Pubdate: Sat, 27 Mar 2004
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2004 The Oregonian
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding "Lessons of a failed drug study" (March 18), while ethical
considerations complicate drug-testing studies, there is no lack of
research on the positive role extracurricular activities play in
reducing drug use.

Forcing students to undergo degrading urine tests as a prerequisite
will only discourage participation. Drug tests also may compel users
of marijuana to switch to harder synthetic drugs to avoid testing positive.

Despite a short-lived high, organic marijuana is the only illegal drug
that stays in the human body long enough to make urinalysis a
deterrent. If you think students don't know this, think again.

The most commonly abused drug 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 education.

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin