Pubdate: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 Source: Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, NJ) Copyright: 2007 Courier-Post Contact: http://www.courierpostonline.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/826 Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n400/a06.html Author: Robert Sharpe MONEY WASTED The Moorestown school board needs to educate itself on the limitations of student drug testing. Student involvement in after-school activities, such as sports, has been shown to reduce drug use. These activities 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 marijuana users to switch to harder drugs to avoid testing positive. Despite a short-lived high, marijuana is the only illegal 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 days. More dangerous synthetic drugs like methamphetamine and prescription pharmaceuticals are water-soluble and exit the body quickly. If you think drug users 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 student lives each year than all illegal drugs combined. Instead of wasting money on counterproductive drug tests, schools should invest in reality-based drug education. Robert Sharpe Policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.