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October 2003
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Drug Czar’s on a rampage – and I’m on the radio

I was interviewed today on Charlie Profit’s show on WXCT in Hartford, CT about drug testing in schools. It was a good interview, lasted about 20 minutes and I think I was able to get some good points across. I was contacted last minute for the interview because of this site — if anyone from that area heard the show, I’d love to get a report on it. I know they also had Darrell Rogers from SSDP, but don’t know how the rest of the show went.
A picture named pee.jpgThe reason for the interview was more of our Drug Czar’s meddling. Seems he talked to the Governors of the New England states and told them they should implement mandatory drug testing in all their schools. More on this story at Hit and Run and TalkLeft
Fortunately, school officials have been wary of Walters’ “demands” (several good quotes in the article), and from my experience on WXCT today, I think there’s likely to be a fair amount of resistance.
As I said on the show (and in comments at Eschaton), Walters is promoting something that:

  1. Doesn’t work (a federally funded University of Michigan study earlier this year surveyed 76,000 students in 891 schools around the country and found no statistical difference in drug use between those schools that tested and those that didn’t).
  2. Costs a lot. Like schools have a lot of extra money to throw around on something that doesn’t work.
  3. Targets the wrong students. Most court cases have limited random drug testing to those involved in extra-curricular activities, but studies show that students involved in these activities are less likely to use drugs (perhaps the schools should use the drug testing money to increase funding for band and chorus and chess club, etc.)
  4. Sends the wrong message in an educational setting: Being a free American means you pee in a cup at the government’s direction without any reason for suspicion.
  5. Insults the intelligence and savvy of kids. If an outside effort like this is imposed on them, they will find a way around it. What we need is honest discusssions and education about the actual dangers and true differences between different drugs.

Finally, the Drug Czar is simply a taxpayer funded lobbyist for the administration’s failed drug policies (as was McCaffrey under Clinton). As I’ve said before, he is the U.S. minister of drug policy disinformation (Charlie Profit liked that one!)
Walters meddles some more – Calls Canada a “blemish”
In a Reuters story today:

John Walters, the White House’s top drug policymaker, said on Thursday Canada was a blemish in an otherwise successful effort by the United States to cut back illegal drug production in the Western Hemisphere.
“It is the one place in the hemisphere where things are going the wrong way,” said Walters, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has been an outspoken critic of a proposed Canadian law to ease penalties on marijuana possession.
…Walters has previously warned that this law could force a clampdown at the U.S. border, potentially jeopardizing the valuable U.S.-Canadian trading relationship.

I would like to apologize to Canada for these remarks. You’re a sovereign country and don’t need to be bullied by some hack government lobbyist. Unfortunately, we are currently stuck with the “blemish” that is our drug czar.

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