Breaking News:Dangerous Delays: What Washington State (Re)Teaches Us About Cash and Cannabis Store Robberies [REPORT]

Pee For Recreation, Not For Education

Posted in:
ONDCP's abhorrent traveling drug testing show made its first stop of the year in Charleston, SC this week. As usual, the push to implement student drug testing in schools around the country was met with serious opposition from drug policy reformers.

Still, no matter how logical and scientific our arguments may be, there are always those who fail to recognize what's at stake. From The Charleston Post and Courier:

Senior Antwan Edwards plays four sports at North Charleston High and is captain of the football and wrestling teams. Random testing would be a good way to keep some students from using drugs, he said.

It also would prepare students for life after high school by starting those tests now, he said.

If life after high school means having your urine collected by agents of the state and inspected for molecular evidence of unapproved conduct, who wants to grow up? The idea of drug testing as a form of socialization reeks of dystopian fascism. But you can't blame Antwan Edwards, who was probably off giving urine samples when the 4th Amendment was being taught.

"If you don't have anything to hide, why not take the test?" he said.

Oh, there are so many answers to this question. In Antwan Edwards' case, I'd worry that a false positive drug test could be exactly what it takes to ruin his otherwise promising future. And there are plenty of easy ways to get a false positive. They don't happen a lot, but when they do, no one believes you except your mom.

Some students don't care about their privacy, or having newer books instead of urine collection programs, or being presumed innocent, or the fact that their peers may switch to more-dangerous less-detectible drugs, or the evidence that these programs don't work.

Sadly, some students don’t care about these things. But they should care about false positives. They should be terrified. The companies that manufacture these tests claim that there are no false positives, so imagine trying to convince them that there's been a mistake.

If you don't have anything to gain, why take the test?

United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School