Pubdate: Wed, 21 May 2003
Source: Lancaster New Era (PA)
Copyright: 2003 Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Robert E. Field
Cited: New York Time report


Dear Sir:

Apropos  the proposal by the Hemphill School District to adopt a
program of drug testing, on May 17th The New York Time reported that
"a recently released federally financed study of 76,000 students
nationwide, by far the largest to date, found that drug use is just as
common in schools with testing as in those without it."

According to the Times:  "The study, published last month in The Journal
of School Health, a peer-reviewed publication of the American School Health
Association, found that 37percent of 12th graders in schools that tested for
drugs said they had smoked marijuana in the last year, compared with 36 percent
in schools that did not |Similarly, 21 percent of 12th grades in schools with
testing said they had used other illicit drugs like cocaine or heroin in the
last year, while 19 percent of their counterparts in schools without screening
said they had done so |. The same pattern held for every other drug and grade

The article also stated:  "While it is possible that schools that
imposed screening had had even higher rates of use before, the
researchers said that was extremely unlikely because they controlled
for behavioral factors normally associated with substance abuse like
truancy and parental absence."

Hopefully the Hemphill School Board will take full note of this
definitive study and refrain from imposing an intrusive and
controversial policy that is unlikely to achieve its stated goals.


Robert E. Field, Co-Chair, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Lancaster, PA
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake