A friend I love and respect posted a note on a social network site; her remarks supported Florida’s new law to drug test welfare recipients. I wrote a response, but have since deleted it. (I think it is not fair to use someone else’s page to promote your own views.) So here is my vantage on it.

I am not as bothered by the idea as I am by the attitude and philosophy behind it. For a few bucks at the head shop anyone can have a clean drug test. This will not solve any problems, but will add layers of bureaucracy. This is just another way of further marginalizing people already living on the fringes of society.

Do you test the whole family or everyone living in the house? Why don’t we also test for nicotine, alcohol, high blood sugar and high cholesterol? Can we make them buy only store brand goods rather than wasting my money by splurging on brand names? Maybe we could ban them from eating at fast food restaurants? Oh, oh, oh, I know… let’s ban anyone receiving welfare from buying guns or ammunition; try getting that one past the right-wingers.

This law is built on a presumption of guilt and requires people to prove their innocence, before they receive benefits. So receiving state or federal benefits requires you to give up your rights? This is welfare, not prison, right? Though I understand there are some people that would prefer we move all of those social dregs into camps.

I don’t want to live in that type of country. In fact, didn’t we fight some huge war to stop that sort of behavior? I prefer the United States where people are innocent until proven guilty. Just because some percentage of welfare recipients may be drug users, it does not justify testing all recipients.

I have another idea; let’s test everyone before we give them a driver’s license. Imagine the money we’d save on law enforcement, the savings on hospital and reduced insurance costs from accidents we prevented. Heck it would create jobs for testers and stimulate the economy.

Or better yet, let’s cut off all benefits to ugly people. That might slow down their attempts to overtake our traditional values of America the Beautiful.

Okay, everybody get in line and let the tests begin.

For me, I think we need to stop trying to micromanage people’s lives and focus on education and opportunity. In the long run those things will produce better results.