In yesterday’s big AJC story about Georgia’s constitutionally questionable new bill requiring drug tests for welfare recipients, one of the bill’s sponsors defended the bill thusly:
“Tax dollars should never be spent on and enabling illegal activity,” said Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, a sponsor of the bill. Ideally, he said, it meant “assuring we are giving people a hand up, not just a handout. Level the playing field for others in the private sector and civil service jobs who submit to drug tests. Ultimately, help people with tough love to get clean and become tax-productive members of society.”
Translation: It’s totally fine by me to disregard the 4th Amendment rights of thousands of people if we prevent a small sum of taxpayer dollars from being spent on illegal drugs.
Albers proclamation is simultaneously sweeping and petty. Drug testing everyone just to catch a handful* of people? Does Albers want to test every state legislator, too? How about their staffs? Why not test kids before they ride government school buses? Why not test commuters before they merge onto state roads?
Oh, and let’s test families before they go hiking in state parks! By Albers’s logic, mass drug testing is permissible if it prevents a single stoner from having a “Dude, that’s awesome” moment in front of Amicalola Falls.
Hooray for small government! And by small, I mean petty.
*Florida already has a nearly identical drug testing law and only 2% of welfare recipients there tested positive for drugs.