Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jul 2002
Source: Courier News (NJ)
Copyright: 2002 IN Jersey.
Author: George Wood


In 1999, the National Institute on Drug Abuse granted $3.6 million to the 
Oregon Health and Science University for the SATURN Project "to study 
whether or not drug testing is an effective method to prevent substance 
abuse among adolescent athletes" (quote from the OHSU SATURN Web site). 
Results, due next year, should be interesting, since OHSU is clearly on the 
side of the testers and is trying to find justification for the practice.

Even more interesting is the fact that NIDA made the grant in the first 
place. They obviously are not buying the drug-testing lobby "statistics" 
that have been promoted by that industry and their followers, purporting to 
show that random testing programs are a great boon to the war on drugs.

The OHSU site further states: "Drug testing requires a large commitment in 
time and resources. No studies have been performed to determine whether 
drug testing would be an effective way to prevent drug use."

So, who should we believe -- the drug-testing lobby, that has been pushing 
hard to find new markets for their product (see and that 
represents a potential billion-dollar-plus financial interest in the matter?

Was the Supreme Court even aware of the NIDA position? Nowhere in the 
hearing or decision was it mentioned. Did the testing lobby create such a 
slick deception that this simple fact was overlooked?

Constitutionality, in regard to the Fourth Amendment, is based on the 
"reasonableness" of the search. Reasonableness is based on the government 
"need" weighed against the privacy rights of the target. How is it possible 
for the government (a school) to "need" a program for which there is no 
credibly established benefit?

I'd sure like to ask the court.

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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart