Pubdate: Thu, 01 Mar 2007
Source: Advance Titan (UW  Oshkosh, WI Edu)
Copyright: 2007 Advance Titan
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Teresa Puschnig's Feb. 22 column, the U.S. Supreme Court 
made a terrible mistake when it created an exemption to the 
Constitution and ruled in favor of allowing drug tests for students 
in extracurricular activities. Student involvement in after-school 
activities like sports has been shown to reduce drug use. Sports 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.

Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war 
otherwise known as the war on some drugs should contact Students for 
Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe,

MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom