Pubdate: Wed, 16 Feb 2000
Date: 02/16/2000
Source: Munster Times (IN)
Author: Redford Givens

I'm writing in response to the article "Lake Central eyes drug

The lockstep rush to install drug tests in every high school reveals
an utter lack of insight and forethought on the part of the
zero-tolerance crowd. To begin with, we must understand that the term
"drug test" really means "monitoring for marijuana" because all other
illicit drugs are passed out of the system within a day or two and are
virtually undetectable. Marijuana, on the other hand, shows up for
weeks after the last use.

The need to avoid a positive drug test is causing many adults to
switch from marijuana, which is easily detected for weeks, to heroin
and cocaine, which are virtually impossible to detect the next day.

The zero-tolerance people are only kidding themselves if they think
high-school kids won't soon figure out the same thing.

People who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of children
should not promote a brain-dead drug-testing scheme that drives kids
from marijuana, which has never caused a death, to the most dangerous
illegal drugs on the market.

Then there's the matter of how the marijuana smokers these tests do
detect will be treated. Usually they are considered felons regardless
of their decorum or grade-point average and booted out of school
forthwith to a fate far worse than anything marijuana by itself could
do. Instead of saving pot-using teens, the drug crusaders seem
determined to destroy them.

Redford Givens,
San Francisco, Calif.