Introductory Remarks: How it All Began: The Move to Drug Testing

Gordon A. Martin Jr.

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The day before this symposium, the steroid story of the day was twotime all-star outfielder Matt Lawton  having become the twelfth major league baseball player penalized for violating baseball’s steroid rules. On the morning of the symposium, the Los Angeles Times reported that a “eureka moment” in steroid detection had occurred at the nonprofit research firm City of Hope in Duarte, California. When did it begin? The urge to drug test, I mean. The use of drugs is as old as mankind itself. But a suspicious and inquisitive society intent on finding out just who is using what, and how often began to evolve just a generation ago. The seemingly pervasive use of illegal drugs may well have been the most pressing domestic issue of the eighties. The failure of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign, and the grossly inadequate resources appropriated by the federal government, had long been apparent. The last significant action of the 100th Congress in 1988, important enough to keep the Senate in session a week longer than planned in October of an election year, was passage of an omnibus drug bill. There was something for everyone: the possibility of capital punishment for drug related slayings and new infusions of treatment monies for those more concerned with rehabilitation of the drug dependent.
40 New Eng. L. Rev. 705

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