Pubdate: Sun, 26 Jul 2015
Source: Observer, The (Rio Rancho, NM)
Copyright: 2015 Rio Rancho Observer.
Author: Robert Sharpe



The Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education 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 compel marijuana users to switch to more dangerous 
prescription narcotics 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 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 meth 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. (See 

Robert Sharpe Policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Arlington, Va.

(Editor's note: Urinalysis will not done in RRPS.)
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