Are You Socially Responsible?
Recently, the legislature in Florida has introduced the idea of implementing drug testing for public aid applicants. Some say it's unconstitutional, some say it's stupid --some think it's a great idea.
Although the legal implications here are up for discussion, unconstitutional this is not. The equal protection argument has little weight, seeing as drug tests are used for jobs with no problem, and public aid is not a right of anyone. Public aid is meant to be a temporary supplement to an individual or family having a tough time in life, resulting from economic constraints or maybe even a bad decision or 2. The emphasis here is on temporary. No one is entitled to public aid, and applicants must qualify, just as they must for employment.
Opponents to this idea see it as unfair, and not the position of the government to deny aid when an applicant appears to use drugs. Contrary to this stance, any entity, government or otherwise has the right to deny whatever they may be giving out based on what they choose within constitutional reason. Requiring drug testing may seem like racial profiling, or an undue burden for aid, but why should hardworking taxpayers support drug habits? Earmarking the applicants potential funds to rehab and other programming is actually a better avenue. Clearly a drug abuser is not really in need of public aid money, but public aid care, helping them regain their independence.
What do you think about the idea? Do you see it as a form of profiling? Should taxpayers be responsible for supporting drug habits of those on public aid? What about requiring treatment if a test is failed? Share your thoughts with us!