Pubdate: Fri, Mar 27 1998
Source: Halifax Herald (Canada)

Dear Editor:

Re: Jack Yazer's March 20 article, "Youth problems should be issue."

He suggests repeated urine tests for all 16- and 17-year-olds in order for
them to get a driver's licence. Does MSI pay for this?

How about teaching our youth about "innocent until proven guilty" and their
Charter rights? It is alcohol that is by far the most serious risk when we
are talking about young drivers, and his "plan" has zero chance of catching
any young person drinking.

What is most ironic about his plan is that at a time when a massive Angus
Reid poll (last November) found that 83 percent of Canadians think
marijuana should be legal for medical uses, and more than half believe it
should be legal, period, he wants taxpayers to funnel health care dollars
into drug testing for all young people.

Statistics from the U.S. consistently show that, when confronted by
mandatory drug tests, workers drink alcohol more or switch to harder drugs
that leave the system faster.

Is this what Yazer wants? Isn't he proposing that MSI do the job of parents
at tax-payers' expense?

Chris Donald, Halifax


Won't work

Dear Editor:

With the "Yazer 2-Point Merit Plan" proposed by Jack Yazer, drivers under
the age of 21 would face yearly drug tests to keep a licence. Drugs are a
problem "out of control" with our youth, says Mr.Yazer.

Has anyone told him that sex, alcohol use, depression, boredom,
discrimination, and violence are issues that need to be addressed, too?

Mr. Yazer paints a bleak picture of a typical Nova Scotian youth, high on
drugs and driving out of control. Nevertheless, once this reckless driver
hits the magical age of 21, all these wild behaviours stop. Just as once
people reach the age of 19, they begin to drink responsibly.

The Yazer plan would add enormous amounts of paperwork to the Department of
Transportation and put another strain on our health-care system. Doctors
would waste valuable patient time filling out certificates, and hospitals
would face an overflow of testing.

I applaud Mr.Yazer for trying to better the lives of youth. However, you
can't legislate common sense. The problem of drug use can not be magically
stopped with the implementation of this plan.

Jennifer Henderson, Antigonish