Pubdate: Sat, 22 Mar 2008
Source: Baytown Sun, The (TX)
Copyright: 2008sBaytown Sun
Author: Robert Sharpe


The Goose Creek School Board needs to educate itself on the downside
of student drug testing. Student involvement in after-school
activities like sports 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 in extracurricular programs.

Drug testing may also compel marijuana users to switch to harder drugs
to avoid testing positive. This is one of the reasons the American
Academy of Pediatrics opposes student drug testing. 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 narcotics are water-soluble and exit the body quickly. 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 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,

Common Sense for Drug Policy,

Washington, D.C.
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