Pubdate: Sat, 04 Aug 2001
Source: Peoria Journal Star (IL)
Copyright: 2001sPeoria Journal Star
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


The July 28 article on drug-testing kits provided by the Washburn Police 
Department correctly pointed out that the detection time for illegal drugs 
varies tremendously. 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 weeks. 
Highly addictive synthetic drugs, like meth, are water-soluble and exit the 
human body within a few days.

Cocaine and heroin are also water-soluble. The younger generation is well 
aware of these limitations. Anyone capable of running a search on the 
Internet can find out how to thwart a drug test.

Why is this relevant? Because the growing use of drugs, like ecstasy, is in 
part a result of drug testing. A person who takes ecstasy on Friday night 
will likely test clean on Monday morning. Ironically, the least dangerous 
recreational drug (marijuana) is the only one whose use is discouraged by 
testing. Drug testing profiteers do not readily volunteer this information, 
for obvious reasons.

The most commonly abused drug and the one most often associated with 
violent behavior is almost impossible to detect with urinalysis. That drug 
is alcohol, and it takes far more lives every year than all illegal drugs 
combined. Needless to say, hangovers don't contribute to workplace 
productivity, and counterproductive drug tests do absolutely nothing to 
discourage America's number one drug problem.

Robert Sharpe, Program Officer

The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation

Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager