Pubdate: Tue, 30 Mar 2004
Source: Post and Courier, The (Charleston, SC)
Copyright: 2004 Evening Post Publishing Co.
Author: Sharon Fratepietro


Let me add more documented evidence to op-ed columnist Leonard Pitts' charge
on March 2 that the Bush administration "feels free to censor, manipulate
and ignore" scientific facts for political gain. Pitts was referring to a
recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists that lists a shocking
series of such abuses by the Bush White House.

Here's an unreported example. Your paper on Feb. 29 described President
Bush's new anti-drug strategy to encourage and fund drug testing of students
because, the president said, drug testing has caused declines in illegal
drug use by students. Furthermore, on March 1, the White House National Drug
Control Strategy report to Congress said that drug use among students
declined by 11 percent between 2001 and 2003.

One of the above assertions is true and the other is false, and you can see
proof of this online at

The White House relies on the University of Michigan's "Monitoring the
Future" student surveys to formulate White House drug policy -- but only
when the results suit White House political goals. Otherwise, it just
ignores unwelcome results. Monitoring the Future did show the decline in
student drug use, but the organization also issued a report on May 19, 2003,
indisputably showing that drug use is as frequent in schools with testing as
in schools without it. This federally financed survey covered 76,000
students and 891 schools across the country. It is the only large or
nationally representative sample of schools that has ever been used to
evaluate the effectiveness of school drug testing.

The dishonesty of the Bush administration about this and other scientific
matters is a serious matter. It is also unconscionable for the president to
waste $25 million of our tax money by offering it to schools to drug test
students under a false premise.



South Carolinians for Drug Law Reform
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