Pubdate: Sun, 28 Nov 2004
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2004, The Tribune Co.
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Limit LTEs to 150 words


Your Nov. 21st editorial on student drug testing was right on target.
Student involvement in after-school 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

Drug testing may also compel marijuana users 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. 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
reality-based drug education.

Robert Sharpe

Washington, D.C.

The writer is a policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy.
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