The days of drug testing welfare recipients in the state of Florida, of which only 2 percent have tested positive, are at an end.
A U.S. district judge on Monday ordered an injunction on a Florida law requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving state benefits.
An ACLU lawsuit filed in September claimed the Florida law violates the Fourth Amendment by requiring welfare applicants to submit to a “suspicionless” drug test. The suit was filed on behalf of Luis Lebron, a 35-year-old Orlando resident and Navy veteran who applied for welfare benefits but refused to take the drug test. [...]
“… the state provides scant evidence that rampant drug abuse exists among this class of individuals,” Judge Mary Scriven writes in the court order.
“The constitutional rights of a class of citizens are at stake, and the Constitution dictates that the needs asserted to justify subverting those rights must be special, as the case law defines that term, in order for this exception to the Fourth Amendment to apply. … That showing has not been made on this record.”
Governor Rick Scott’s justification for his drug-testing program has been that welfare recipients use drugs more often than others, and that testing them promotes “personal responsibility,” and today Judge Mary Scriven essentially called bullshit on that notion.
Why don’t we drug test CEOs and executives instead? After all, they’re also being handed money by the state in the form of tax cuts, and I’m certain their rate of drug use is far higher than people who can barely afford to eat.
Of course that will never happen, and like the drug-testing of welfare recipients is probably unconstitutional, but stock-optioned, capital gains-fueled, corporate drug addicts seem more plausible to me than welfare-funded drug addicts.