Pubdate: Thu, 16 Sep 2004
Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Copyright: 2004 The Columbus Dispatch
Author: Robert Sharpe


Why am I not surprised to read that a drug-testing company was
involved in the decision to expand testing at Groveport Madison High
School ("Students must pass drug test to park," Dispatch article, Aug.

Student involvement in afterschool activities has been shown to reduce
drug use.

They keep kids busy during the hours they are most likely to get into
trouble. Forcing students to undergo degrading urine tests as a
prerequisite will only discourage participation.

Drug testing may also compel users of relatively harmless marijuana to
switch to harder synthetic drugs to avoid testing positive. Despite a
short-lived high, organic marijuana is the only illegal 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 an Internet search 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
closely associated with violent behavior is almost impossible to
detect with urinalysis. That drug is alcohol, and it takes far more
lives each year than all illegal drugs combined. Instead of wasting
money on counterproductive urine tests, schools should invest in
realitybased drug education.

Robert Sharpe, Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy, Arlington, Va.
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