Today’s editorial cartoon is inspired by the noise coming out around some states and even the federal government trying to put laws in place that would require anyone requesting government assistance first pass a drug test. (source). I don’t believe those who don’t pass shouldn’t get benefits but rather have 90 days to enroll in a drug treatment program and then pass the test at completion and be subject to additional screenings. Yet, people are up in arms saying it violates the Fourth Amendment against unnecessary search and seizure. The ACLU has been successful in halting Florida’s program using this same argument. Personally I think the war on drugs is a complete failure, however much like my cartoon implies if I wanted to be hired by the government or a business I would have to be subjected to random drug testing. In face, just yesterday I heard about a hospital that no longer will hire anyone that smokes or has even been using a smoking cessation treatment in the last 90 days. And they plan to do hair tests. Why are my rights as an employee somehow less than someone seeking government assistance? In response to the judge’s ruling in Florida the ACLU put out a statement saying in part: “Last month in federal court in Orlando, the Governor’s attorneys pushed the startling proposition that some Floridians – namely poor families asking for temporary government assistance – were not protected by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Judge Scriven rightfully tossed out that notion and the arguments made to support it. “Governor Scott is sadly confused about conservative principles. No true conservative would defend a program that allows government to conduct intrusive, privacy-violating searches on people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing, but who are simply applicants for government services.
If we put up TSA intrusive searches when flying in the name of safety, why aren’t we OK with someone having to pee in a cup to get some money?