Colorado To Get Millions from White House Czar

Colorado To Get Millions from White House Czar
Posted by CN Staff on October 11, 2006 at 06:45:17 PT
By Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News
Source: Rocky Mountain News 
Colorado -- The White House drug czar will announce a multimillion-dollar grant to Colorado school districts and community agencies today, but the money isn't expected to usher in a new era of random testing of students for drugs. The money is earmarked for prevention and treatment programs and for helping school officials and medical staffers identify and refer people with drug problems.
Although the White House two years ago sent a team to Denver to tell school officials how to get around legal challenges to random drug testing of students, these grants apparently aren't for that purpose. Some of the money will be used in emergency rooms to help pinpoint an addict's treatment needs, said Liz McDonough, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Human Services. Much of the money will be used for surveys to find someone's propensity for addiction and to help find the right treatment option. Some of the money will go to school- based clinics. Teachers could refer students who are having troubles that may include drug usage to counselors. But there they would be given surveys on drug use, rather than blood or urine tests, McDonough said. The Underage Drinking/Drug Task Force in Montrose County will use some of its grant money to develop a new survey for students in grades six through 12 "to understand what the issues are and figure out what we need to do," said Kristine Bagnara, program director for Local Drug- Free Communities in Montrose County. The Montrose County School District doesn't do random drug testing. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy and President Bush's drug czar, said the new grant will be implemented "in medical settings, including school- based health clinics" as a way of intervening early before people develop addictions. Some of the money will be used for substance-abuse screening, as a way to "partner with Colorado in a meaningful way to prevent the disease of addiction," Walters said. In 2004, the Bush White House put together speaking tours to tell school officials how to set up random drug testing in schools in a way that would survive legal challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union. In Denver, they noted that courts have said schools can't randomly test all students but can randomly test athletes or those in extracurricular activities. Schools must maintain a balance between ensuring safety and respecting privacy, but participating in sports and clubs tip the balance toward safety, they said. Some schools have included for random testing any student who parks a car on school property. That can raise those eligible for random testing to about 90 percent of the student body. According to advocates of random testing, if a school tests 10 percent of the students at random, it will lower marijuana use by 30 to 40 percent.Complete Title: Money Targets Drug Use: Colorado to Get Millions from White House CzarSource: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)Author:  Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News Published: October 11, 2006Copyright: 2006 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on October 11, 2006 at 17:28:51 PT
It is strange that this giant carrot on a stick is being waved in front of those who work in the drug testing/treatment industries. With the vote on Amendment 44 just weeks away the timing is beyond suspicious! I'd say the feds are getting very,very nervous!
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on October 11, 2006 at 09:51:04 PT:
Johnny Pee: Unregsiterd lobbyist for drug
testers.Normally, a regular civilian who wanted a to lobby a government would be forced to register him or herself as such. This is to make sure that there is no possible undue influencing of government by that lobbyist; sort of like putting a bell around a cat's neck. Though with your average corp-rat lobbyist, a leper's bell might be more appropriate.But not with Johnny Pee, oh no, he doesn't have to follow the rules because he's Gub'mint. He can waft into town, on our dime and our time, and make like a drunken sailor with our hard-earned and tax-extorted bucks for his pet projects, which study after study have shown to be ineffective.Worse, it's obvious bribery he's into. Toe the line, sing in the Fed anti-drugs choir, ignore your citizens' demands for change via referendum, and get Fed bucks. Clear as crystal.Good thing Johnny's not a civ; there's laws against that sort of thing. But not if your Gub'mint has a scofflaw's attitide towards democracy...
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Comment #5 posted by global_warming on October 11, 2006 at 08:48:43 PT
re:Legalizing pot makes budgetary sense
Another good artice.., what are the human costs of marijuana use relative to other controllable "bad habits"? According to a 2004 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the leading cause of death is tobacco followed by obesity and alcohol, accounting for 18 percent, 17 percent, and 4 percent of all deaths, respectively, in 2000. Last on the list, after firearms and auto accidents, is illicit drug use, about 0.7 percent of all deaths.The costs of marijuana use include lost productivity, health problems and criminal activity. But these costs are less than any of the other "big three" killers. And when comparing the incidence of violent crimes between alcohol and marijuana, research shows that aggression increases with alcohol. In 2002, drunkenness was a contributing factor in about 30 percent of violent crimes, whereas, aggression declines with bong hits - despite scenes portrayed in Reefer Madness .Similarly, looking at the drug war as a whole, Noble Prize-winning economist Gary Becker and his co-author Appeals Judge Richard Posner, both at the University of Chicago, estimate that the direct cost to taxpayers is $100 billion per year. They further argue that legalizing illicit drugs and taxing them would have a larger impact on reducing drug use and generate $100 billion in taxes.This does not include other indirect costs, such as the U.S. maintaining troops in Colombia and Bolivia. We must also consider the costs associated with drug warlord infighting: this year in Nuevo Laredo, there will likely be more than 300 drug-related murders, Prohibition-era mob scenes revisited.And what are the benefits of legalizing the dreaded weed? In an open letter to the president and Congress, which was signed by more than 500 economists, three Nobel Laureates, including noted "Beatnik" Milton Friedman, Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron argues that legalization would save the economy about $8 billion in enforcement costs and generate about $6 billion in taxes.Additionally, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, this despite a decline in violent crimes. One in 37 Americans is currently imprisoned, but at a cost. In 2000, the cost of incarcerating non-violent drug offenders was about $24 billion, six times the amount spent on child care.In many states, more is spent on incarceration than education, and with questionable results. A study for the RAND Corporation found that $1 million spent on sentencing results in a decline in cocaine consumption, but only 13 percent of what would have been achieved if that same amount had been spent on treatment - a poor use of already-scarce resources.Given the relative harm that a lcohol and tobacco do to society and economy, it's hard to understand why marijuana is illegal. Historically, racism and discrimination largely explain anti-dope laws, not costs to society. The "gateway" drug argument is similarly specious; for example, less than 1 percent of marijuana users become cocaine addicts.
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Comment #4 posted by Rainbow on October 11, 2006 at 08:47:43 PT
a provision
knowing the government they will probably put strings on the money. This is not coincidential that money is offered now but betcha it is cause of the vote.If 44 passes the money will probably not be realized.Rainbow
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 11, 2006 at 07:27:58 PT
When I heard that on the news I practically flipped out. I am so sick of killing. Children and mothers and innocent people of all ages have died because of this invasion. It's was only 3 years this past spring that we started bombing them. How many did Hussein kill in a three year period I wonder.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on October 11, 2006 at 07:23:03 PT
600,000 deaths
Oh, Lord.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 11, 2006 at 06:49:29 PT
Off Topic: Civilian Deaths from Invasion of Iraq
More than 600,000 Civilians Estimated To Have Died in Iraq:
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