Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jul 2002
Source: Shawnee News-Star (OK)
Copyright: 2002 The Shawnee News-Star
Author: Ray Aldridge
Note: Title by MAP Editor


To the Editor:

In Sunday's editorial, Executive Editor Mike J. McCormick opined, "We 
support Thursday's ruling handed down by the court. It won't be popular in 
the face of many, especially those who have a tendency to buy, sell and use 
illegal drugs."

It also won't be popular with those who revere the Constitution, and who 
think that our hard-won liberties are worth preserving.

But aside from that, have you considered that drug-testing might be a 
counter-productive way of dealing with student drug abuse?

Consider this: students who are involved with drugs must now decide whether 
band or chess club is more important to them than doing drugs. Any kid who 
has a problem with drugs is just going to quit these extracurricular 
activities, rather than risk getting caught, which will leave him with even 
more time to get involved with crime and violence. Better to have him keep 
playing in the band, where at least some of his friends won't be drug-addled.

And consider this: drug-testing tends to make drug abusers move from 
marijuana to harder drugs. Why? Because only marijuana stays in the system 
long enough to show up in a urine test. Other, more dangerous drugs clear 
out of the body overnight, including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, meth, and 
even alcohol, the drug that kills more students than all the illegal ones 
put together.

Drug testing is bad because it teaches students that the Constitution means 
nothing, and because it drives at-risk students into even riskier behavior.

It's both anti-American and stupid.

Ray Aldridge

(former Oklahoman)

Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.
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MAP posted-by: Beth