Drug Czar Pitches Random Drug Testing

The Colorado Freedom Report: A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com

Drug Czar Pitches Random Drug Testing

by Ari Armstrong, April 14, 2004

Representatives from the Drug Czar's office, along with sympathetic speakers, came to Denver April 8 to convince local schools to accept $25 million in grant money proposed by President Bush for random student drug testing.

Various speakers discussed case studies, empirical results, and legal history surrounding the issue -- though no critic was invited to address the audience at the government-sponsored event. Following are a few photographs from the event. I'll have much more to say about the issue in subsequent articles.


Mary Ann Solberg is Deputy Director of Drug Policy with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). She wants your children to pee in a cup, or, alternately, turn in saliva or hair samples, for random drug tests. Such tests can be given to athletes, students involved in extracurricular activities, and/or students who park cars on campus. (A 2002 Supreme Court decision okayed random tests for students involved in extracurricular activities, but not for the general student body.) The tests are intended for early detection and prevention, and students who test positive cannot be handed over to police.


Several Libertarians attended the event. Shown here are Frank Atwood, Bo Shaffer (chair of the Boulder LP), and Norm Olsen (chair of the state LP). Atwood's shirt reads, "Why stop at drug testing students? Let's drug test coaches and Congressmen!" I tried to convince Atwood that ONDCP is not likely to take his message as a reductio ad absurdum, as he intended.


David Evans is Executive Director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition. Over his shoulder is Joseph McKinney of Ball State University, who has published empirical results of random drug testing programs. William Judge discussed the legality of testing. I enjoyed the presentations of these three, and they were informative during their talks and afterwards as I asked them follow-up questions.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com