The state of Florida has been on the forefront of drug testing news since it passed its drug testing for welfare recipients law in 2011. Now matters have gotten even more severe in this state that seems to want to put every constituent within its borders on trial for drug use. According to the News Service of Florida:
“Much of the debate on Friday was over whether such ‘suspicionless’ drug testing violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which precludes unreasonable searches, and whether the courts would let such a program stand.
Legislative staff has noted in an analysis of the bill that the U.S. Supreme Court has found that ‘blanked suspicionless searches’ may be reasonable and therefore OK in some cases where public safety is at issue. ‘But where … public safety is not genuinely in jeopardy, the Fourth Amendment precludes the suspicionless search,’ the Supreme Court ruled.
The staff also noted that federal courts with jurisdiction over Florida have held that an agency’s random drug testing policy was unconstitutional in a case where it found an employee did not present a ‘concrete risk of real harm,’ and a city’s drug testing law was unconstitutional because the city produced no evidence of drug use among employees.
Several Republicans, however, said the bill had no constitutional problems, and a number noted that it’s fairly common in the private sector.
Smith said drug use is rampant, and argued it makes sense to test as many people as possible. Noting that many businesses now routinely test workers, Smith said testing has become generally accepted in society, likening it to breathalyzer testing by police to test for alcohol use, although opponents note that typically police only test people suspected of drunk driving, rather than issuing random breath tests to people not under suspicion.
‘We cannot simply keep arresting people… It’s time to face the problem and use the techniques that work,’ said Smith. ‘It’s common sense.’
Democrats argued also that the attempt to drug test state workers, along with another GOP-led effort to require drug testing for welfare recipients, was mean-spirited, and only possible because those being targeted are relatively powerless. The Legislature refused to require testing of lawmakers, and others in position of power, they noted.
‘You’re just being bullies,’ said Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation. ‘You can do this to state workers, you can do this to welfare recipients. If you want to change society, let’s do it to the lawyers.’
‘You know why you won’t do it to the lawyers? Because you won’t get nowhere,’ Thurston said. ‘You pick on people you can bully around.’
Democratic Rep. Mark Pafford introduced an amendment Friday that would have also required legislators to take drug tests, but the amendment was batted back by Republicans. Smith called the amendment ‘political theater.’
The bill passed 79-37 and now goes to the Senate, where its future is uncertain. Scott has said that drug testing of employees is common sense, and would be expected to sign the measure should it get to his desk.”
You be the judge: do you think this kind of all-encompassing drug testing is necessary or warranted? We want to hear from you!
If YOU need help passing a drug test, call 1-877-247-1354 today. You don’t have to be a victim of “justice.”