Hooray for Florida... oops... not so fast!!! W...

Posted on Sunday, March 11th, 2012 at 8:50 am by Jim

In July 2011 Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott enacted a law requiring adults applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screening. You would have thought that I-95 and I-75 would have been jammed with druggies and deadbeats heading north out of Florida, because this is the first state in the union to require drug testing to receive welfare!

In signing the new law, Republican Gov. Rick Scott said, "While there are certainly legitimate needs for public assistance, it is unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction," he said. "If Floridians want welfare, they better make sure they are drug-free". Applicants must pay for the drug test, but are reimbursed if they test drug-free. Applicants who test positive for illicit substances won't be eligible for the funds for a year, or until they undergo treatment. Those who fail a second time will be banned from receiving funds for three years! Naturally, a few people are crying this is unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It's a legal requirement that every person applying for a JOB has to pass drug tests in order to get the JOB, why not those who receive welfare?

"Hooray for Florida" we thought. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let me continue...

In October 2011 Federal Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction against the state, writing in a 37-page order that the law could violate the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on illegal search and seizure. As usual, the lawsuit over the law was filed by the ACLU... get this... representing a man, Luis Lebron, who was seeking welfare assistance for his family but refusing to take the drug test! In her order, Scriven issued a scathing assessment of the state's argument in favor of the drug tests, saying the state failed to prove "special needs" as to why it should conduct such searches without probable cause of reasonable suspicion, as the law requires. Unfortunately, Mary Scriven was an appointee of George W Bush.

Meet Judge Scriven Here

Comedy Central Targets Gov. Scott -- passing a drug testing cup

Also in July 2011 Missouri governor Jay Nixon signed off on a similar bill in that state. It required drug screens for some individuals receiving or applying for certain welfare benefits. Officials would administer drug tests when they had reasonable cause to believe an applicant or recipient was using illegal drugs. Under the bill welfare recipients would lose their benefits for three years if they failed a urine test that screened for narcotics. But the measure would have allowed them to receive benefits if they completed a drug treatment program and did not test positive again. Keeping this law on the books is still questionable.

Supporters of the policies note that public assistance is meant to be transitional and that drug tests are increasingly common requirements for getting jobs. "Working people today work very hard to make ends meet, and it just doesn't seem fair to them that their tax dollars go to support illegal things," said Ellen Brandom, a Republican state representative in Missouri. Advocates for the poor say the testing policies single out and vilify victims of the recession, disputing the idea that people on public assistance are more likely to use drugs. Backers of welfare testing laws argue that it is appropriate because taxpayers should not have to give money to people who are buying illegal drugs. Opponents counter that welfare recipients are the only beneficiaries of government assistance who are forced to take drug tests. As I read from one fellow: "There is nothing unreasonable about it. It's not a criminal investigation, it's begger control."

In 1999 the state of Michigan implemented a program requiring random drug testing for welfare recipients, but that program was halted after a federal court ruled that it violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

My simple question is this... If you want assistance, why NOT take the test? If you want to do drugs... then don't take the test and forget about a handout. Simple, huh? Why should we support you if you do drugs? You don't get a license to drive a commercial vehicle without testing. And if you break a law while driving any vehicle, then your license can get revoked. You don't get a free pass. If you drink and drive then you may be checked before driving each time you make an attempt to start your engine in the future. You don't get to fly on a plane without being checked from one end to the other... and this is BEFORE you have been accused of anything. In many instances one cannot even work without passing a drug test. So why shouldn't someone requesting a handout supplied by the rest of us be made to show he or she is not on drugs and deserves the assistance? You don't get a nickel from the government on ANY level without being checked and rechecked in every manner possible... unless, of course, you have chosen to be a drug addict... then you simply get the money with no questions asked.

To be clear about the question... we cannot WORK without random drug testing... but we CAN DO DRUGS AND GET PAID ANYWAY without testing? Is this Political Correctness being pushed to the absurd or not?

What do you think?