The Instigator
Chuckles
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
InfraRedEd
Con (against)
Losing
14 Points

Random drug testing should not be used in public schools.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 13,460 times Debate No: 8358
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

Chuckles

Pro

Resolution Clarification:
I'm talking about random drug testing only of students who participate in extracurricular activities. (i.e. You have to pass random drug tests to play basketball, etc.).
Conditions/"Be Nice To Me's":
This is a three-round debate. You may introduce new arguments in the first and second round, but I ask that my opponent refrain from doing so in the third round, as i will not be able to respond. In the third round i ask that my opponent only present rebuttals, etc to arguments presented earlier in the debate. I will do the same.

Me Talking:
About 40% of teens use marijuana. According to the Monitoring the Future study, 70% of high school students used alcohol in the last thirty days. Supporters of drug testing claim that it deters and/or catches drug users and protects children.

But does it really deter drug use?
A 2003 study conducted by the University of Michigan, drug testing had very little to no impact on drug use in high school students. Schools that tested their students and schools that did not had virtually the same rates of use. In fact, for whatever reason, it found that 12th graders were MORE likely to use marijuana at schools that test!

I affirm the above resolution; for the following reasons:
1. Drug tests are ineffective.
2. Random drug testing violates constitutional rights and principles.

1. Drug Tests are Ineffective.
Urine tests conducted by labs are only accurate 46.5% of the time according to Dr. Kent Holtorf. How are we supposed to rely on a rate so low? We can't count that a positive is a positive or that a negative is a negative!
"Passive use" (essentially secondhand cannabis smoke) has caused false positives in urinalysis and hair follicle tests.
As well, foods, medicines, and medical conditions can cause a false positive. Common cold medicines containing ephedrine can show up as amphetamines, poppy seeds as heroin, ginseng tea and higher doses of ibuprofen as marijuana. Diseases like diabetes cause chemicals in the body to be produced that can show a false positive for opiates, cocaine, and barbiturates.
These tests (especially urine) are easy to beat if you know how (and there are plenty of websites dedicated to telling you how). There are essentially three ways to beat a urinalysis:
Adulteration: mixing in another substance in your pee to dilute or mask signs of drug use. Household products can be used as well as commercially available ones.
Substitution: Using someone else's pee. It could be a friend's or commercially available clean pee.
Dilution: Drink enough liquids or other options to push the amounts of chemicals in urine that show drug use. You can simply drink a lot of water to dilute your pee, and take a B-vitamin to make it yellow again (because labs reject clear samples).

These test also only test for certain drugs. Other drugs are impossible to detect. This means students can simply switch to another, potentially more harmful drug. Marijuana, relatively harmless, may stay in your system for up to a month. Alcohol, LSD, Ecstasy, and mushrooms are out of your system within hours or days of use, or just plain undetectable.
Tests are also just too plain expensive to be using, especially being so susceptible to tampering and mistakes. Urinalysis costs about $20-60 for each test. More thorough tests cost upwards of $120. As well, NCAA drug testing standards require a second, backup test in case of a positive. Many high schools skip this second test because of the cost. This only increases the possibility of a false positive.

2. Random drug testing violates constitutional rights and principles.
These tests violate constitutional principles, the first i will focus on being the concept of "innocent until proven guilty". Drug tests require you to prove your innocence, reversing the process to "guilty until proven innocent." This is an unacceptable practice.
Next, testing violates the 4th Amendment (rights against searches and seizures). The key to this amendment is determining what searches are reasonable. This means that for a search to happen, you need probable cause, a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. Random drug testing is by nature unreasonable. There has been no reason to suspect the student is using drugs. If there were reasonable suspicion, a drug test would be in line. However, the RANDOM factor means we're testing students without any suspicion. What if the government decided to submit citizens to random house searches for drugs? It's unconstitutional without probable cause/a warrant. Since a test constitutes a search, this is unconstitutional.

Testing violates a student's right to privacy. Besides the act of asking already self-conscious teens to pee in a cup with a witness outside the stall or right next to them, there are more violations of privacy. As mentioned, certain medicines and conditions can cause a false positive. This forces students to disclose medical information to the school to be checked against the sample. This is a blatant invasion of a student's privacy. The tests also reveal more than just illicit drug use, they can reveal medical conditions, pregnancies, all sorts of things that schools do not have the right to demand.
Testing violates the right to due process. There is no way to appeal a decision to remove a student from a team as a result of a drug test (or any other punishment). Student's have no way of appeal and no opportunity to defend themselves. In terms of due process, to test a student and then punish him/her for a positive is akin to a police officer searching your house or car without cause, then arresting and sentencing you without the right to appeal or defend yourself.
The last constitutional right that testing violates is found in the 5th amendment: the right to remain silent. It essentially states that no one should be forced to be a witness against himself. Providing a urine, hair, or blood sample is basically being a witness against one's self. It is forced self incrimination.
I eagerly await my opponent's opening arguments and wish him/her good luck!
InfraRedEd

Con

My opponent started out talking about voluntary extracurricular activities as opposed to students in general but I'm not sure anymore.

I will argue both sides.

Drug testing is good since it supports the economy by providing a lot of useless jobs with money that would be better spent elsewhere anyway but mainly keeps those protesters in jail where they belong.

My rant from another debate:

http://www.debate.org...

Freedom. Let's start with China.

Students and teachers were locked down for over an hour while police dogs searched for drugs without any probable cause. Since no drugs were found, this "drill" was a great success, the government claimed. It gave the police dogs a good experience with real-life situations.

We already know how the Chinese are about drugs and freedom anyway so this is not really surprising. One wonders why it is even in the news. We have problems of our own after all.

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com...

Except it wasn't China. It was Arizona. And also participating were the people who run private prisons just in case this turned into more than a "drill." They want more "clients." Might as well take them straight to the Big House and eliminate the middle man with all that legal fuss anyway. You know that's where you are going and they are not going to bring the prison to you. They have an excellent escape plan since they want you to bring all your friends back with you when you return. That means more profits.

We already know how Arizona is about drugs and freedom anyway so this is not really surprising. One wonders why it is even in the news. We have problems of our own after all.

The Patriot Act is not an Arizona law.

It is the most egregious assault on our freedom in history. It and the hysteria surrounding it are more damaging to our civilization than the economic meltdown ever could be. We might learn to grow our own food and make our own clothes but we can not make our own freedom so easily.

It makes a mockery of the Constitution, except that has already been done quite well.

By immigration "reform." Border patrol vehicles pulling up right behind police cars on routine traffic stops. Our friends and neighbors are disappearing right before our eyes.

This is not what America was supposed to be about. We are supposed to be about freedom and equality but we are turning into a Third World police state.

"Urine tests conducted by labs are only accurate 46.5% of the time according to Dr. Kent Holtorf."

http://www.amazon.com...

Looks like a great book. Why not let us know about it?

http://www.monitoringthefuture.org...

This is a government propaganda site and is completely invalid for that reason.

Do the words "peer reviewed journal" mean anything to you?

"Press releases." Ignore them.

High school students find MJ and other illegal drugs much more available and easier to obtain than alcohol.

Please cite that 2003 study by the University of Michigan so we can talk about it if we want to.

And all your other stats by the way.

"Random drug testing violates constitutional rights and principles."

But that applies more to drug testing in general than to (voluntary) sports activities. You are arguing the wrong side.

This catching teachers is hilarious but I think we are still talking about students. Maybe not.

Traffic cameras are catching cops too.

Politicians should be drug tested and intelligence tested also.

JFK was high on cocaine during the Cuban Missile crisis.
Debate Round No. 1
Chuckles

Pro

OOOOKAY....
My opponent asked me to cite my statistics. Here they are:

Drug testing costs ($20-60, $120):
http://www.nfhs.org...

2003 University of Michigan study:
http://www.monitoringthefuture.org...
http://www.slate.com...

All other statistics in my first round already had citations attached to them as far as i could tell.

"I will argue both sides."
-You seem to be having a hard enough time putting together an argument for one side. Stick to Con for the resolution & clarification i stated in my first round, mmmkay?

My opponent posted a "rant from another debate".
It didn't have a lot to do with my resolution. In this same spirit, i will do the same:
"Your first rebuttal included five points against my case.

1) You have doubts about whether long hair proves you are Jesus.

> That's okay, everybody has doubted Jesus's (your) existence at one point or another. I'm sure if you have faith you will come to have a testimony/self esteem boost. Your doubts, i assure you, will pass. They are dead wrong. Move past them and believe. THE POWER OF YOU COMPELS YOU!"
http://www.debate.org...

As for his rant, that really sucks that the police did that, i certainly disagree with the actions that took place there.
"The Patriot Act is not an Arizona law."
-Good observation...It's federal law. Or WAS federal law, it's been reformed.

"http://www.amazon.com......
Looks like a great book. Why not let us know about it?"

-UR-ine Trouble is a book by Dr. Kent Holtorf which includes the statistic that urinalysis tests conducted by labs are accurate about 46.5% of the time. It is available on Amazon.com.

"http://www.monitoringthefuture.org......
This is a government propaganda site and is completely invalid for that reason."

-This is a University of Michigan site. Those statistics are not vital to my case anyway, most people are quite aware that drug use is fairly rampant throughout society. Drug testing is one proposed way to curb use, and i am against it.

"Do the words "peer reviewed journal" mean anything to you?"
-yes.

""Press releases." Ignore them."

-"Make Sense" Try it.

"High school students find MJ and other illegal drugs much more available and easier to obtain than alcohol."
-As long as you're having me cite things, why don't you cite this one?

"Random drug testing violates constitutional rights and principles.
But that applies more to drug testing in general than to (voluntary) sports activities. You are arguing the wrong side."
-Yes, it would be a bigger violation for drug testing the whole public school. This does not mean it does not apply, and i am not arguing the wrong side.

"This catching teachers is hilarious but I think we are still talking about students. Maybe not.

Traffic cameras are catching cops too.

Politicians should be drug tested and intelligence tested also.

JFK was high on cocaine during the Cuban Missile crisis."

-The catching teachers thing is in the comment section, not the argument section. You seem to have mixed the two up.
as for the rest of that quote, cool. it doesn't have anything to do with what we are talking about.

Please note, that even if the statistics in my first round were null and void, the rest of the case still stands. My opponent has not addressed these points. He only posted rants from another debate and made random claims.
The one thing that sounded like an argument in my opponent's round was this:
"Drug testing is good since it supports the economy by providing a lot of useless jobs with money that would be better spent elsewhere anyway but mainly keeps those protesters in jail where they belong. "
He refutes his own argument. The money is better spent elsewhere as drug testing is ineffective, as i showed in my first round.

I look forward to some arguments.
InfraRedEd

Con

Stick to Con for the resolution & clarification i stated in my first round, mmmkay?

That position is indefensible, mmmkay?

It would be a really stupid debate, mmmkay?

It is anyway, mmmkay?

I got my hair cut, mmmkay?

The Patriot Act has not been reformed, mmmkay?

Yes where did Dr Kent Holtorf get that statistic?

"Drug testing is one proposed way to curb use, and i am against it."

The testing or the use?

Who proposed it? Do we really need to go there?

What is wrong with MJ use anyway?

Would you favor other forms of curbing MJ use?

"High school students find MJ and other illegal drugs much more available and easier to obtain than alcohol."
-As long as you're having me cite things, why don't you cite this one?

You cite one that supports your position then.

I am not going to buy the stupid book, mmmkay?
Debate Round No. 2
Chuckles

Pro

If you weren't going to stick to the resolution as stated, why the hell did you take this debate?
You really know how to piss me off, unfortunately.
Okay, the Patriot Act had a "sunset provision" and it was revised before being renewed. There were substantial changes (though not substantial enough in some people's eyes).
Gee, I don't know why don't you ask him? I got that statistic from another book which cited Dr. Holtorf's book. I'm not citing sources if you won't.
I'm against testing.
No, we don't need to go there.
I don't see anything wrong with marijuana use incidentally. Take a look at my other debates...
I would favor legalization/decriminalization of MJ use.
I cited several that support my position. How about you try that out?
I'm not buying the book either, it's called a library. They contain knowledge, look it up.

I'd like to point out to voters that my opponent did NOT stick to the resolution, or hardly debated if you ask me. I urge a vote for Pro.
InfraRedEd

Con

In schools that randomly tested students, 12th-graders were more likely to smoke marijuana.

But, and pay close attention because this what makes the stud(y)(ies) laughable: These results could just as easily been read as:

In schools where 12th-graders were more likely to smoke marijuana, the students were more likely to be (randomly) drug tested.

This is hardly surprising and makes the whole study questionable. Who commissioned it anyway? The White House. Why? "It" was displeased with the results of the earlier study which just happens to be the other study cited. Why? The earlier study did not address "random" drug testing. It just addressed drug testing. Non-random drug testing would have to be either the testing of everyone, or the selective testing of some based on some criteria other than random. This is even worse than random.

So the study, even if everything else said about it is true, is completely worthless.

All government studies are.

All studies are government studies.

Not to mention who paid for it.

And remember "peer reviewed journal?"

This is not that either.

It wouldn't mean much even if it did prove anything which it does not.

The two studies, if they were done properly which they were not, would be an elaborate comparison of the effectiveness of random vs. non-random drug testing.

The latter presumably being the testing of everyone.

So my opponent is presenting not very good evidence that drug testing either should or should not be random, we can't really tell which because the studies were so poorly controlled.

How did they determine student drug use? Let me guess.

There are plenty of sociological studies on teen drug use.

This is not one of them. This is a charade.

What could be more hilarious than Joyce Nalepka's grandchildren and the World Trade Center and all that Islamic hashish.

http://tv.mpp.org...

http://www.debate.org...

No don't read that boring debate. Here

http://www.AGrowthIndustry.info...

light one up and watch a movie while I head on down to the library to go after this Dr. Keith guy.

You can cover it up with vinegar. All your suggestions for avoiding testing will not work because they test the temperature of the urine also. Cold urine makes even them a little suspicious. At least you will be rejected for vinegar and not for drugs.

This Dr. Keith guy better be good.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
*specified*
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Contrary to popular belief, there is no particular reason why a debater can't attempt something unless it's specificied in the Instigator's first round, the Terms of Service, or something else both debaters have agreed to.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
Contrary to popular belief, the comments section is not where the Instigator and Challenger have the debate!
Posted by InfraRedEd 8 years ago
InfraRedEd
Freedom. Let's start with China.

Students and teachers were locked down for over an hour while police dogs searched for drugs without any probable cause. Since no drugs were found, this "drill" was a great success, the government claimed. It gave the police dogs a good experience with real-life situations.

We already know how the Chinese are about drugs and freedom anyway so this is not really surprising. One wonders why it is even in the news. We have problems of our own after all.

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com...

Except it wasn't China. It was Arizona. And also participating were the people who run private prisons just in case this turned into more than a "drill." They want more "clients." Might as well take them straight to the Big House and eliminate the middle man with all that legal fuss anyway. You know that's where you are going and they are not going to bring the prison to you. They have an excellent escape plan since they want you to bring all your friends back with you when you return. That means more profits.

We already know how Arizona is about drugs and freedom anyway so this is not really surprising. One wonders why it is even in the news. We have problems of our own after all.

The Patriot Act is not an Arizona law.

It is the most egregious assault on our freedom in history. It and the hysteria surrounding it are more damaging to our civilization than the economic meltdown ever could be. We might learn to grow our own food and make our own clothes but we can not make our own freedom so easily.

It makes a mockery of the Constitution, except that has already been done quite well.

By immigration "reform." Border patrol vehicles pulling up right behind police cars on routine traffic stops. Our friends and neighbors are disappearing right before our eyes.

This is not what America was supposed to be about. We are supposed to be about freedom and equality.
Posted by InfraRedEd 8 years ago
InfraRedEd
"Urine tests conducted by labs are only accurate 46.5% of the time according to Dr. Kent Holtorf."

http://www.amazon.com...

Looks like a great book. Why not let us know about it? Including yourself.
Posted by InfraRedEd 8 years ago
InfraRedEd
http://www.monitoringthefuture.org...

This is a government propaganda site and is completely invalid for that reason.

Do the words "peer reviewed journal" mean anything to you?

"Press releases." Ignore them.

High school students find MJ and other illegal drugs much more available and easier to obtain than alcohol.

Please cite that 2003 study by the University of Michigan so we can talk about it if we want to.

And all your other stats by the way.

"Random drug testing violates constitutional rights and principles."

But that applies more to drug testing in general than to (voluntary) sports activities. You are arguing the wrong side.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
that's crazy. I'm certain at least a few of mine smoked weed, idk if any still do.
One of them told a friend of mine, but the rest is speculation.
Posted by RacH3ll3 8 years ago
RacH3ll3
I'm for it too.

-our teachers get tested now because one of our teachers got caught with meth...
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
hmm teacher testing. i hadn't thought about it, but my first thoughts are for it.
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Urania
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