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The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida plans to challenge the state's law requiring new welfare recipients to pass a drug test.
I have always had reservations concerning the US welfare policies. One one hand, I am fully supportive of those who genuinely need the govt
assistance (the conditions of 'who?' is a very gray debate and spurs many differing ideals). However, when I attempt to determine objectively, how I
would make that decision if it were in my hands.
Personal story: Once upon a time, I was poor, jobless, and lazy. I was a moderate drug user. In hindsight, that is what crippled my life progress.
Many times I thought to myself, 'If I collected welfare and never had to work, while continuing that lifestyle, I would never get out". I'm confident
there are many other people out there who would feel the same. But, I digress. The article goes on to say:
The spokesman says Florida's drug testing law is unconstitutional, saying it violates the Fourth Amendment's search and seizure protections.
Woah! Hold on a sec. First of all, I believe that by collecting govt assistance, you give up some Constitutional rights.
4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall
not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In my opinion, this is Not an 'unreasonable search'. I have a huge problem with the thought that my tax dollars are being used to enable somebody's
drug addiction, rendering them a useless member of society indefinitely. And you should too!! Furthermore, nobody is trying to "secure" anybody's
"persons, houses, papers, and effects".
National Poverty Center
As a result of these legislative changes, many researchers and program administrators began to declare that alcohol and drug abuse were widespread and
would limit recipients’ ability to move from welfare to work. In 1995, one liberal advocacy group stated “welfare reform is doomed to fail if it
does not address the needs of individuals with alcohol and drug problems”.
All this is trumped by the words 'upon probably cause'. Probable cause can easily be determined by recipients' records. If Joe has been arrested for
possession, i see no problem with requiring drug tests in order to qualify for welfare. Jim, who has never been linked to drug abuse, shouldn't have
anything to worry about. He will be reimbursed for the test fee if he passes. For the most part, only those who are threatened by this law would go
through the trouble of filing suits. So, in essence, by supporting the movement to deem this form of drug testing unconstitutional effectively
translates to supporting the use of welfare payouts for illegal drugs.
To put it in perspective, I work for the govt by proxy. I'm occasionally required to pass drug tests. If I fail, not only do I lose my job,
benefits, 401k, etc, I could also face Federal charges. Now tell me how that is different. If anything, those who get their work done, don't cause
mischief, and are productive members of society should have more lenience than those who are corruptly sucking the Federal teet.
Note: Kudos to the contributors of this thread. Many of you have responded with coherent, intelligible arguments. I am religious, and i recently
authored a thread in the religion forum. The results were absolute poppy cock. Thank you all!
edit on 8-9-2011 by TomServo because: