Why Mandatory Drug Testing for College Students Makes Sense

Written by  //  09/19/2011  //  College News  //  2 Comments


Students who attend Linn State Technical College in Missouri must submit to a mandatory drug test in order to attend classes there. That move, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, has come under fire from the ACLU which filed a federal class action last Wednesday alleging that LSTC has violated its students constitutional rights.

Expulsion Possible

LSTC has defended its action, explaining that its testing program was arranged to enable students to prepare for “profitable employment” once they graduate. “Drug screening is becoming an increasingly important part of the world of work,” the school noted in a statement, but for students who refuse to take the test, expulsion is an option school administrators might take.

The ACLU filed its complaint in United States District Court Western District Of Missouri Central Division on behalf of several students including one that wasn’t identified. In its filing the ACLU noted that, “…the College can demonstrate no legitimate special need for drug testing its students that is sufficient to outweigh the students’ individual privacy expectations against the state.”

Regardless of how the case is decided, is mandatory drug testing for college students a bad thing? And haven’t we already crossed the line of limiting our rights by mandating that every American have health care?

Staying Away

The college’s reason for implementing such a policy could also be viewed in another way – if you don’t agree with the school’s rule, then you can transfer to another institution. Moreover, if you fail so a test, the school would be doing you a big favor as you would be given time to clean up your act before looking for work. Clearly, if you apply for work, then your employer has a right to test you. So why not test students now?

The federal government is also making it difficult for the ACLU to defend its case, by pressuring companies to control what food they serve.

No Fries

For example, Darden Restaurants – which owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden – has stated that it will no longer serve fries to children unless an adult requests a substitution. Standard with each meal will be a fruit or vegetable side and low-fat milk. If you want your kid to have fatty fries, then you must “sign off” on them. That decision was applauded by Michele Obama who has made it her campaign as first lady to ensure that children exercise more and count their calories.

It may be inevitable that some sort of drug screening will become commonplace under mandatory national health care. You might be told what you can eat, how much you should exercise and perhaps how many children that you can have. Sounds crazy, right? Well, the move to forbid smoking means that smokers are now paying more for health insurance. Given that nicotine is a drug, might patients soon be tested for that too?

Likely, the ACLU will win its case and LSTC will be forced to reverse course. Constitutionally, that victory would be for all Americans, but the constitution is still under assault as the federal government seeks ways to force everyone to ascribe to certain behaviors.

Special Note: If you have a loved one who is found out to be abusing drugs, it is time to consider finding him a drug abuse rehab facility that can help him with his drug problem.

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2 Comments on "Why Mandatory Drug Testing for College Students Makes Sense"

  1. Jillian Galloway 09/19/2011 at 10:42 am ·

    Just because you have nothing to hide doesn’t mean you have nothing to protect. DON’T give up your civil liberties.

    The major problem with drug testing is that it encourages people to switch from easy-to-detect drugs like marijuana to hard-to-detect drugs like heroin. Most of the really dangerous drugs leave the body very quickly so a user is able to get high on them just days before drug testing. Marijuana, on the other hand, takes weeks for its metabolites to leave the body so users are easy detect even if it’s been over a month since they last came into contact with the herb. Since marijuana is so much safer than the easy-to-detect drugs, it’s dangerous and wrong of us to give people an incentive to switch from marijuana to harder, much more dangerous, drugs. If Linn State is going to implement mandatory drug testing (which it should NOT) then it *must not* test for marijuana!!

    Also, implementing mandatory drug testing implies at least tacit consent with the ONDCP’s classification of marijuana in schedule I of the CSA. Classifying marijuana in the same schedule as heroin sends kids the message that heroin is no more dangerous than marijuana. This is a dangerous message for the federal government to send our kids and is NOT one that any college should support!

    Parents have to decide if they want drug dealers selling marijuana to kids or supermarkets selling marijuana to adults. Forty years of federal marijuana prohibition has taught us that “nobody selling marijuana to nobody” is NEVER going to happen! Linn State should be supporting allowing supermarkets to sell legally-grown marijuana to adults at a price low enough to prevent illegal competition.

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