Pubdate: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
Source: News Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2002 The News Herald
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Youth)
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


Regarding the March 24 editorial "Justices' adult decision," 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. Marijuana's organic metabolites are fat-soluble and can linger 
for weeks. Harder drugs like cocaine, meth and OxyContin are water-soluble 
and exit the body within a few days.

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 education.

Robert Sharpe

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, DC
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