Pubdate: Thu, 17 Apr 2008
Source: Whitefish Pilot (MT)
Copyright: 2008 The Whitefish Pilot
Author: Robert Sharpe
Referenced: ,and


The Whitefish 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.

For more information on American Academy of Pediatrics guidance, visit
online at;

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin