The state of Florida recently passed a new law requiring anyone receiving government assistance including welfare, must pass a drug test before receiving the benefits.
Since the law went into effect in mid-July, over 7,000 applicants have taken and passed the drug test, 32 took the test and failed and approximately 1,600 have refused to the test. Applicants do not have to say why they refused, but their refusal will block them from receiving the government benefits.
Each applicant has to pay $25 to $35 to take the test. If they pass the test, the state will reimburse them. If they fail, they tests fees are forfeited and they lose them along with the benefits for a period of one year, unless they pass a second test. If they fail a second drug test, they become ineligible for assistance for three years.
Not surprisingly, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the new legislation claiming that it was unconstitutional and violated the rights of those receiving government benefits. They filed the suit on behalf of a single father and Navy veteran who is trying to complete his college education, but refused to take the test.
On Monday, federal judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary block on the Florida law. In her ruling, she said that the court needs time to determine if the law violates the Constitutional ban on unreasonable search and seizure.
I wonder if the ACLU or Judge Scriven have given any consideration to the thousands of American’s that are required to take a drug test to get a job and be subject to random tests to maintain their jobs. I know people who have had to pass a drug test just work in a dirty warehouse. If they are injured by any kind of accident, the first thing the company does is require them to take a drug test before seeking treatment.
One person I know was struck on the back of the shoulder by a heavy piece of merchandise that fell off a shelf about twenty feet above his head. Witnesses said he was just walking past on his way to lunch, but the management still insisted he immediately took a drug test. Where was the ACLU in this case?
Why is it legal and constitutionally okay for employees to be forced to take drug tests in order to earn the wages and pay the taxes used to provide the benefits when it may not be constitutional to insist on a drug test for those wishing to receive the benefits?