U.S. Drug Czar Urges Random Student Testing

U.S. Drug Czar Urges Random Student Testing
Posted by CN Staff on June 20, 2007 at 10:38:42 PT
By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer 
Philadelphia, PA -- The nation's drug czar came to Philadelphia yesterday to draw a link between teen violence and drug use - especially marijuana - and urged schools to embrace random student drug testing.Venturing to a city with one of America's highest murder rates, John P. Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said young substance abusers were more likely to engage in violence and to join gangs.
Walters timed his visit with the release of a three-page "special report" from his office that reinforced a correlation between drug use and violence. The report was based on studies conducted during the last decade."Early use of marijuana is an important warning sign, national data shows us, for later involvement with gangs as well as criminal self-destructive activities," Walters said at a news briefing.Walter said that children who smoke marijuana were four times more likely to join gangs, and that pot was second to alcohol as the most widely used substance in gang life. "Marijuana use is not harmless," he said. "We need to abandon that notion."Walter's emphasis on the dangers of pot-smoking drew an immediate rebuke from the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington advocacy group. Bruce Mirken, the organization's spokesman, said research showed that marijuana doesn't cause violence and aggression. "They're deliberately confusing a correlation with causation," he said, calling Walter's claims "shockingly misleading and dishonest."Walters conducted the briefing before an audience of youth advocates at the Lehigh Avenue offices of the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network. His announcement of the report touched off anticipation that the federal government would back his words with money."Most of the time when you see a new report, you also see a shift in some funding strategies," said Darryl Coates, the organization's executive director.But Walters offered little hope that more money would be forthcoming, saying that the federal government's emphasis was on law enforcement and that federal prosecutors could really focus only on adult drug offenders."Juveniles should be treated by state and local authorities, who are better able to provide alternatives," he said.But Walters encouraged schools to test students randomly for drugs, not as a punishment, but to force an intervention."I know it's controversial," he said, saying that more than 1,000 school districts had embraced drug testing since President Bush advocated the practice more than three years ago.Walter endorsed support for adult-supervised activities, especially after-school programs, during the time of day when youths are more likely to commit violent crimes. "With summer upon us, that's a particular challenge because you're going to have obviously more people out of school and needing proper guidance," he said. "Drug-use trends tend to spike during June, July and August, not coincidentally, because they are not under supervision of adults as they are during school year."Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)Author: Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff WriterPublished: June 20, 2007Copyright: 2007 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.Contact: Inquirer.Letters phillynews.comWebsite: Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #18 posted by afterburner on June 21, 2007 at 16:05:23 PT
Prevention, Not Incarceration
US NC: Column: Can We Stop the `Gathering Storm' of Violent Crime? -- 
America Needs Greater Focus on Prevention, Not on Incarceration, (Wed, 20 Jun 2007),
Charlotte Observer (NC)
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Comment #17 posted by rchandar on June 21, 2007 at 06:08:03 PT:
John Walters... an incredibly stupid man who shouldn't be the Drug Czar. Not that America should have a "drug czar" in the first place; it's an unbelievably stupid policy idea....all this will do is profile teenagers with already more than enough social and family problems, preferentially arrest kids before they have a chance to be part of society. I don't think Walters is serious about making this a legitimate arm of public social policy--it's a fragment designed to shore up support for the War on Drugs, "tough on crime" credibility, that kind of thing. Try to picture such a policy being serious--meaning, serious in that good-minded people could carry out a reasonable agenda of helping kids and their families. I guarantee that Czar Walters is neither serious about spending that kind of money, nor would he win the approval of Congress or the President in making such an idea law for all of us. To me, it doesn't sound like a War on Drugs. Sounds pretty much like a War on Black People, and that's condemnable in any shade of your imagination.--rchandar
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on June 20, 2007 at 21:57:35 PT
Oh, Those Canadians!
CN ON: PUB LTE: Give Seized Pot to Sick and Dying, Kingston Whig-Standard, (18 Jun 2007) SN: PUB LTE: Censorship: No Excuses, Regina Leader-Post, (20 Jun 2007)
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Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on June 20, 2007 at 20:33:52 PT
quick story
speaking of Afganistan - I read an article recently about the new govt over there. Remember when we bombed that wedding of 150 Afgan civilians? Our govt. tried to claim that there were terrorists. Do you know what actually happened?One of the warlords that was working with us wanted to get back at a rival family that he'd hated for years. He knew they'd all get together for the wedding, so he told the US that they were all terrorists. Apparently his word was good enough for us to kill them all.Think that's bad? Guess where our friendly warlord is today. He was granted a seat in the parliament of the new government. Even after this stunt, he continues to be our close ally and we've put him high up in the government, in charge of many people & operations. People are so gullible, they don't understand one simple fact. The people in charge of our armed forces in the Mideast are the SAME PEOPLE who are running the fed. govt here at home! The same people that bungle nearly everything they come into contact with. "Great job Brownie" Why would expect any better result 10000 miles away? It will be a miracle if Afganistan and Iraq are not screwed up for decades to come.
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Comment #14 posted by Sam Adams on June 20, 2007 at 20:22:17 PT
Great job Walters & fed govt.
Bulworth does the drug czar:  "We're going to keep college expensive so your kids can't go. We're going to give you poor people lousy schools so your kids can't read. We're definitely not going to give you any health care or detox beds. This isn't Europe, with no ghettos, what were you thinking?But, if you allow some lowly health aides to watch your pre-teen pull down her pants and pee, we'll give your local parasitic "anti-drug task force" people some more money. We'll make sure to pressure the drug gangs and ratchet up penalties until only totally bloodthirsty, violent men will sell drugs. We want them to get your money! So tell your kids to keep ducking those thug's bullets and I'll see you again next year!"
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on June 20, 2007 at 18:18:25 PT
Cannabis = Violence???
This coming from a federal government that did 9/11 and then invaded Afghanistan and Iraq? I tend not to believe anything that these fascist murderers say and anyone who does is terribly naive.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Bin Laden may have arranged family's US exit: FBI docs: Study Props Up Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory:"Purdue Simulation" of WTC raises more questions than it answers: Comes Out For '9/11 Press For Truth': CNN Spells It Out: 9/11 Truth Conference - June 22-24:
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Comment #12 posted by JohnO on June 20, 2007 at 16:36:16 PT:
When the pawns reach the king's row...
Walters has a history of being more alarmist than intellectual. He can only harm his goals by pursuing them to their logical conclusion. Forcing people into the shadows creates an ever growing subculture, these are people, with minds and ideas, they will eventually mature and gain a "collective" unanimity. Exactly the recipe for a third party power shift, I wonder how long this will take?When the republican staunch law and order ideology merged with the democrats inane knee jerk reactivity to whatever trend looks good at the moment, they opened the door to the exit of their intellectual base. These school kids may by a little thick, but they know a bad idea when they see it. 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 20, 2007 at 15:42:07 PT
Related Article from
Drug Czar: Drugs Tied To Youth Violence***Is "reefer madness" stalking Philadelphia? By Simone Weichselbaumsimone The Bush administration's drug czar came to North Philadelphia yesterday to cite a new government report that links teenage drug use - especially marijuana - with youth violence, not only here but nationwide.The report states in part, "Early use of marijuana - the most commonly used drug among teens - is a warning sign for later gang involvement."Complete Article:
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Comment #10 posted by Yanxor on June 20, 2007 at 15:06:38 PT
Could be worse
At least the Philadelphia Inquirer had some sort of responce from a non-government figure.I'm so sick of seeing these articles that only show what some new study funded by the government to show specific data, says.As a science major, I heard an anecdote from a professor once. He claimed that once his friend filed for funding from the government in order to do research on the positive health effects of cannabis. He was rejected. A week later, he sent in the same request, but changed only to name to claim that he was seeking to do research on the negative health effects of cannabis, and he was accepted. The government is only funding research that demonizes the plant. Any other research has to be supported by nonprofits in the field. What a shame. The government should fund research into finding out the truth, not more propoganda.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 20, 2007 at 14:51:22 PT
That's a good one.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 20, 2007 at 14:50:09 PT
Of course it is fine. I copied crack cocaine from the article and it should be cocaine and crack. I agree that your way of saying it is better then my way. I get so angry when they mix cannabis up with hard drugs that are so darn dangerous. They are not the same thing. Alcohol can kill but it is legal for adults. 
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Comment #7 posted by potpal on June 20, 2007 at 14:43:15 PT
President Bush advocated the practice more than three years ago...And we all know what a enlightened policy maker Mr. Bush is."Marijuana use is not harmless," he said. "We need to abandon that notion."Exactly, consider it abandoned. Marijuana is harmless. 
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Comment #6 posted by Dankhank on June 20, 2007 at 14:12:57 PT
right on, though, I'll edit your comment a bit if I may ...Cannabis is not like crack, meth, cocaine, heroin or Alcohol.Cannabis has never caused a death, all others cause many.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 20, 2007 at 13:39:23 PT
Just a Comment
Excerpt: The drug czar said marijuana use and drinking are "blind spots" in the public's attitudes toward illegal drug use. He said alcohol and marijuana are often regarded as "soft" drugs in comparison to others like heroin, crack cocaine and meth.My Comment: Marijuana is nothing like heroin, crack cocaine and meth. Those drugs can kill a person and marijuana has never caused a death by an overdose. That separates marijuana from the other illegal hard drugs. Prison for marijuana is worse then any possible side effects of using marijuana. I do not understand the inability to use common sense when this issue is addressed.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 20, 2007 at 13:33:52 PT
Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence
Youth Being Introduced To Drug At Younger Age June 20, 2007WASHINGTON -- A new White House report out Wednesday has mixed news on drug use among teens.While fewer teens are using illegal drugs, it said even marijuana use can lead young people down a path toward violence, delinquency and gang involvement.John Walters, the director of National Drug Control Policy, said marijuana use increases the risk a child will become involved in gang activity fourfold. He also said the age at which children are first introduced to the drug is getting younger, sometimes as early as 11 years old.The drug czar said marijuana use and drinking are "blind spots" in the public's attitudes toward illegal drug use. He said alcohol and marijuana are often regarded as "soft" drugs in comparison to others like heroin, crack cocaine and meth.He said that's a mistake, because young people are "at a stage where they are trying to deal with the feelings of adults versus the feelings and impulses of children." When drugs impair judgment, he said, the result is erratic and out of control behavior."It is time ó in fact, it is past time ó for us to let go of '60s-era perceptions about marijuana," Walters said. "Today's research shows what too many families and communities have had to learn through painful experience: Drug use by teenagers isn't a 'lifestyle choice' or an act of 'personal expression;' it is a public health, and, increasingly, a public safety dilemma."The report also shows that parents remain the most powerful influence on their kids when it comes to illicit drugs. The majority of teens said the main reason they don't use drugs is fear of upsetting their parents or losing their respect. Distributed by Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Comment #3 posted by NikoKun on June 20, 2007 at 13:27:01 PT
Nothing but an invasion of privacy...
Random Drug tests on students are nothing more than an invasion of privacy and against our constitutional rights.The same goes for all drug tests in my mind. The only reasonable use is for athletes... that is it.
What someone does in their personal life is there business, as long as it doesn't effect things outside that personal life.
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Comment #2 posted by josephlacerenza on June 20, 2007 at 11:42:03 PT:
Let us take & take
As a parent of a 15 year old, I do not believe she would be better served by officials asking her to piss in a cup. If a student smokes pot and does sports, does this not refute the idea that ALL pot smokers canít deal in real life? It is my job to look after my child and not the states. Let us take every avenue from these fledgling adults to become functioning adults. Let us take every sense of accomplishment they can build by removing them from after school activities if THC, or any other illicit drug is found in their system. This will better serve our children. 
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Comment #1 posted by observer on June 20, 2007 at 11:20:53 PT
causation vs corelation
"They're deliberately confusing a correlation with causation," he said, calling Walter's claims "shockingly misleading and dishonest."Exactly. The clever propagandist will merely insinuate causation, but won't come right out and say it, exactly. The best propagandists make the insinuation and let the target audience make the leap to "this causing that". Mission accomplished. 
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