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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
Posted by A. Shapiro
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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
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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
Mothers Win Ruling In Drug Test Case
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The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the medical privacy of pregnant women Wednesday, ruling that hospital officials and police may not conspire to secretly test patients for drugs. In a 6-3 ruling, the court said the Constitution’s protection for privacy outweighs the government’s need to detect drug use, even when a fetus could be exposed. The decision rejects a unique and controversial drug testing program begun in Charleston, S.C., in 1988, when fears of a “crack baby” epidemic reached their peak. Nationwide, nurses and doctors urged women who were using cocaine to stop and sent addicted patients to treatment programs. In South Carolina, officials decided to go further and prosecute mothers for child abuse if they were found to be using… Read More
We Cannot Allow You To Breastfeed
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Recently, I helped a mom give birth to her third baby. Carrie’s first, a daughter, lived with her and her boyfriend. Her second had been the result of rape, and was born precipitously, a vaginal breech in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. That baby was adopted by a family member. Now she was engaged to be married and happy about this forthcoming arrival. Carrie had begun her prenatal care rather late in pregnancy, over half way through, but she had then come frequently thereafter, for a total of twelve visits. Significant prenatal issues included smoking one-half pack of cigarettes a day, mild asthma, being Rh negative, and having bacterial vaginosis that was treated. As per our protocol,… Read More
Unresonable Search
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Here are the bare bones of a case the Supreme Court heard last week: A decade ago, some pregnant women who went to a South Carolina public hospital for prenatal care were given urine tests and arrested if the results turned up positive for cocaine. Doesn’t that flagrantly violate the patients’ Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches of their “persons, houses, papers, and effects”? It certainly does in our book. But in the lawbooks, the Supreme Court has said no warrant or probable cause is necessary for a search that meets some special need apart from enforcing the criminal laws. And in this case, lower courts bought the Charleston hospital’s argument that it was protecting the health of fetuses, if… Read More