Last time we heard from Robert L. DuPont, a principal partner in the drug-testing management company Bensinger, DuPont & Associates', he was instructing the Department of Justice to stop Colorado and Washington state from implementing tax-and-regulate policies for recreational marijuana.
Earlier this month DuPont took his self-interested anti-pot oratory to a new level, arguing in the San Diego Union-Tribune that mandatory drug testing would've prevented Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, allegedly a heavy pot smoker, from helping his brother bomb the Boston Marathon:
While Jahar's marijuana use did not directly make him a terrorist, it closed the door to his dreams of being an engineer or physician and it opened the door to his suicidal violence. A report recently released by the Institute for Behavior and Health, a nonprofit drug policy organization, shows that heavy marijuana use is associated with failing grades and dropping out of school. It is entirely plausible that the loss of Jahar Tsarnaev's dream of success in college set the stage for his descent into the dead end of terrorism.
What if Jahar had been required to take drug tests to obtain and maintain a driver's license? Might he have changed his behavior if faced with real and immediate certain consequences for his drug use? What about the tens of thousands of kids nationwide who are caught in similar drug-induced downward spirals? New technologies make minimally intrusive drug testing part of a practical approach to preventing and identifying drug problems early. Can our society afford to ignore the measures that are available to encourage young people to find positive drug-free directions for their lives?
The dramatic need to confront drug and alcohol use in college and high school is one useful lesson to take from this otherwise tragic story of failed lives in the midst of opportunity, a lesson that may help overcome the denial about the connection between substance use and academic failure and dropout that is all-but-universal in education circles today.
It's amazing what one would have to overlook to see marijuana as the culprit in the Boston Marathon Bombing; namely, that both Tamarlan and Dzhokhar indicated that America's incursions into the Middle East and Central Asia played a big part in their decision. "When you attack one Muslim," Dzhokhar wrote, in a note left on the boat where he hid, "you attack all Muslims."
That's not the only fact left out of DuPont's op-ed. The U-T fails to tell us (even in the bio line!) that DuPont runs a company that sells drug-testing services, and that the nonprofit Institute for Behavior and Health–of which DuPont is president–exists mostly to provide scientific support for the services offered by Bensinger, DuPont & Associates'.