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To the editor,

Regarding Bruce Wark's thoughtful column "High security" (March 1): According to the US Centres for Disease Control, the number of unintentional prescription drug overdose deaths in the US increased from 12,186 in 1999 to 20,950 in 2004. By 2004, overdose was second only to motor-vehicle crashes as a cause of death. The rise in prescription overdose deaths is paralleled by an increase in student drug testing. This is no coincidence. Random drug testing encourages high-risk behaviour. Organic marijuana, which has never been shown to cause an overdose death, is the only drug that stays in the human body long enough to make urinalysis a deterrent. More dangerous pharmaceuticals exit the body quickly. If you think students don't know this, think again. Anyone capable of running an internet search can find out how to thwart a drug test. Canada should think twice before following the American lead and imposing drug tests on students. Far too many children have already been sacrificed at the altar of the US war on marijuana.

By Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

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