Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Meth Awareness Day!

President Bush has issued a proclamation declaring today National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. Bill Piper at the Drug Policy Alliance has a piece asking some important questions, such as:
1) Why is the government pursuing a strategy towards methamphetamine that has been failing for 40 years?

2) Why do elected officials, law enforcement officers and the media continue to ignore science and repeat the myths that methamphetamine is uniquely addictive and people who use it are hooked for life?

3) What role does lack of access to health care play in meth-related problems?

4) How much of the meth problem is rooted in America’s “workaholic” culture?

5) Why are policymakers short-changing women?

6) Why are policymakers ignoring the growing public health threat posed by methamphetamine abuse?

7) What if the billions of dollars wasted each year incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders was invested in drug treatment instead?
Check out Bill's discussion of these issues here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

SSDP beats Drug Czar in Florida

The St. Petersburg Times reports that a school board in Inverness, Florida has rejected federal money from the Drug Czar for student drug testing, with some local parents saying the practice is "intrusive and a waste of taxpayers' dollars."

While I can't be sure that SSDP played a major role in the school board's decision, it does come just a month after I was quoted in an article by the same reporter about the school district considering taking the money.
A federally funded 2003 study by the University of Michigan found that student drug use did not decrease in schools where students were being randomly tested.

In fact, drug testing may have the opposite effect, according to a national grass roots organization in Washington, D.C., called Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

"We think it makes existing drug problems worse," said Tom Angell, the group's campaign director. "Requiring students to submit a urine sample definitely deters them from participating in extracurricular activities, which are supposed to help keep them away from drugs."
It's definitely a huge victory any time educators reject the Drug Czar and his harmful anti-youth policies, but we cannot stop fighting for the thousands of students around the country who still have to submit urine samples as a condition of participating in afterschool activities.

Learn more about student drug testing on SSDP's website.