Pubdate: Sun, 09 Dec 2001
Source: Charlotte Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2001 The Charlotte Observer
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: The writer is program officer, The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy 
Foundation.  Note published in source.


In response to "Schools salvage athletics drug test" (Dec. 4):

Student involvement in extracurricular activities has been shown to reduce 
drug use. Forcing students [in Gaston County schools] to undergo degrading 
drug tests as a prerequisite will only discourage extracurricular activity. 
It may also compel users of relatively harmless marijuana to switch to 
harder drugs such as meth to avoid testing positive.

Despite a short-lived high, marijuana is the only drug that stays in the 
human body long enough to make urinalysis a deterrent. If you think 
students don't know this, think again. Anyone capable of running a search 
on the Internet can find out how to thwart a drug test. Drug-testing 
profiteers do not readily volunteer this information, for obvious reasons.

The most commonly abused drug and the one most often associated with 
violent behavior is almost impossible to detect with urinalysis. That drug 
is alcohol, and it takes far more student lives every year than all illegal 
drugs combined.

Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jackl