cultural differences ? I do know that in the environment i spent 36 years in , somebody would have noticed before the workers passed out. I can tell you ,were such an incident to take place, that resulted in “down time” more than just the workers would find their a$$ in a sling.

    Alcohol ,and substance abuse happens daily, in any “Blue Collar” environment. Believe me its not just confined to the UAW represented plants. I know for a fact that it goes on everyday at Toyota and Honda. Its also not confined to to the hourly people. I’ve had first hand experience with supervisors, and higher, that barely made it through the shift.

    I could sit here for hours typing out stories of my experiences. But…best to just let sleeping dogs lie.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    Ah, weed on the job. Worked in a hospital kitchen during HS and early college. Good pay – but damned if we all didn’t blaze up before, during, and after work.

    What do you want to bet that lower and middle managers were reaching for their vapes after having to explain how it came to be that Dieter and Hans were on that line.

  • avatar

    Good, CLEAN help is hard to find!! :-)

  • avatar

    Now I have to go bu those books mentioned .

  • avatar

    2nd for A Savage Factory.

    Or it could be done similar to my last employment. Those on the ‘drug test’ list that were privileged characters were given 2 weeks notice to abstain. The “random” tests arrived by mail with an employee name on them. When it was one of the aforementioned they were told to stop whatever and get an OK test.
    Of course the ironic part was nowhere was there tests to measure whether people were doing their job correctly, beyond filling out the paperwork/computer forms.
    So someone could be putting out very substandard work, but if they never tested positive for ‘drugs’ that was okay.

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