Newsbrief: FDA Okays Marijuana Hair Test, Would Detect Up to Three Months 5/10/02

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Drug-testing giant Psychemedics has won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for a new test that detects the presence of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, in human hair. According to Psychemedics, the hair test allows for the detetection of drugs used as long as three-months prior to the time of testing. The company also touts the ability to keep the suspect, er, employee or student, under surveillance while the sample is taken -- a problem for urine drug testers who encounter people who dislike being watched while they go to the bathroom.

"Psychemedics' hair analysis has consistently proven to be more effective than urinalysis and other methods in correctly identifying drug abusers," claimed the company web site. "In fact, when hair and urine results were compared in 'side-by-side' evaluation, 5 to 10 times as many drug abusers were accurately identified with the Psychemedics hair test.

"Psychemedics is the only company to have any FDA-cleared hair test, and we now have them in all the major drugs of abuse categories," bragged CEO Ray Kubacki in a statement announcing the FDA approval. Psychemedics developed a hair test for ecstasy in 2000, and has since issued press releases shrilly announcing a huge ecstasy abuse problem.

Psychemedics provides drug testing services to more than 2,200 corporations, as well as the Federal Reserve, five of the nation's largest police departments and numerous school districts, according to the firm's web site. Its corporate headquarters are at 1280 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA, and it has a toll-free phone number -- (800) 628-8073 -- for people wishing to contact the company.

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Issue #236, 5/10/02 Editorial: Unsafe Streets | Leading Education, Civil Rights, and Drug Policy Organizations Urge Congress to Repeal HEA Drug Provision in Full | Congressional Drug and Terrorism Expert Says Legalization Could Cut Crime | Needle Exchange Not Playing Well in Peoria | Philadelphia Trying to Quash Open-Air Drug Markets With Massive Police Presence | In Hartford, Neighborhood Drug Fighters and Drug Reformers Inhabit Parallel Universes | Million Marijuana March Hits 200 Cities Worldwide, Major Arrests Only in NYC | Patient's Hunger Strike for Medical Cannabis Enters Fourth Week | Newsbrief: FDA Okays Marijuana Hair Test, Would Detect Up to Three Months | Newsbrief: German Heroin Deaths Decline After Safe Injection Sites Introduced | Newsbrief: South Dakota Hemp Petition Signatures Submitted, Seeds Planted | Newsbrief: Philippine Official Asks End to Vigilante Killings of Drug Dealers, Users | Newsbrief: Canadian Senate Panel Hints at Marijuana Legalization | NPR and Reuters on HEA and SSDP | The Reformer's Calendar

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