October 18, 1996 in City

Home Drug Tests A Tool For Survival For Testing Parental Rights Should Be Sacred Ground

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Oh, dear. Americans are inventing, selling and (gasp) using do-it-yourself test kits that give them medical information in the privacy of their homes. And they’re doing so without the permission of the federal government or the American Civil Liberties Union.

One of the tests offers parents a last-ditch tool to use when their children are being sucked into drug abuse by the pro-drugs, pro-sex, anti-education youth culture which the entertainment media have worked so hard to glamorize.

This nefarious test, this menace to life in “the ‘90s,” was invented by a parent named Sunny Cloud who had caught her son smoking marijuana, presumably because he was training for a job in the White House.

The test is identical to the one used by employers who frown on it if their truck drivers, airline pilots and oil tanker captains abuse drugs. Here’s the deal: Urinate in a cup, mail the sample to a certified laboratory and get a report by mail.

It’s shocking enough that business interferes with the civil right to be a junkie, but if parents start infringing on the right of teens to rebel, that would be the last straw. Wouldn’t it?

So, naturally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned. It plans to invent policies to determine whether families can be trusted with this new product.

Good grief. All sarcasm aside, is it any wonder that conservatives speak so angrily about the heavy hand of federal regulation?

The FDA’s role should be limited to considering the safety and effectiveness of products. But these drug-testing kits are informational, and that places them in a less critical category than products that treat disease. While urinalysis occasionally produces an incorrect result, that does not bar it from acceptance in medical, business and criminal settings. So why not family settings?

The parental right to discipline children and save them from the foolishness of immaturity should be sacred ground, off-limits to government unless there is evidence - not speculation, but evidence - of criminal assault.

Granted, a drug test is not an ideal parenting tool. But when a child is plunging into the drug culture, ivory-tower idealism isn’t the issue - survival is. There’s a market for Cloud’s product because desperate parents believe it may help them enforce household rules and find out when a child is approaching the edge of a cliff.

That’s an effort society should applaud and support.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view, see headline: Home drug tests an ineffective tool

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides CREDIT = John Webster/For the editorial board

For opposing view, see headline: Home drug tests an ineffective tool

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides CREDIT = John Webster/For the editorial board


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