Post-Secondary School

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Linn State Admits They Have No Data to Justify Drug Testing Program

Linn State Technical College
A month ago we noted in Drug War Chronicle that Linn State Technical College in Missouri had instituted a broad drug testing policy of all incoming students, the first public institution of higher education in the country to adopt a suspicionless drug testing policy. The ACLU of East Missouri announced it would litigate to block the program, and asked students at Linn State who were opposed to the program to contact them to be plaintiffs.

Evidently they found some, as an article by Timothy Williams at the New York Times this week reports that ACLU has obtained a preliminary injunction blocking the program. Williams interviewed the lawyer for the college, Kent Brown, who admitted the school had no data to justify or motivate the program :

Q. Did graduates have problems with failed drug tests at their jobs? Is that the reason for this?

A. I probably need to answer that this way: I can’t give you specific examples, but it would not surprise me at all if some students encountered difficulties with drug tests after they graduated. The members of our advisory councils for various programs were some of the initiators of this idea and I doubt they would have brought it up if it hadn't been a problem. We don't have any statistics once they graduate. (Emphasis added.)

And if the school has anecdotal information to motivated the policy, they did not share it with their attorney prior to his interviewing with the media -- with The New York Times of all outlets -- a case that had already hit the media four weeks before Williams contacted them.

It begs the question, did decision makers at Linn State review any hard information about drug testing programs and their track record, or the drug testing issue as a whole, before deciding to drug test all their students and charge them $50 for the privilege too? Does anyone doing drug testing review the evidence?

Location: 
Linn, MO
United States

Students Pursue Good Samaritan Drug Policy Shift

Location: 
VA
United States
A new student group is campaigning for a Good Samaritan policy at Virginia Tech. Hokies for a Good Samaritan Policy wants to change the policy to protect people who call 911 when they or a friend are illegally using drugs or alcohol from disciplinary sanctions. "In these situations the clock is ticking," Mark Goldstein, an accounting and information systems major and president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, said. "Every second you don’t call for help the person is closer to dying."
Publication/Source: 
Collegiate Times (VA)
URL: 
http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/17494/students-pursue-good-samaritan-policy-shift

Derek Copp Sues Ottawa County Over Drug Raid Shooting at Grand Valley State University

Location: 
Allendale, MI
United States
A GVSU student shot in the chest by a deputy during a marijuana raid is suing the deputy who fired the shot. In March 2009, Derek Copp was living in an off-campus apartment he shared with a roommate, who was the target of a drug investigation. The federal lawsuit claims "gross negligence and willfull recklessness" in how the raid was conducted. Copp and his lawyers are asking a judge to make changes in how Ottawa County deputies use firearms and conduct searches.
Publication/Source: 
WZZM (MI)
URL: 
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/156997/14/Copp-sues-Ottawa-County-over-drug-raid-shooting

Synthetic Marijuana Widely Used at Naval Academy, Some Midshipmen Say

Location: 
Annapolis, MD
United States
A synthetic form of marijuana is widely used at the U.S. Naval Academy because it cannot be detected in routine drug tests, according to several former midshipmen. Since its introduction at the academy last year, synthetic marijuana has become popular among rank-and-file midshipmen and on the football and wrestling teams. Some isolated corners of the historic Annapolis campus have become well-known gathering spots for smoking it.
Publication/Source: 
The Washington Post (DC)
URL: 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/27/AR2011022703605.html

Cannabis Council Reaches Out to Help Colorado Teenager Denied Access to Medical Marijuana for Very Rare Condition

Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
United States
Mark Slaugh, membership director of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, wrote to Rep. Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs, and Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs to urge legislative action on behalf of a teenage medical marijuana patient being denied access to his medicine by Colorado's Harrison School District 2. The teenager in question was diagnosed a little more than a year ago with a very rare condition that causes seizures, which can last for days. Slaugh said the district should take a more reasonable approach to the situation and the legislature should rewrite medical marijuana laws so that this situation doesn’t come up in the first place.
Publication/Source: 
The Colorado Independent (DC)
URL: 
http://coloradoindependent.com/74315/cannabis-council-reaches-out-to-help-teenager

Greenway University Makes Medical Marijuana Education History

Location: 
Denver, CO
United States
Greenway University has received full formal state approval from the Colorado Department of Higher Education. The university has received authorization to teach ten medical marijuana state-approved courses, the only such state-approved and regulated medical marijuana courses in the United States. Greenway University is renowned for its compliance driven medical marijuana educational services in California, Colorado, Arizona and the Western US.
Publication/Source: 
PR Newswire (NJ)
URL: 
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/greenway-university-makes-medical-marijuana-education-history-115469759.html

Law Student Sues St. John’s University for Rescinding Readmission Over Drug Charges

Location: 
8000 Utopia Parkway St. John’s University
Queens, NY 11439
United States
David Powers, an accountant who took time out of law school at St. John’s University, has sued the Roman Catholic university in New York after it refused to readmit him, saying that he had not been honest about a criminal conviction, since expunged, in his past. Three semesters into his law degree, Mr. Powers was granted a leave of absence to manage a $2-billion investment fund in Hong Kong.
Publication/Source: 
The Chronicle of Higher Education (DC)
URL: 
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/law-student-sues-st-johns-u-for-rescinding-readmission-over-drug-charges/30251

Columbian Marching Powder: How Reforms to the Rockefeller Drug Laws Could Help the Alleged Ivy League Drug Dealers

Location: 
NY
United States
In 2009, after years of debate and political wrangling, the New York state legislature finally passed a bill revising the state's notorious Rockefeller drug laws. Now it turns out that the first high-profile beneficiaries of the reforms could be a bunch of kids from Columbia University. The arrest of five students on Dec. 7 — they allegedly sold $11,000 worth of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, Adderall, and LSD — may be a "test case" for the new reforms.
Publication/Source: 
Slate (NY)
URL: 
http://www.slate.com/id/2283406/

White Privilege and Illicit Drugs

Algernon Austin, director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute, explores white privilege in conjunction with the war on drugs against the backdrop of the book Dorm Room Dealers: Drugs and the Privileges of Race and Class by A. Rafik Mohamed and Erik D. Fritsvold.
Publication/Source: 
The Huffington Post (CA)
URL: 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/algernon-austin/white-privilege-and-illic_b_804130.html

No Mas: Mexico Students Unite to Stop Drug War

Location: 
Ciudad Juárez, CHH
Mexico
Amidst a deadly drug prohibition war in Juarez, Mexico, a group of college students have emerged from the violence to tell their city that they've had enough. The Juarez "students are quite heroic," said Bruce Bagley, who heads the Latin American affairs department at the University of Miami. "The fact that they are standing up to the military has highlighted the fact that the military in its conduct of the war on drugs in Mexico has actually fallen into numerous human rights violations.
Publication/Source: 
ABC News (US)
URL: 
http://abcnews.go.com/International/mas-mexico-students-unite-stop-drug-war/story?id=12462284

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