The case Barrett v. Claycomb challenges a Missouri public college’s policy of requiring mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of all newly enrolled students (and those returning after a period of absence) as a condition of continued enrollment in the college at the student’s own expense. The college implemented such a policy despite the fact that it has had no documented drug problems over the course of its 50-year history and no reason to suspect that the students subject to testing have been engaged in the abuse of illegal drugs.
The Drug Policy Alliance filed an amicus brief on behalf of a broad range of professional organizations in the fields of substance abuse research and treatment, social work, and education to highlight the broader public policy and health issues raised by this case. The brief seeks to inform the court of the research which indicates that mandatory suspicionless student drug testing policies are ineffective, unreliable and do not prevent or reduce drug use among students. The brief also discusses the unintended, negative consequences of drug testing, which may actually harm the school’s legitimate interest in promoting school safety.