Drug Testing History

Drug Testing History

Werner Baumgartner pioneers a hair-testing technique to test for the presence of drugs

Werner Baumgartner pioneers a hair-testing technique to test for the presence of drugs. Whereas urinalysis can detect substances injested inj the last seventy-hours [except marijuana, which can be detected up to four weeks later, this new method can detect past drug use going back over several years depending on the length of the hair being tested. Persons who have used drugs at one time and then quit can be revealed by this method.

The U.S. Supreme Court allows an “administrative search exception” to the Fourth Amendment with regard to random drug testing of military personnel

The U.S. Supreme Court declared constitutional an “administrative search exception” to the Fourth Amendment [Committee for GI Rights v. Callaway 518 F. 2D 466, 474 D.C. Cir. 1975] with regard to random drug testing of military personnel, reasoning that the state’s strong public interest to ensure military readiness outweighs the privacy interests of servicemen who already serve under considerably diminished Fourth Amendment rights.

The Pentagon prepares to random drug test soldiers returning from Vietnam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOukOqdudHk

Acting on recommendations from the White House, the Pentagon prepares to random drug test soldiers returning from Vietnam. Since drug use is an infraction of military code and automatically results in a dishonorable discharge, many servicemen would be placed in legal jeopardy, and the result would be a public relations nightmare. To solve the problem President Nixon – acting as commander-in-chief – sends a one-page memo to the secretary of defense ordering that drug use will no longer be considered a crime under the military code of justice. This single act reverses decades of military policy and simultaneously introduces random urine testing as a matter of public policy.

1969
January 30

Washington, D.C. Department of Corrections tests the urine of 129 District prisoners

Washington, D.C. Department of Corrections tests the urine of 129 District prisoners in an effort to prove a causal relationship between crime and drugs. Since prisoners, by definition, have mitigated rights, no constitutional violation is cited. An imperfect study at best, the results are ambiguous and debatable

1967
January 30

Candidate Richard Nixon declares law-and-order the number one goal of his proposed administration

Nixon declares law-and-order

Seeking election to the Presidency, candidate Richard Nixon declares law-and-order the number one goal of his proposed administration with special emphasis on a War on Drugs: “As I look over the problems in this country” he told supporters at Disneyland, “I see one that stands out particularly – the problem of narcotics.” “I believe in civil rights,” Nixon averred. “But the first civil right of every American is to be free from violence, and we are going to have an administration that restores that right in the United States of America.”

1789
January 30

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution

“The Right of the People to Be Secure in Their Persons, Houses, Papers and Effects Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures, Shall Not be Violated; And No Warrant Shall Issue, but upon Probable Cause, Supported by Oath or Affirmation, and Particularly Describing the Place to Be Searched and the Person or Things to Be Seized.”