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June 2004
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Shameful!

This story in the Miami Herald:

Two years after approving the use of drug-sniffing dogs, Broward County schools may have another narcotic-fighting weapon: an aerosol spray that detects residue on school desks or backpacks, similar to bomb-detection equipment used in airports.

Despite research that shows drug use is down among high school seniors since the early 1980s, school systems nationwide are becoming more aggressive at trying to curtail the problem. And the federal government is helping, with grants to more than 20 school systems that want to try the new spray.

If the Broward School Board approves the kits this fall, a principal could rub sticky paper on a locker or desk — or anything else that might have been touched by a drug user — and then spray it with a chemical to find traces of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed and Ecstasy.

The paper may display one of a rainbow of colors, depending on the illicit substance: reddish-brown for marijuana, purple for heroin, canary yellow for amphetamines.

Yes, the Federal government is helping. They’re so helpful in removing any possible self-esteem from young people.
“Stop. Pee in a cup. Get sniffed by a dog. Hold still while we test your jacket. Stay in home room while we search your locker. No extra-curricular activities wiithout supplying urine. It’s for your own good.”

“It just seems like another encroachment of the police state,” said Alan Schieb, a member of the Broward ACLU. “I would be really worried about false positives.”

Griffiths [a program executive for Mistral, which manufactures the kits] said that won’t happen.

“If Johnny rides a school bus and touches a seat of someone who has used drugs, that’s not going to show up,” Griffiths said. “We try to assure parents that if it’s accidental we aren’t going to catch it.”

Oh, well, that’s OK, then. It’ll catch residue on anything that a person touches, but not give false positives. Must be true, because the company that’s making millions selling these tests says so!

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