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  Divided High Court Weighs Random Student Drug Test
Posted by FoM on March 19, 2002 at 21:15:24 PT
By Charles Lane, Washington Post Staff Writer 
Source: Washington Post 

drug_testing A sharply divided Supreme Court appeared yesterday to lean toward approving mandatory random drug testing for public school students who take part in certain extracurricular activities, as the justices heard arguments in a case that pits a student's privacy concerns against a school system's tough anti-drug policy.

The case, which began in a rural Oklahoma school district, has attracted attention because it may clarify the rules on drug testing for 14,700 public school systems nationwide -- with potential consequences both for schools' anti-drug efforts and for students who hope to list extracurricular activities on college applications.

Federal funding is available for public school drug-testing, which is popular among parents. But so far the Supreme Court has specifically approved of testing only in the context of athletics -- holding in 1995 by a 6 to 3 vote that student athletes may be required to submit to random tests because of the safety risks of engaging in sports while on drugs and the already lessened privacy of locker rooms.

The issue yesterday was whether the logic of that ruling, which was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, could be extended to such other competitive extracurricular activities as clubs or bands.

School authorities in Tecumseh, Okla., announced such a new drug-testing policy in 1998. Under the policy, students who refuse to take the test, or test positive more than twice, may be barred from extracurricular activities for the rest of the school year, but do not face prosecution or expulsion.

For the most part, the same justices who voted in the majority in the 1995 case seemed willing to apply it to this one.

Graham Boyd, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Lindsey Earls, a former Tecumseh high school choir member who sued in federal court after she was made to provide a urine specimen to teachers, told the court that the school had no "individualized suspicion" that she was using drugs.

At that point, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who voted in the majority in 1995, noted that schools plagued by guns have employed metal detectors. "There's no individualized suspicion there," he said.

Breyer likened drug tests designed to stop drug abuse to "throat swabs" a school might use to test for contagious disease.

Later, Boyd remarked that it made sense for the court to permit drug testing for football and other potentially dangerous sports, whereas "here, you've got choir." Scalia took him to task for seeming to minimize the threat.

"Do you think life and death are not involved in the fight against drugs?" he asked. Scalia emphasized to Boyd that students are minors, and schools therefore have special latitude in limiting students' freedom for their own benefit.

Of those justices who voted for drug testing in 1995, only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg postulated a distinction between this case and that one.

Ginsburg, who wrote a short separate opinion in 1995 indicating that she voted with the majority on the understanding that the ruling was limited to athletics, noted that, while athletes are subject to testing right up to the Olympic level, "everyday people are not."

Justice David H. Souter, a dissenter in 1995, voiced concern that the school system's arguments about the need to test students in extracurricular activities could easily "apply to every child in every school in the United States."

He pressed a lawyer for the Tecumseh school authorities about the fact that the school system itself had documented only a minor drug problem in reports to the federal government -- and had only turned up three positive results.

"Your evidentiary problem is that up to the eve of the policy, the reports are saying everything is fine," Souter told attorney Linda Maria Meoli.

Meoli replied that there were so few positive tests in part because the testing was interrupted by Earls' lawsuit.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy caused a murmur in the courtroom when he posed a hypothetical case in which a school system maintained one school with drug testing and another without.

A decision in the case, Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, is likely by July.

Source: Washington Post (DC)
Author: Charles Lane, Washington Post Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2002; Page A11
Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company
Contact: letterstoed@washpost.com
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com

Related Articles & Web Site:

ACLU
http://www.aclu.org/

Supreme Court Seems Ready to Extend Testing
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread12293.shtml

Drug Testing Policy Debated Before Court
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread12289.shtml

High Court Reviews Student Drug Tests
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread12288.shtml


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Comment #14 posted by Jose Melendez on March 22, 2002 at 04:32:26 PT:

It's the hypocrisy, stupid
"Do you think life and death are not involved in the fight against drugs?"

Actually, they are not. If drug warriors were concerned about life they would not fight so hard to keep tobacco cigarettes and alcohol off the controlled substances act. They would recognize that over 6 million Americans die every ten years from legal drugs. They would prohibit drug and beer companies from funding "anti-drug" programs that stifle competition from safer alternatives for those legal drugs...

They would apply the RICO act and SEC rules to the drug war, which is supported most strongly by politicians who receive their very largest campaign contributions from companies that produce and promote poisonous, addictive substances.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #13 posted by qqqq on March 21, 2002 at 18:23:37 PT
...ya know...
...it's too bad that its not a shit test.....I bet there would be alot less popularity and scrutiny for a shit test!... and..it would not be so easy to try and cheat on a shit test,,,you would have to bring some "clean" shit,in some Tupperware or something,,..you'd have to hassle with sneaking it from you little brother,,or maybe a discreet friend who never gets stoned.....I would imagine that alot of the simpleton cheaters would find out early on that dogshit doesnt work.......Obtaining "clean" pee,and carrying out a successful fakeout would be hassle enough,,,but gettin' "clean" shit,and trying to fake a pinched loaf for a closely supervised test,,now that would be quite a challenge

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Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on March 21, 2002 at 17:38:56 PT:

Give them what they want
...just not the way they want it.

They want a sample? Pour it on the floor, and tell them to help themselves. They want to watch? Turn around while peeing and land some on their shoes or pants while asking "Can you see better, now?"

(The actor Tom Selleck got so sick of people bothering him for autographs while he was in The John, he deliberately did just that to an autograph seeker. The word got around fast. Needless to say, nobody bothers Tom Selleck in the sh*thouse, anymore...)

Humiliate them by asking if they get their jollies watching you relieve yourself. Ask them if they are having fun. Don't make it easy for them, make them wish they were elsewhere.

Or, even better yet, 'out' potential pervs by asking if they want to 'lead by example'. If they respond, then run out screaming.

The Supremes have once again demonstrated that they are naught but political whores. Fancy dress and title, but whores, nonetheless. Now it seems some are closet pervs, too. And these are the final arbiters of what's legal (a.k.a. 'moral') in society?

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Comment #11 posted by dddd on March 21, 2002 at 00:33:04 PT
...Lehder
...I am glad that you reconsidered your #8 outlook,,with the excellent observations of #10...
..I really like;;;.."Pee test them all. Pee test people when they renew their driver's licenses, when they rent an apartment, when they enter a public building, when they attend the theatre, when they attend a public event, when they give birth and when they are born. Let's have body cavity searches in the store checkout lines and force high school kids to submit to polygraph testing too. The more oppressive the drug war becomes the sooner we'll be shed of it."..
..well said!....... ..yes!...and why not?..if it is fair,and somehow constitutionally acceptable to allow the Supreme Court to make certain peculiar exceptions to the Fourth Amendment,,then where will it end?...Who ,,how and where will we draw the line on the courts power to adjust the Constitution????

...."We the Sheeple",,,or;.."We the People",,can now be labeled as a terrorist slogan and/or organization.....The Boston Tea Party,,,,well,they now think that early Al-Quieda terrorists were involved,,,,.and,,,even more astonishing; is reports that claim that the taliban had been teaching Muslim children that the Islamic religion teaches that Allah was the one who first said;"No taxation without representation"......baffling. .....dddd

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Comment #10 posted by Lehder on March 20, 2002 at 23:44:28 PT
contempt of court
My comment was insensitive toward the industrious and insulted young woman who brings this case to the so-called court. She seeks only to pursue her interests and school-approved social activities and to be treated with respect. Yet, still a child, she was confronted by three enormous and corrupt monsters - the US school, the Supreme Court, and the War on Drugs. All converged one day as two teachers stood outside a toilet stall listening intently as the poor girl was forced to pee. Did they peer through the cracks? Did they comment on her progress as she sat nervously, skirt down and cup in hand? Did they tell her to hurry? Did they talk about her absently, as if she were not there at all? Oh, I'm sure they made her feel very comfortable. No matter what was said or not said, no matter how it was done, an innocent young girl was bullied. It all reminds me of how Renee Boje was strip searced fifteen times by uniformed bullies making lewd comments.

How many kids in her school are losing sleep tonight because they feel powerless against the humiliations that they fear they may face tomorrow? Personally, I always piss in private. No standing shoulder to shoulder at the urinals - or worse, at the trough - joking and farting with the boys from the bull pen for me, thank you. I pee in a stall, too, alone, and that's how I always go. It's the only way for me. I can imagine my sheer terror and my pure burning hatred for the teachers were I, many years ago in high school before I'd ever heard of cannabis, forced to urinate under such preposterous circumstances.

So my heart goes out to the young lady, and I very much hope she can win this case for herself and the millions of others, and I'd love to see all three monsters have their noses rubbed in a puddle on that bathroom floor.

Yet, asked to decide if students should be pee tested as a prerequisite for extracurricular programs, the Supreme Court justices discuss the case as if they were deciding whether only students in those programs should be tested, or should all students be tested, nationwide. Should only those votes for George Bush be counted, or should none of the votes be counted? Well, it really doesn't matter does it.

Pee test them all. Pee test people when they renew their driver's licenses, when they rent an apartment, when they enter a public building, when they attend the theatre, when they attend a public event, when they give birth and when they are born. Let's have body cavity searches in the store checkout lines and force high school kids to submit to polygraph testing too. The more oppressive the drug war becomes the sooner we'll be shed of it.

The drug warriors have no facts to support their position; the scientific articles contradict them, the experiences of millions of drug users defy their arguments. They have nothing but brute force to bolster their false claims, and they humiliate and bully people as the only proof to themselves they can find. In the face of reality they must provide this proof to themselves over and over.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by qqqq on March 20, 2002 at 22:40:23 PT
...pretending to disagree...?
..."A sharply divided Supreme Court appeared yesterday to lean toward approving mandatory random drug testing for public school students who take part in certain extracurricular activities...yada,,yada,,,,"....
...yea..."sharply divided".....how convienient to have a "close call" on this one......yup,,,'...could have gone either way...'...
......another charade,,,,,another complex replica of equal and just democracy,,where all are represented.....
.. the government is like a massive Enron scheme......no one knows how badly the are being burned...no one really understands the accounting,,,


[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by Lehder on March 20, 2002 at 19:40:25 PT
this works two ways
In a lot of US schools the math teachers are hired because they have a degree in basketball, the English teachers because they've spent their lives throwing footballs, and the biology teachers know mostly all about bowling and golf. By discouraging kids from participating in these extracurricular diversions from education, the staff will be taking pay cuts and forced into attending to their areas of incompetence. It's too much to hope for now that drug testing would compel public schools to hire teachers familiar with substantial disciplines, but until then the kids will do better by giving the finger to drug tests and studying math on their own. I don't care how the court rules on this one.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by monvor on March 20, 2002 at 16:03:02 PT
Scalia
Judge Scalia also pointed out that it would be constitutional to test ALL students. At random or otherwise. For that matter why not test all people at random. Or just test all people. Or why not have random searches peoples' houses and appartments. Or just search all houses. It just the constitution, what is a peice of paper worth anyway. Really.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by Jose Melendez on March 20, 2002 at 05:33:25 PT:

suppression of TRUTH is FRAUD
From:
http://reason.com/0204/fe.cs.asthma.shtml
Just before the beginning of this school year, the Bristol Township School Board in Pennsylvania decided that students with asthma must keep their emergency inhalers in the school office, rather than on hand.

On September 7, the board received a letter from Nancy Sander, executive director of the Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA), a national asthma support and education group based in Fairfax, Virginia. Sander?s letter neatly encapsulated the all-too-common frustration of parents when their doctor?s advice about how to care for an asthmatic child encounters a school with an entrenched hall-monitor mentality. The letter read, in part:

"The decision to accommodate and facilitate a child?s needs with asthma is far easier than pretending their needs do not exist or that restricting student access to medications is for the safety of all students. To do so places your students with asthma at greater risk of death or missed school days, their classmates at risk of witnessing their death, and your school board at risk of lawsuits....

"If a student placed a plastic bag over a teacher?s head for a brief moment, the student would be charged with assault. But a school board voting to restrict a child?s access to his life-saving asthma medication is no less guilty of a crime. Is Bristol Township School Board really ready to accept responsibility for violating a child?s right to breathe? Are you prepared to breach the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act?"

Three days later, the school board held a hearing and reversed its original decision. Students in Bristol Township are now allowed to retain control of their asthma inhalers.

Note: Marijuana smoke contains caryophyllene oxide, a sesquiterpene that is naturally converted by the body ito steroids. Caryophyllene oxide is also present in the scent of roses, giving powerful meaning to the age-old saying that in life, it is important to stop and smell the roses. Asthma inhalers often contain steroids.

From:
http://www.people.vcu.edu/~asneden/terpenes.htm

Triterpenes contain 30 carbons, derived essentially from coupling of two sesquiterpene precursors. Many of these compounds occur in plants as glycosides, often called saponins (molecules made up of sugars linked to steroids or tripterpenes) due to their ability to make aqueous solutions appear foamy. Arbruside E, for example, comes from a plant called Arbrus precatorius (jequerity) which has been used as an abortifacient and purgative. Arbruside E, however, appears to be relatively non-toxic, and is 30-100 times sweeter than sucrose, making it a potential sugar substitute. Triterpenes of the quassinoid class, such as bruceantin, have been shown to have significant antineoplastic activity in animal systems and have been investigated for the treatment of cancers.

Steroids are modified triterpenes. They are probably most familiar from their role as hormones, i.e., androgens such as testosterone and estrogens such as progesterone. Steroids, such as cortisone, are most often used as anti-inflammatory agents, but many have other uses such as in birth control pills. Prior to 1943, most steroids were obtained from natural sources. For example, progesterone could only be isolated in quantities of 20 mg from 625 kg of pig ovaries. The large numbers of commercially and medicinally valuable steroids available today have been made possible by the semi-synthetic preparation of progesterone from diosgenin.

This process, known as the Marker process, was developed in the early 1940?s by Russell Marker, a rather colorful character, who left his position of professor of chemistry at Penn State to pursue this project in Mexico. Marker collected Mexican yams in bandit country, processed the yams to isolate the diosgenin, and then converted the diosgenin into ca. 3 kg of pure progesterone at a cost of $8 per gram. He and a Mexican pharmacist then formed a company which later became the major pharmaceutical company, Syntex.

See also:
http://vinsonlab.tamu.edu/howard/williams.htm


[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by potpal on March 20, 2002 at 04:51:11 PT
Pisssssed on...
As a form of protest, students simply ought to 'miss' the vial and pee on the floor...;-) Oops.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by i420 on March 20, 2002 at 04:35:17 PT
This is it..
we shall soon see if the United States Constitution is worth the hemp paper it's printed on. I guess by their leaning in favor of testing we might as well get ready to burn our flags.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by Jose Melendez on March 20, 2002 at 04:13:40 PT:

link
comment # 2 link:

http://www.lp.org/lpn/9801-talking.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by Jose Melendez on March 20, 2002 at 04:12:40 PT:

Arrest Prohibition
from:
"Under Hitler's dictatorship, the Nazis conducted one of the world's most vigilant anti-smoking campaigns. They imposed severe restrictions on smoking in public places and banned pregnant women from lighting up as part of their quest for racial purity. A British medical journal quoted Adolf Hitler as saying his Nazi Party would never have ascended to power if he had not given up smoking."

-- William Drozdiak, The Washington Post, December 6, 1997

The myth of crack babies

[Here is] the central fact about the Reagan/Bush "war on crack": From the start it was built entirely on lies, both about crack and the people who used it.

Crack In America, a collection of papers by 20 broadly experienced researchers and scholars in the field (research pharmacologists, sociologists, criminal justice experts) is important because it exhaustively and authoritatively lays out the ways in which Republican administrations and a gullible, sensation-seeking media created and sustained a phony drug war.

Consider the drug war's most powerful and shamelessly deceptive myth: crack babies. We've all read accounts like Reader's Digest's of "tiny addicts" who are "poisoned in the womb," and then faced, at birth, a "world of nightmarish withdrawal." The big media repeatedly quoted a Department of Health & Human Services study that predicted 100,000 crack-disabled babies every year during the '90s, at an annual cost of $20 billion.

But as Morgan and Zimmer write, "the 'crack baby' on which drug policy is increasingly based does not exist."

Dr. Ira Chasnoff, whose 1985 study in the New England Journal of Medicine kicked off the crack-baby craze, has effectively recanted. Chasnoff had to admit after three more years of studying the infants that a large majority turned out quite normal, with absolutely no detectable behavioral or learning disabilities. A Canadian meta-analysis of the 20 most reliable studies on drug use during pregnancy found that if a broad range of drugs, including alcohol, is considered, crack as an outstanding factor in birth problems disappears completely.

The best evidence indicates that "crack babies" are simply poverty babies, whose enfeebled condition is the predictable result of poor nutrition, bad or no prenatal care, hopelessness, despair, and physical abuse.

-- John DeVault, Review of Crack In America: Demon Drug and Social Justice The Washington City Paper, October 3, 1997



[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by Dan B on March 20, 2002 at 00:49:25 PT:

Concentration Camps
One sure fire way to keep civil libertarians out of college is to force them to comply with policies that attack their liberties while they are in high school. Yes, many high school students are already firmly on the side of civil liberties.

One of Scalia's arguments is that "students are minors, and schools therefore have special latitude in limiting students' freedom for their own benefit." Well, what about the 18-year-old high school senior (the vast majority of high school students will turn 18 before or during their senior years). I guess they fit into the adult population, for whom Scalia supports even more diabolical punishments and restrictions on freedom "for their own benefit."

I would write more, but seeing the handwriting on the wall is making me so angry that I am afraid I might spew forth great strings of obscenities and profanities--so I'll withold any further comments until such a time as I can get my verbal diarrhea in check.

Dan B

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