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Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students.
June 27, 2002 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students. "Given the nationwide epidemic of drug use, and the evidence of increased drug use in Tecumseh schools, it was entirely reasonable for the school district to enact this particular drug testing policy," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the decision. Drug tests which really only target marijuana use (alcohol, cocaine, opiates leave the body shortly after use) can now be randomly given to students involved in extra-curricular activities. Is this a further step in the "my anti-drug" campaign? Is debate or drama club YOUR anti-drug? By denying student drug users the privilege of participating in activities, aren't we just marginalizing them further and making the problem worse? What will it be? Drugs or getting involved?
posted by Hammerikaner (58 comments total)

 
Drugs are my anti-drug. Or something.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:23 PM on June 27, 2002


Hammerikaner, in your write up you specified that drug testing was approved for non-athlete students but I did not see that distinction anywhere in the article. Is drug testing already permitted for student athletes? If not, I think it ought to be since steroids is more of a danger to student's health than marijuana or ecstasy or any other recreational drug that are popular with high school students.
posted by rks404 at 12:26 PM on June 27, 2002


At the end of the article: "The ruling is a follow-up to the 1995 Oregon case, in which the court allowed random urine tests for student athletes. In that case, the court found that the school had a pervasive drug problem and that athletes were among the users. The court also found that athletes had less expectation of privacy. "
posted by smackfu at 12:34 PM on June 27, 2002


Yessir, rks404 the court previously upheld the constitutionality of random drug tests for student athletes.

What I find interesting is that those in extracurricular activities are lumped together with athletes under this new ruling not because of any real health or performance concerns. Rather, by their voluntary involvement in a competetive program, they are necessarily representing their school and therefore, the argument goes, should have a lower expectation of privacy.

I personally don't agree with this because no one waives their right to privacy when they get involved in a school activity. Politician's private lives are scrutinized because they choose to put themselves in the public sphere. Athletes do the same, to a much lesser extent. However, extra-curriculars, which at my high school, at least, have always been well supported financially but with little fanfare, are not the crowd-pleasers and public showcases for schools like athletics are.

The court seems to think otherwise, however.
posted by Hammerikaner at 12:34 PM on June 27, 2002


Next up: random searches and drug tests of everybody. For any reason. Because Your Government Knows Best™
posted by ook at 12:35 PM on June 27, 2002


thanks for the clarification about drug testing student athletes!

ook, clearly you are being ridiculous. Random drug testing of everyone would be expensive and logistically difficult. Perhaps we should just do drug tests of everyone who doesn't recite the pledge of allegiance on demand.
posted by rks404 at 12:43 PM on June 27, 2002


Because Your Government Knows Best™

They do? Whew. I was getting worried.

*Bends over*

Have at it, Unca Sam!
posted by Skot at 12:44 PM on June 27, 2002


This is exciting! Now we can test professional athletes and Metafilter users!
posted by mecran01 at 12:45 PM on June 27, 2002


Here's an article from Salon which offers a pretty good argument against drug testing in schools.

I'd also like to say that marijuana is a gateway drug, andleads to harder stuff. I started with weed and moved on to cigarettes and alcohol.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:46 PM on June 27, 2002


Alchemind.org has a good argument against drug testing, with a lot of good resources.

I can see athletics having drug testing. It's not fair for someone pumped full of steroids to go against someone who doesn't. Plus high school sports lead many times to scholarships to colleges, would it be fair for someone on steroids to get the scholarship when a clean kid doesn't?

extracurricular are totally different. For the most part they're just for fun and being part of a group. If someone was doing drugs wouldn't you want to encourage them to join a club? Instead this will further discourage kids who've tried drugs to join clubs and become more isolated from "good influences".

If you don't come to school everyday high as a kite then no one should care. I really don't understand the purpose of this at all, it's a lot like a "gotcha" measure by the government trying to dictate our morals.
posted by geoff. at 12:56 PM on June 27, 2002


Meanwhile, say critics of the programs, students are being raised with an eroding idea of personal privacy, an adversarial relationship with authorities and a skewed education on why they shouldn't do drugs -- or, at least, why they shouldn't do certain drugs.

I'm amazed at this paragraph. A "student" just said that they can estimate that most of the class has either tried or is actively using drugs at this time and this person is worried about their personal privacy. Or how they see people in authoritative positions. Just amazing. No wonder this country is so screwed up.

This guy/gal cares more about their rights as a teenage drug user than the fact they most of the school is on drugs. I can't say it enough, just amazing.

Oh yeah Ty Webb, good use of a non-bias piece of journalism. Now where did I put those Rush Limbaugh quotes...
posted by the_0ne at 12:59 PM on June 27, 2002


See, now this just chaps my butt. Please, like the choir kids are shooting smack in the bathroom. And even if they were...come on, there's not that many people who want to play a glockenspiel or sing first soprano...leave them alone.

Secondly, we can't find money to pay teachers a livable wage, we can't find the cash to put supplies in the classrooms, we can't find funding to use books that were written sometime in my lifetime...but we can find the cash to test kids on the off chance they smoked a little weed on the weekend.

GRRRRR! What the hell has happened to our country? Fascists, the country has been taken over by freaking Fascists.
posted by dejah420 at 1:01 PM on June 27, 2002


Many children, like many adults, engage in dangerous activities on their own time; that the children are enrolled in school scarcely allows government to monitor all such activities. If a student has a reasonable subjective expectation of privacy in the personal items she brings to school ... surely she has a similar expectation regarding the chemical composition of her urine." - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissenting.
posted by rushmc at 1:08 PM on June 27, 2002


This guy/gal cares more about their rights as [an American citizen] than the fact they most of the school is on drugs.

Perhaps because that is the more important concern?
posted by rushmc at 1:10 PM on June 27, 2002


eroded personal freedom and loss of civil liberty are my anti-drugs.
posted by mathowie at 1:11 PM on June 27, 2002


Didn't you take a physical, for High school, I remember the cough, hernia test. But seriously, doctors permission to play sports, I thought was a common rule. Regardless if your for it. At my school smoking cigarettes anywhere, even while not currently attending was a violation of rules. Yet, I choose and I signed a contract, that I wouldn't and I was legal to smoke my latter years, junior and senior.

What did we do to ruin it for them, is maybe a better discussion.

And if the parents allow them to drink at home which you could in California. Or like in Texas the father rule, guardian can serve you in public, as long as the establishment, agrees.

So now, if I flunk my piss test then what, I'm thrown out of school and my parents can't parent.
This is happening here in Texas(the tests). Look at the football programs in Texas, and I've seen the steroids on the streets, from high schoolers, here.
Maybe leave the parenting at home where the teachers want it too, not that it is happening on both sides.
This is a health issue, so what are they doing when they took my blood at admissions.
Lets see since I graduated high school, they can't drive until 18, can't smoke on campus, no pledge yet they can build a rocket to the moon(california). Have you gone back and seen the classes offered today, man my university didn't even offer some of them.
To answer the question would you do it again, high school, hell no. At least we had some freedoms outside and inside the school, to be an adolescent, to grow.

Prison is what I see today.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:12 PM on June 27, 2002


Unquestioning loyalty to our benevolent overlords is my anti-drug.
posted by Dirjy at 1:15 PM on June 27, 2002


A "student" just said that they can estimate that most of the class has either tried or is actively using drugs at this time and this person is worried about their personal privacy.

Nice weird scare quotes. I estimate that most of my "coworkers" have either tried or actively use drugs at this time. Amazingly, some of us are also concerned about personal privacy, when we're not busy cracking down in the restrooms.
posted by Skot at 1:15 PM on June 27, 2002


I'm amazed at this paragraph. A "student" just said that they can estimate that most of the class has either tried or is actively using drugs at this time and this person is worried about their personal privacy.

When I was in high school, I must have missed the assembly that taught me how to rid the school of drugs, or why it was my personal concern as a student.

What is wrong with the paragraph again the_One? I didn't care what my classmates did or didn't do, just as I don't care what my next-door neighbors do today as long as it doesn't infringe on my daily life. That's what living in a free country is all about. People can do anything they want, chose to break the law however they please, as long as it doesn't become detrimental to anyone else's rights.

Asking students to pee in a cup for no stated reason is certainly infringing on their privacy and will do much more harm than good. Students will grow up with a disrespect for authority the likes of which has never been seen before.
posted by mathowie at 1:17 PM on June 27, 2002


Funny, drug tests are required for students... Yet, no such requirement for public officials, eh?

And baseball players? They oppose random drug testing because...get this...it's an invasion of their privacy.

But, go ahead and test the kids... Get them used to unreasonable search and seizures now.
posted by eas98 at 1:17 PM on June 27, 2002


dejas420, like the choir kids are shooting smack in the bathroom. well in Plano, Tx they were, all levels of the system. I talked with the kids, so I do know.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:17 PM on June 27, 2002


What is wrong with the paragraph again the_One? I didn't care what my classmates did or didn't do, just as I don't care what my next-door neighbors do today as long as it doesn't infringe on my daily life. That's what living in a free country is all about. People can do anything they want, chose to break the law however they please, as long as it doesn't become detrimental to anyone else's rights.

I was speaking from the perspective of a parent. Caring less what other students are doing is basicly giving full reign to your child to "hang around" and basicly do the same thing as that other person. I would certainly hope that you have no children to not care what them and their friends are doing, or you are a large part of the problem.
posted by the_0ne at 1:23 PM on June 27, 2002


this marks the inevitable downfall of chess teams nationwide.
posted by ggggarret at 1:24 PM on June 27, 2002


I'm on pills for water weight gain and menopausal pain relievers--"Auntie Drugs" are my anti-drugs!
posted by ColdChef at 1:26 PM on June 27, 2002


Imagine if the drum majors, the lead actors, the academic quiz bowl champions, the choir soloists, the stage managers, the chess players, the Future Farmers and the Future Business Leaders of the Tecumsah school system all quit in protest of one of these stupid rules. That would put a twist in the administration's knickers, and garner a huge amount of publicity to boot.

Almost makes me wish I was still in high school. Or not.
posted by junkbox at 1:32 PM on June 27, 2002


I believe that the English expression 'you must be taking the piss' has a literal and idiomatic application here.
posted by riviera at 1:35 PM on June 27, 2002


Caring less what other students are doing is basicly giving full reign to your child to "hang around" and basicly do the same thing as that other person

My children will know right and wrong, and won't hang around people that are going to be obvious bad influences.
Do you suggest they notify authorities if they see any wrongdoing? Do you think "ratting out" your peers or classmates would bring them joy or harm? What are you actively doing to prevent drug use in your city, the_One? I sincerely hope you're trolling the red-light district streets at night, reporting all wrongdoing, because if not, you're part of the drug problem and helping contribute to terrorism.
posted by mathowie at 1:35 PM on June 27, 2002


The policy, she said, “invades the privacy of students who need deterrence least and risks steering students at greatest risk for substance abuse away from extracurricular involvement that potentially may palliate drug problems.”


Well put by Ginsberg. This is a waste, accomplishes nothing but complete marginalization of recreational drugs users, and takes money away from school programs that are underfunded. Not to mention its a violation of fourth amendment expectations of privacy.

Not terribly surprised, SCOTUS is what helps keep this insane drug war alive in many respects. The real nationwide epidemic that truly destroys lives is the drug war itself and its sentancing laws.

. I would certainly hope that you have no children to not care what them and their friends are doing, or you are a large part of the problem.

Don't be insulting, the_One. No need to make this personal and tell people they shouldnt have children. I'm sure there's a great neo-fascist site that stands for those kinds of statements but its well below metafilter's threshold. If you have a point - make it. Don't be an ass.
posted by skallas at 1:37 PM on June 27, 2002


People can do anything they want, chose to break the law however they please, as long as it doesn't become detrimental to anyone else's rights.

Um, is that what you meant to say, mathowie? The way it sounds seems antithetical to the very concept of laws (one would hope that laws would only concern things "detrimental to [someone] else's rights", though obviously in our "Legislators Gone Wild(TM)" society, that is not always the case). I certainly agree that people are entitled to do anything they please right up to the point where they break a law, however.
posted by rushmc at 1:37 PM on June 27, 2002


I was speaking from the perspective of a parentI would certainly hope that you have no children to not care what them and their friends are doing, or you are a large part of the problem.

I would think that a genuinely concerned parent would be interested in the unintended consequences of random testing policy:

from the Salon article:
More often than not, it's simply a matter of choosing the right kinds of drugs, say the teens -- Ecstasy and alcohol disappear from your system within hours; marijuana can
take up to 30 days.


This is the case with the younger sister of a friend of mine: busted for weed, she is forced to undergo regular drug tests. Of course, now she abuses the drugs that don't show up on the tests: acid, ecstacy, alcohol. They sure taught her a lesson!
posted by Ty Webb at 1:38 PM on June 27, 2002


the_One... are you saying you don't want your kids doing drugs? then tell them that yourself.

i'm not trying to be overly rude here, but it's the parent's responsibility to raise responsible children. that means that it's the parent's job to figure out what their kids are doing on their own time (if that privacy infringement is something you value), not the school's job.

let's change this thread a bit. i posted with the idea to get you all talking about drug testing and nerds/jocks, etc. and we've done that very well.

how about this...

Drug testing weeds out (pun intended) both drug users and drug abusers. Is there not a difference? Can't people, even high school students, integrate recreational "drugs" into their productive, everyday lives? Can't we let kids, and ourselves, let loose once in a while without keeping our warily bitter eyes on them?
posted by Hammerikaner at 1:39 PM on June 27, 2002


Am I the only one left feeling, that all "public" places in the US, means government can pri(pry)vate with their eye.
This, not the pledge would bother our Fore Fathers, as they believed in MYOB, (why the revolution)smoke screen or troll, is what I'm seeing here, thanks Meta maybe for showing me a conspiracy.
Now to see what they want me to buy, eat & watch (I am already) on Tv.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:40 PM on June 27, 2002


Our drug laws are so ass-backward anyway...

It's okay to oppress high schoolers because they have no real voice...

The whole "war on drugs" is a giant crock of shit... but no one in politics is willing to step up and say "Hey, maybe we shouldn't outlaw people's uses of things that grow naturally and are less dangerous than some legal recreational substances." ...

...What a downer. Just the latest decision in a series of fearmongering and demonization of drugs. At least 4 justices voted against it. Maybe someday.
posted by nath at 1:52 PM on June 27, 2002


Ty Webb, I'd have to say that I definitely agree with you on your last comment.

Drug testing really only finds the pot users among the general population. As I said in the FPP, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and alcohol all wash right out of the system.

Since marijuana is generally considered to be fairly harmless (and not physicall addictive), then what is the true intention behind such testing? It's not really in the interest of health... it's in the interest of conformity.

For the same reason employers like to drug screen applicants and current employees, high schools want to make sure that their students will follow every little law they lay down, no matter how little sense it makes or how much harm it could possibly do.

Preventing kids from using marijuana by giving them drug tests will ultimately make them turn to other drugs for experimentation. There's an unbreakable will within the human spirit to alter one's consciousness (according to a professor of mine), and therefore people will do whatever it takes to get there. If one relatively safe and easy-to-detect drug is taken out of the running, you will substitute ten others which are unsafe and difficult to distill from a cup full of urine.
posted by Hammerikaner at 1:54 PM on June 27, 2002


Who is paying for all of these expensive drug tests? There goes my school tax bill again.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:58 PM on June 27, 2002


See, if they wanted to stop drug use, they'd figure out a way to test for the most-abused drug of all, which has led to teen deaths. You all know, of course, I'm talking about alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol is more efficiently metabolized by the body by any of the other drugs.

However, at my school, the math team, computer team, and college bowl team didn't have a drug problem, even alcohol. What we =did= have was an Ultimate Frisbee problem; I wish the discs had been confiscated. I got hit in the head by those damn things too often.
posted by meep at 1:58 PM on June 27, 2002


Frisbees: scourge of the nerd.
posted by Hammerikaner at 1:59 PM on June 27, 2002


big sighs and ironic slogan meta-references are my anti-drug.

(sigh.)
posted by n9 at 2:05 PM on June 27, 2002


btw: if I were in high school right now and my school had this policy you better believe I'd start tracking down acid and mushrooms. That's just the way kids are. Having taken these drugs a mess of times in my life I have to say that I'm pretty glad I didn't get into them during high school -- but this is all but insuring that kids will more often now.
posted by n9 at 2:08 PM on June 27, 2002


Its time we just admit that schools are being converted into prisons for the mind and body. Have you seen a modern minimum security prison these days? They look just like new school buildings. I see no difference.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:20 PM on June 27, 2002


All this talk of marijuana, ecstasy, mushrooms, alcohol and LSD is fine and good, but will the school drug tests be able to detect if the students have been abusing nutmeg? Perhaps testing the students in the Future Homemakers of America isn't such an off-the-wall idea.
(found on fark)
posted by rks404 at 2:32 PM on June 27, 2002


Preventing kids from using marijuana by giving them drug tests will ultimately make them turn to other drugs for experimentation.

Maybe, maybe not. If left as is, perhaps. But there is something that keeps a certain percentage of kids, of all people, from choosing to do drugs, or even drink alcohol. Instead of bashing kids over the head with the "Just Say No" rhetoric of the last twenty years, why not try to find out what it is that makes the abstainer eschew the unacceptable behaviours, something more concrete, more meaningful than the easy but ultimately empty "My Anti-Drug" sloganeering? Why not figure it out and see if it's replicable?

There's an unbreakable will within the human spirit to alter one's consciousness (according to a professor of mine), and therefore people will do whatever it takes to get there.

Interesting. So those who have no desire to drink/drug are lacking will or lacking human spirit? Clearly they're lacking... something, yes?
posted by Dreama at 2:46 PM on June 27, 2002


I would say that it's a human drive to experience things outside of their everyday existence. For some, I would call this a desire to alter consciousness. Some people do that by going rock climbing to get a rush. Or getting into race car driving. Or bunjee jumping. Some do yoga or meditate to get themselves into an altered state. Others choose to use a more direct and decidedly more "chemical" way to get the job done. Many people have no desire to change the way they perceive the world. These people don't want to get high--whether by real-world or pyshiochemical means. There's nothing lacking in them, nor are they lacking human spirit. But to say that drug users somehow are out of control or dangerous is just as much an attack on character and one's humanity, if not more so.
posted by Hammerikaner at 2:57 PM on June 27, 2002


But there is something that keeps a certain percentage of kids, of all people, from choosing to do drugs, or even drink alcohol.

Education (the real thing, not endless sloganeering) and respect go a long way, in my experience.

There's nothing lacking in them, nor are they lacking human spirit.

Nor do we all "have no desire to change the way they perceive the world." We simply choose other, arguably superior, methods for doing so. Please don't undercut your point with unwarranted generalizations.
posted by rushmc at 3:05 PM on June 27, 2002


I would certainly hope that you have no children to not care what them and their friends are doing, or you are a large part of the problem.

Umm...so if my kid smokes pot, the terrorists have already won?

Seriously, where do you get off being that self-righteous? And just as a brief aside...it's "they and their friends...see, I can be self-righteous too.

Now that we've gotten the absurdity out of the way, let's get down to your core argument, which, as I understand it...is that the government has a right to to raise our children for us, according to rules and morals they set, even if our morals are different.

Because, frankly, I don't buy into the drug war. I think it's absurd. I think it's an excuse for a police state, I think it's a reason for insanely high taxes to imprison pot smokers, I think it leads to groupthink and totalitarianism. Personally, I think all drugs should be legal...taxed out the wazooo...and sold like booze and ciggies to people old enough to vote and go to war.

Do I want my teenager smoking pot, no...of course not. But would I rather have a real relationship with them, such that they can come to me and talk about drugs? Absolutely.

Pot doesn't kill people....and I'm not going to let my kid grow up thinking that pot and heroin are the same level of drugs. If you equate all of them into one big scary bugaboo of "drugs", then you end up with kids like the Plano kids who were snorting horse like there was no tomorrow...and for a lot of those kids, there wasn't.

Keep in mind that pot was legal until Dupont created a fiber that competed with hemp...and Dupont used their influence and money to demonize the weed. Think of this, between 1965 and 1998, there were more than 11 million pot arrests...yeah, a naturally occurring plant is worth making felons out of 11 million Americans.

So, feel free to moralize and ride off on your Prohibition horse, but don't you DARE tell the rest of us that we don't have the right to have kids. You don't have the moral authority, the knowledge, or the research to back you up.
posted by dejah420 at 3:29 PM on June 27, 2002


(Warning: Generalization ahead.) I think that a large part of society consciously or unconsciously perceives drug use as a sign of moral deficiency. So, naturally, what makes sense to them won't make any sense to us. Us being people who have no problem with recreational drug use.
posted by zerolucid at 3:50 PM on June 27, 2002


The court is saying that minors have less of a right to privacy, particularly if you represent the school in some kind of competitive activity.

Shouldn't minors have more of a right to privacy? Isn't drug testing, if done at all - which I have a serious problem with - something that the parents should decide? Teens can't even vote for christsakes.

If I had high school age children, I would be mortified that the Federal government is trying to "parent" them in such an obtrusive way.
posted by birgitte at 3:55 PM on June 27, 2002


I didn't see anything about it, but what's going to be the procedure for parents like me who won't consent to a test on the kids without a warrant? I didn't see any checkbox on the school registration forms saying "I hereby opt my child out of any and all civil rights," and if there were, I wouldn't go along with the gag.
posted by majick at 4:10 PM on June 27, 2002


i think there is a serious problem that you are required by law to go to school and then they force you to take drug tests while there. i can see where someday you will just get a knock at the door to find a policeman with a little cup in hand...

this is really an invasion of privacy.

we don't need to be discouraging kids from participating in extra activites at school, it keeps them from being bored... which can lead to EVIL things.
posted by ggggarret at 4:18 PM on June 27, 2002


Dupont created a fiber that competed with hemp...and Dupont used their influence and money to demonize the weed. Think of this, between 1965 and 1998, there were more than 11 million pot arrests...yeah

dejah, I thought the "pot stamp of 1936", as prohibition was nixed, it was a, hey why aren't the poor now buying our alcohol legally, call it racism imho.
Because during prohibition they smoked the funny cigarettes, as they were known. And I agree alcohol is much more dangerous. Yes we can argue either way, but serious, get high and drive, yea who wants to. So it was my opinion, money, more trolls. Now quit bogarting it and pass it here.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:21 PM on June 27, 2002


a naturally occurring plant

I agree with your sentiment, dejah420, but is "naturally occurring" really a key factor here? Toadstools are naturally occurring, and quite poisonous.

I think that a large part of society consciously or unconsciously perceives drug use as a sign of moral deficiency.

While I don't think drug use necessarily indicates moral deficiency (although in many cases, intellectual deficiency, quite likely), I think there is a very strong case to make that drug abuse is at least highly correlated with same. But that is probably outside the scope of this particular thread.
posted by rushmc at 4:22 PM on June 27, 2002


P.S. LSD was legal when I was born.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:23 PM on June 27, 2002


mathowie on a roll!
the fbi/cia/whoever have opened a file on this thread, we are all marked i tell you. or maybe i'm just paranoid. maybe i should kick that 'reading the newspaper' habit which leaves me empty, always seeking more news, more opinions, outlooks, details, never satisfied reading paper after paper, leaving me with blackened finger-tips, smudged face, red eyes, hunched over pawing at the text.
crack sounds like a cheap alternative.
i suppose the point is that the habit/addiction line is a fairly squiggly one, obsessive behaviour in whatever form can be damaging, or the sign of genius, or nothing to worry about.
that went on a bit, anyhoo....

the subject of this discussion reminded me of the The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC);
'You have the right to privacy - like keeping a diary that other people shouldn't read.'
'You have the right to say what you think, and to have your opinion taken seriously, especially if it's about something that affects you - like your school, family decisions or a court case that involves you.'

after further reading i discover;

'The UNCRC is the most widely ratified international convention. It was adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989 and it has been ratified by 191 countries. Only Somalia and the United States have not ratified the convention. Somalia lacks the state structures to do so, while the US argues that the UNCRC's provisions are covered by existing domestic legislation.'
posted by asok at 5:27 PM on June 27, 2002


i've said it before and i'll say it again: if kids had decent harm reduction education (and not just about drugs) instead of completely laughable abstention education, i think just about everyone would be better off. teach kids the real implications of drugs and they won't write you off. but if you keep telling them that pot is horrible, that no drugs can be used without being abused, and they keep seeing evidence to the contrary in their everyday lives, everything you taught them about drugs, accurate or otherwise, goes right out the window. kids feel lied to and don't trust a bit of the bullshit that is thrown at them in the name of drug prevention.

this should be true of all drugs, too. if the schools could stop demonizing marijuana for even half a second, maybe they could get the message across that coke and heroin are very different than pot, by orders of magnitude. maybe they could teach kids a few of the very real risks of ecstasy while also telling them how to avoid some of those risks (only very occasional use, pill testing, etc) so that kids at least know what they're doing when they make a choice.

the problem with drug education is currently believability. i don't know a single person who bought into the crap they taught us in school. way, way too much of what they taught was simply factually untrue. fix that, and maybe win some trust, and i guarantee there will be a decrease in drug abuse. maybe not drug use, but i would say that such a decrease would be worth the dangers of experimentation, if the kids are well-educated.

of course, this ruling makes it even less likely that kids can trust anyone at school, much less their health teachers, which is a tragedy unto itself.
posted by pikachulolita at 6:05 PM on June 27, 2002


While I don't think drug use necessarily indicates moral deficiency (although in many cases, intellectual deficiency, quite likely),

And where are you getting this from? Recreational drug use is mostly done by stupid or ignorant people? Please, spare us your insults. Be mindful of the fact that alcohol and tobacco are in that same category.

Nor do we all "have no desire to change the way they perceive the world." We simply choose other, arguably superior, methods for doing so. Please don't undercut your point with unwarranted generalizations.

That's a generalization too. Those who enjoy drugs (legal or illegal) can also have the same, lower, or higher level of rational faculties as the abstainer. A few hours of being high doesn't turn you in a mindless zombie and never doing drugs doesn't turn you into a uber-logical Vulcan.

Perhaps you're playing the hippie stereotype card? Unless you're willing to defend your statements with lots of proof, then you're speaking in anti-drug straight-edge non-sequiturs as far as I'm concerned. You're not even talking about chronic users or abusers just about users in general.
posted by skallas at 6:08 PM on June 27, 2002


Be mindful of the fact that alcohol and tobacco are in that same category.

I'm well aware of that.
posted by rushmc at 6:47 PM on June 27, 2002


Is there random drug testing of Politicians in the US?
posted by Neale at 7:09 PM on June 27, 2002


I disagree with this decision and with the school's drug-testing policy. But Breyer agreed with it, and I usually tend to like his way of reasoning. I read the comments before the article, and was surprised to see several points haven't even been discussed.

The majority decision claimed that privacy was not violated because a) the results were not turned over to law enforcement and b) the student could test positive twice and still participate. Breyer felt that it was not an unreasonable search, since students could avoid it by choosing not to participate in the activities.

The Court's job is still, primarily, to decide on the constitutionality. As much as I dislike him, Thomas makes the relevant point when he says: "In upholding the constitutionality of the policy, we express no opinion as to its wisdom."
posted by oddovid at 5:33 AM on June 28, 2002


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