Pubdate: Wed, 01 Dec 2004
Source: Mitchell News-Journal (NC)
Copyright: 2004 Mitchell News-Journal
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Drug Test)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Dear Editor,

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 activities. Drug testing may also compel marijuana users to 
switch to harder drugs to avoid testing positive.

Despite a short-lived high, marijuana is the only illegal 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. Synthetic 
drugs are water-soluble and exit the body quickly. A student who takes 
methamphetamine, ecstasy or heroin on Friday night will likely test clean 
on Monday morning. 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 every 
year than all illegal drugs combined. Instead of wasting money on 
counterproductive drug tests, schools should invest in reality-based drug 

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy
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