In Florida, the state employees are now going to have random drug testing. Their governor just recently signed a bill into law that makes random testing of state employees a law. They have a Republican governor, House and Senate. Georgia now requires testing for welfare recipients. The Republicans control both Houses and the governor, too.
So, both Florida and Georgia are under the complete control of conservative Republican "values." With all the conservative talk about less government, less bureaucracy, getting the government off our backs I see these types of changes as counter to what the conservatives preach. Wouldn't it be more reasonable to test an employee if there was some reasonable/probable cause? Test a welfare recipient when there are signs of a problem?
This new rule will bring a whole new layer of rules to describe what constitutes a failed test, a good prescription, or a fair random sample. Why, there will even be an appeals process. Or how about a new specialty for lawyers to attack the state for wrongful termination of employment or loss of welfare benefits?
I don't think there are many people that grow up wishing to live on unemployment. There are many, I am sure that are on welfare, are homeless or have the very low paying jobs that didn't dream of these situations either. They may have a drug or drinking problem. They may have a mental health problem. In too many cases these people end up in jail.
And, now our state will take away their welfare for having a drug problem. Why not have the state offer enough treatment for all of these problems RATHER THAN taking jobs away or cutting help? The cost of finding a new employee is high. The cost of jailing a user is also very high.
Amazingly, the real cost for the way we now punish, fire and cut are greater than a treatment program would be. That real cost ($43,000 to jail a drug user vs. $10,000 to provide treatment a year) would not include the increase in productivity our country would receive with the treated persons going back to work, the families saved. It just goes on and on.
Treat people don't jail and fire them.