Newsbrief: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bill Barring High School Drug Testing 9/24/04

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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Saturday vetoed a bill that would have prevented school districts in the state from conducting random drug tests of students. The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Vasconcellos (D), had garnered not only bipartisan support in the legislature, but was also backed by the state Parent Teachers Association.

The bill was a direct response to efforts by drug czar John Walters and President Bush to expand the use of student drug testing as part of their war on drugs. It would have barred drug testing of any student unless there was a reasonable suspicion the student was using illegal drugs or alcohol "in the school environment" (

In his veto message, Schwarzenegger called the measure "unnecessary," saying "specific drug testing policies in schools are local issues." Under current law, Schwarzenegger noted, local officials can create a drug testing program if they feel it necessary. "I cannot support legislation that eliminates the ability of local school districts to make decisions based on the needs and values of their community. For these reasons, I cannot sign the bill," he concluded.

The veto didn't set well with Students for Sensible Drug Policy ( "Governor Schwarzenegger's veto is a major setback for students' rights and the legislative efforts to protect them," said SSDP executive director Scarlett Swerdlow. "Students have been long collateral damage in the drug war, but Schwarzenegger seems to want to make a predator out of every high school principal. Forcing drug tests on students only drives a wedge between them and the teachers they rely on for good drug education."

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Issue #355, 9/24/04 Editorial: The Moral Choice is Clear | With New Sentencing Legislation Pending in Congress, Church Leaders Urge an End to Mandatory Minimums | Patients, Doctors, Supporters Head to Washington to Demand Rescheduling of Marijuana as a Medicine | For Second Year, John W. Perry Fund Helps Students with Drug Convictions Afford College | DRCNet Interview: Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate | DRCNet Book Review: "Patients in The Crossfire: Casualties in The War On Medical Marijuana," by Americans For Safe Access | Action Alert: Still Time to Contact Judiciary Committee Members About HEA Drug Provision | Newsbrief: Schwarzenegger Signs Syringe Access Bill, Vetoes NEP Bill | Newsbrief: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bill Barring High School Drug Testing | Newsbrief: New Jersey Needle Exchange Bill on Fast Track, Passes First Hurdle | Newsbrief: Former Child Actor Macauley Culkin Busted for Drugs in All-Too-Typical Cave-In to Police Search Request | Newsbrief: Montel Williams Show Brings Medical Marijuana Issue to the Masses | Newsbrief: Bush Warns of Canada Drug Threat, Whistles Past Afghan Opium Fields | Newsbrief: Guatemala Seeks More Anti-Drug Money from United States | Newsbrief: Decades of Colombian Drug War Brings... New, More Efficient Drug Organizations | Newsbrief: Narc Hates Free Publicity | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: British Drug Policy Think Tank Says Government Abandoned Planned Heroin Maintenance Expansion | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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