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The Pentagon’s Battle
Posted by A. Shapiro
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The Pentagon’s battle to keep illicit drugs out of the barracks and off warships has faltered during the past few years as more servicemen and women have failed drug tests and been discharged. Drug use has increased after a 20-year decline, and 17,000 people have been kicked out of the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps since 1999, according to statistics compiled by The San Diego Union-Tribune. Some critics worry that a higher incidence of substance abuse may weaken preparedness in a military at war. The Pentagon argues that its drug problem remains small compared with the civilian world. Yet military authorities acknowledge that repeated warnings about the penalties for drug use—and frequent random testing—are failing to deter some… Read More
Pissing Away Our Rights
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Thank you, Jed Gottlieb, for your “Pee to Play” article on the recent Supreme Court ruling approving “urinate on demand” testing for high school students. The broad application of suspicionless drug testing does not bode well for a free society. Of particular concern to NORML and organizations like it is that urine testing can detect traces of marijuana for 30+ days after use, much longer than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or alcohol-and obviously much longer than any impairment is present. This means that you can binge regularly on a dangerous cocktail of vodka, meth, and heroin, and not be too worried about drug testing, but smoke the occasional weekend joint and you could lose everything. Due to this fact, drug-testing programs… Read More
Police To Test Face Software
Posted by A. Shapiro
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If you’re a criminal, a runaway or a terrorist, a day at the beach here may soon be anything but that. The city will become the second in the nation—Tampa, Fla., is the other—to employ facial-recognition software to assist police in identifying and catching criminals and missing persons. The system is to be tested along the city’s oceanfront resort strip this holiday weekend, and police hope to have it fully operational in two to three weeks. “We’re adding to our ability to prevent crime and keep Virginia Beach safe,” Deputy Police Chief Gregory Mullen said Wednesday. Critics say the software is inaccurate and an invasion of privacy. “This is a Big Brother contraption,” said Kent Willis, executive director of the… Read More
Urine Leads To Lawsuits
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Urine and chromates have prompted a pair of lawsuits, one against Solano County, which settled last week, and another which awaits a hearing in federal court next month. Robert Towner, a Solano County Transportation Department maintenance worker, filed the lawsuits. He had never heard of chromate before his life was turned upside down when a laboratory reported it had found the substance in Towner’s urine. A few days after the long Thanksgiving weekend last year, Towner’s boss in the county transportation department told him he had to take a random drug test. The test was nothing new to Towner. The urine test is a routine check the county requires of its vehicle operators, including Towner, to insure they aren’t driving… Read More
To Whom It Should Concern (Everybody)
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Having been required to submit to random urinalysis after a misdemeanor charge for possesion of cannabis, I tested positive for PCP on a five panel drug screen test. To say that I was fearful of the outcome would be an understatement. After much anxiety and contacting the manufacturer, it turns out that the test results occured because of an anti-depressent named Effexor. While I am able to rectify this situation with my P.O., there may be others not so fortunate, as well as people being screened for employment related matters. I strongly suggest that you make this information widely available and inform web sites that offer information on drug testing about this problem. This entry was posted on Tuesday, April… Read More
Drug Test Bribes
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Pee in a cup for officials at Matthews High School in Virginia and receive a free parking pass worth $25 and free admission to all school events. The compelling offer to students is known as voluntary drug testing, according to the “Daily Press.” Students who allow administrators to violate their privacy in this manner may also be allowed to miss four days of school instead of three and still be able to take final exams. To further entice students to forget what they learned in civics class about the significance of the U. S. Constitution, free tickets to local attractions such as Busch Gardens are being considered. You know, Busch, as in Anheuser-Busch, Inc., makers of Budweiser Beer, that Superbowl… Read More
A Look At The Histrorical Legal Basis For Urine Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Seemingly turning its back to the United States Constitution, years of precedent, the most inherent civil liberties, and a nation that prides itself on the virtues of limited government, in June 1995 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Vernonia, Washington School District law mandating drug tests for all secondary school athletes regardless of reasonable suspicion. While Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion of the Court notes that this decision will not serve as a slippery slope toward the eventual mass testing of all students, the tragic irony of this case is that this latest decision is—in itself—the end result of just such a downward spiral. Urinalysis And The Courts: Before The “War On Drugs” Though it may come as… Read More
State Lab In Trouble Once Again
Posted by A. Shapiro
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An internal affairs investigation has uncovered a drug testing discrepancy at the troubled State Police lab, Public Safety Secretary Joe Martin said today. State Police Superintendent Howard Hill said he has put two lab workers on leave in connection with the incident. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI have been asked to review the case to determine whether criminal charges are in order. Martin and Hill announced the situation today at the Capitol. Martin said he believed the discrepancy was an isolated incident. “Neither ( Hill ) nor I intend to permit such mistakes or unprofessional work to take place in our drug laboratory now or in the future,” he said. The State Police lab’s reputation has been tarnished… Read More
Attorney: Prisoner May Be Victim Of Faulty Drug Test
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Redding defense attorney Jeffrey Stotter said he has at least one client who might be sitting in prison after an inaccurate drug test. Patricia Griffith, is serving 10 years in prison for a vehicular manslaughter conviction that involved the use of alcohol—and a blood sample drawn by lab owner George Goehring. Griffith and other defendants had a right to know the man who drew blood samples for suspected drunken drivers and drug users was the focus of a four-year investigation, Stotter said. He said Shasta County District Attorney McGregor Scott should have shared that information with defense attorneys. “A jury gets to decide whether there’s anything to it. The district attorney doesn’t,” Stotter said. The state attorney general’s office has… Read More
School Drug Testing Headed For Supreme Court Again
Posted by A. Shapiro
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The US Supreme Court agreed this week to hear a case that will allow it to refine its rules on what constitutes acceptable drug testing of high school students. In an Oregon case in 1995, the Supreme Court held that student athletes could be tested because drug use was found to be prevalent at the school in question. But since then, school districts around the country have attempted to expand student drug testing to include students involved in other extracurricular activities, students who drive cars to school, and, in some cases, random, suspicionless tests of all students. By agreeing to hear the Oklahoma case, the Supreme Court has signaled that it is ready to revisit its 1995 ruling on drug… Read More
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