Pubdate: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2001 Detroit Free Press
Author: Robert Sharpe,
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


Your Mar. 25 editorial was right on target. There are compelling health
reasons to oppose this invasive policy. Student involvement in
extracurricular activities has been shown to reduce drug use. Forcing
students to undergo degrading drug tests as a prerequisite will only
discourage such activities. 

Drug testing may also compel marijuana smokers to switch to harder drugs 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. The growing use of ecstasy is in part a result of drug testing. A
student who takes ecstasy on Friday night will likely test clean on Monday
morning. If you think students don't know this, think again. 

The most commonly abused drug is almost impossible to detect with
urinalysis. That drug is alcohol, and it takes far more lives every year
than all illegal drugs combined. Instead of wasting money on
counterproductive drug tests, schools should invest in reality-based drug

Robert Sharpe, Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
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