Pubdate: Tue, 18 Jul 2000
Source: Times-News, The (ID)
Copyright: 2000 Magic Valley Newspapers
Contact:  P.O. Box 548, Twin Falls, ID 83303
Fax: (208) 734-553
Author: Walter F. Wouk


Your support for The Buhl School District's plan to implement random drug
testing (Times-News, July 11) is symptomatic of the assault upon individual
liberty that has been unleashed by the war on marijuana.

In the 1950s, employers spooked by the Red Menace instituted mandatory
loyalty oaths, forcing employees to forswear any ties to communism. In the
1990s, marijuana replaced communism as the great threat to our society and
urine drug testing became mandatory for many Americans.

Urine tests are body searches, and they are an unprecedented invasion of
privacy. The standard practice in administering such tests is to require
individuals to urinate in the presence of a witness, to guard against
specimen tampering. Today, millions of American workers every year, in both
the public and private sectors, must submit to humiliating drug tests as a
condition for getting or keeping a job.

In schools across America, educators teach their students about the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights; meanwhile school administrators tell
these same students that they have no rights. Voluntary drug tests are an
illusion. Their message is clear -- if you have nothing to hide, why not
take the test?

Forcing an individual to submit to a test to prove their innocence or their
loyalty is not the practice of a free society. It is fundamentally

WALTER F. WOUK Director, The Thomas Payne Project, Cobleskill, NY
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