War on drugs takes trip to gutter

As if it weren’t enough to tap our phonelines, screen our emails, monitor our internet usage, and squash our right to peacably assemble by setting up “free speech zones”, our Federal government is up to no good again. This time, they’ve set up an agreement with Fairfax County to monitor the county’s sewage for cocaine use. From the Washington Post article:

If government studies are a reliable guide, about 25,000 residents of Fairfax County — 2.5 percent of its population — have used cocaine in the past year. The same data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggest that about 9,000 have partaken within the past 30 days.

Those estimates, based on personal and computer-assisted interviews, rely almost completely on the candor of the respondents. The Bush administration, hoping to someday broaden the government’s knowledge of illegal drug use, is probing the mysteries of Fairfax’s sewage for a clearer picture.

Apparently, we’re not satisfied with the candor of general populace, but I’m perplexed as to why the White House would stoop to these measures. What’s the catch? Are we really going to gain anything from this other than to confirm the fact that people tend to be less than honest about their use of illegal drugs in a survey?

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