Pubdate: Wed, 03 Oct 2007
Source: News-Review, The (Roseburg, OR)
Copyright: 2007 The News-Review
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Rob McCallum's Sept.. 27 article stating student involvement
in after-school activities like sports has been shown to reduce drug
use. They also 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

Drug testing may also compel marijuana users to switch to harder drugs
to avoid testing positive. This is one of the reasons the American
Academy of Pediatrics opposes student drug testing. 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. More dangerous synthetic drugs like methamphetamine and
prescription pharmaceuticals are water-soluble and exit the body
quickly. If you think drug users 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 each year
than all illegal drugs combined. Instead of wasting money on
counterproductive drug tests, schools should invest in reality-based
drug education.

American Academy of Pediatrics Guidance:;119/3/627

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin