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Drug Test High School Students, Says California Lieutenant Governor


February 1998

On January 20, California Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis yesterday proposed voluntary drug tests for California high school pupils. Davis, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, said the tests would be "more preventative than punitive" (Dan Morain, "Lt. Gov. Urges Random Drug Tests in Public Schools," Los Angeles Times, January 21, 1998, p. A15; Robert B. Gunnison, "Democratic Hopeful Davis Calls for Student Drug Tests," San Francisco Chronicle, January 21, 1998).

"Faced with the very real prospect of getting caught, many kids will simply choose not to try them -- or if they are using them, to quit," he said. "To deal with the demand side of the scourge of drugs in our classrooms,'' he said, "we must adopt a new program of random drug testing to catch the kids using drugs, and deter the rest from starting.''

Davis said he based his proposal on a new program in Dade County, Florida, which is implementing drug testing for about 5,000 of the area's high school students.

Under Davis' plan, both students and their parents must agree to the tests. Results would be given to parents, not school administrators. Davis wants to spend $1 million for an experimental program at five high schools, with each school getting $200,000 for the tests. According to Davis' office, there are 5.7 million high school students in public schools in California.

California Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis - State Capitol, Room 1114, Sacramento, CA 95814, Tel: (916) 445-8994, Fax: (916) 323-4998, E-mail: <>.