Saturday, October 21, 2006

And, Again Protection

At Join Together the California Drug Czar has a suggestion:
Mandated Drug Testing
Non-punitive random drug testing is the best tool we have to prevent substance use and abuse and get kids to adulthood intact, where science says they should never have a problem with drugs. Almost all addiction starts with kids, so if the answer to cutting the level of substance abuse is to protect the kids. If we protect the kids, we will protect the nation.
Even if politically sensitive, the results from universal, non-punitive random drug testing for all students would be so astounding in terms of saved lives, dollars and creation of productive young people that in short order all parents and taxpayers would demand this protection.

One more intrusion of unconstitutional search and seizure, this time with the excuse that it is protection that parents would demand. Like a car seat, perhaps. Let me take away your child's rights and I can protect the nation. Yes, indeed.

I flew back to Alaska from California a few years ago seated next to a man who represents a drug testing firm. He was telling me that each test developed results in people developing ways to get around it, which leads to development of further tests which leads to . . . Reminded me of the Morton Salt girl. An infinite regression that leads to profit for the drug testing firms and surely, surely "When it (testing) rains, it (money) pours." (And, when I mentioned this article to my office mate, who also works in underage abuse prevention, her immediate response was, "Sounds like he owns some drug testing stock." Doesn't it just?)

I knew then that this one industry alone had too much of a stake in drugs being illegal to allow anything like a rational discussion of legalizing if they could prevent it. Multiply that by the prison guards and staff, the firms building prisons, the stores selling the products that cheat the test (I was told by several teens that you just have to ask the clerks at one national chain and they will steer you right to it), the lawyers prosecuting and defending drug users and you have a lot of people with a financial interest in drugs being illegal. Personally, I'm just enough of a cynic to believe that drug cartels make campaign contributions to politicians who fight the drug war.

The other thing, of course, is that this is not the only industry that is growing rich off of convincing parents that their children need to be treated like criminals. (Actually, I wouldn't treat many criminals like that.) There are so-called mental health facilities that market heavily to the parents of teens, who they then abuse horribly. When one state closes them down (and even Texas has closed some of the worse ones down) they pack up stakes and move to another. Same corporation. Same management. Often, same staff. At times staff you wouldn't hire to clean your toilets, staff who can't pass criminal background tests.

They say to follow the money. And it's easy to do -- just follow the yellow brick road.


Deja Pseu said...

I've also heard that it's the top-of-the-food-chain drug dealers who also funnel money to lobbyists to keep marjuana and other drugs illegal. Wouldn't want to cut into their profit margin, you know. So the distributors of the drugs and the makers of the drug tests are probably both customers of the same lobbying firms. Strange bedfellows and all that.

Deja Pseu said...

Oh, and when one company I used to work for announced that they would institute a "random drug test" policy, I made sure to have a poppyseed muffin for breakfast at least once a week. (Supposedly causes one to test positive for opiates.)

Thailand Gal said...

This entire "drug war" is a hoax. It surprises me beyond belief that it's not obvious to everyone. The one thing we can consistently count on is that government is not for the protection of ordinary people. It is there to protect itself.

On a related topic, be sure to listen to Keith Olbermann's commentary on the Military Commissions Act. (I've put a link on my blog)

Yes, America is certainly changing ~ or are its true colors just beginning to show?

Thailand Gal

ShortWoman said...

I've got a better idea! Instead of spending lots of school district money on drug testing, let's spend it on after school activities so that kids will have a supervised, fun place to spend the afternoon instead of an empty house and nothing better to do than get drunk/high/pregnant.

Kay Dennison said...

Big Brother is at it again. Under the Constitution, no one has to prove themself innocent therefore this is intensely unconstitutional!

Ally Bean said...

Amazing. Doesn't sound all that legal to me. Let alone morally right. But then I'm not a CEO of a drug testing company, am I? You're certainly right about following the money.