The Washington Post has a story in yesterday's paper about a brilliant new program being pushed by the ONDCP to more accurately determine the rate of cocaine use in the population. Amazingly, the government thinks that people might actually lie on government funded surveys asking about their drug use habits. So John Walters, not content with inspecting the excrament of high school students all across the country, will literally be analyzing the nation's feces! OK, not quite literally, although the image of John Walters wading through our raw sewage sure brings a smile to my face.
In all seriousness, the ONDCP has implemented a pilot program that analyzes the content of wastewater from Fairfax County, VA and other communities in the Potomac River basin around Washington, DC. They hope to examine the sewage for cocaine content as a means of more accurately determining the rate of cocaine use among the local population.
It's tempting to call this project a massive "waste" of our tax dollars, but any program that requires ONDCP officials to spend their time playing with poo rather than arresting and imprisoning low level drug offenders can't be all bad. After all, they already advocate law enforcement searching our garbage, and teachers and employers handling our urine. It's only fitting that the ONDCP would find something useful in our feces.
I wish I were making this stuff up. If you want to read for yourself, check out the Washington Post story.