School board skeptical of cannabis testing kits

Lewiston school board skeptical of cannabis test kits

In Maine the Lewiston School Superintendent Jake Langlias asked the school board to consider purchasing test kits that could be used to detect cannabis on campus. The Superintendent showed an example of a company, SwabTek, that uses cotton swabs to detect the presence of cannabis. Resource officers within the school could use this technology to identify cannabis use on campus according to the superintendent. Members of the board were hesitant to approve the plan citing concerns for student privacy as well as the potential for false positives. According to the Press Herald, the board was informed of a disclaimer from the test kit website which says the test is unable to differentiate between THC and similar materials contained in hemp clothing.

Questions were raised about whether that testing clothing, backpacks, and other surfaces is necessary or a step too far. The Superintendent tried to assure board members that kits would only be used with probable cause. Paul Beauparlant, who supported the measure, made an unsuccessful motion to approve the use of these testing kits. His motion failed to receive a second. Without a protocol to determine what circumstances would warrant using such technology the board declined to vote on the proposal at the meeting. The board asked for more information before making a final decision on the matter.

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