Drug testing: a new form of discrimination?

IAN HEDGES, News Editor
Last year, Florida’s legislature passed a law that mandated drug testing for welfare recipients. I find it relevant to mention this now because I have seen many Facebook statuses that go along the lines of, “Repost this if you support drug testing those welfare recipients who take taxpayer money!”  and it always manages to disturb me.
For some weird reason, I am not outraged at the fact that this law strongly tip-toes the line of unconstitutionality. I am disappointed because it singles out those who do not have the privilege to lift themselves up by the boot-straps.  It gives more of a reason for uneducated voters to validate their stereotype of “the drug-using person in a lower-income bracket.” Furthermore, drug testing welfare recipients as a cost-effective measure is a logical fallacy within itself.
Upon looking at the results, you will find that the drug testing program for welfare recipients cost Florida taxpayers $178 million. However, for all those who are enrolled, only two percent of enrollees failed the drug test.  After they were taken out of the system, it was discovered that those exiled welfare recipients were only costing the state $60,000. Where is the logic in spending $178 million to save $60,000?
If you do support this program, I’m sorry that you have decided to discriminate against those that who did not have the same opportunities or privileges as you. In retaliation, I’ll begin to lobby statehouses to drug test you and your parents. After all, you both might be receiving tax cuts and rebates, which is a government subsidy. I certainly do not want to pay for your family’s wellbeing or let you spend money on alcohol at Everett’s with the taxpayers’ money. Now, is it still constitutional to drug test those who receive “government hand-outs?”



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