Pubdate: Thu, 26 Apr 2007
Source: Chronicle, The (West Lorne, CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Chronicle
Author: Robert Merkin
Note: Title by MAP


Dear Editor,

Much of Taylor Cundy's column "Most Teenagers Don't Use Pot" (5 April)
reflects a school drug curriculum of value. Cundy writes, however:

"What people that use marijuana don't know is that traces of this drug
stay in your body for up to seven days after you actually use it."

This factoid doesn't exist in a vacuum, but warns students that they
risk failing a school or workplace drug test. It's three weeks too
short; THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, is fat soluble and
typically lingers in detectable amounts for up to a month after ingestion.

In the United States, where suspicionless random student drug testing
has become central to anti-drug policy, students have learned about
marijuana's month-long lingering traces.

Students are protecting themselves against a life-destroying failed
drug test by shifting to heroin, which has become concentrated enough
to snort rather than inject.

Opiates like heroin, codeine, morphine and Oxycodone are water
soluble, and are flushed from the body within a few days, so teens can
party with opiates on Friday night and -- if they live through the
weekend -- test negative by Tuesday.

Law enforcement and drug-testing industry authorities claim that when
students know they'll be tested, students stop using drugs.

In fact, students keep using drugs, but as peer word spreads, they
shift from a medically innoccuous substance to highly addictive and
toxic substances to evade the tests.

No death has ever been attributed to marijuana use. Fatal heroin and
opiate overdoses, and deaths from binge alcohol drinking, are
commonplace tragedies. Such teen deaths are on the rise in the USA
because of badly flawed government anti-drug policies which rely on
the instant magic junk science of suspicionless student drug tests.

Robert Merkin

Northampton, Massachusetts (online reader)
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake