UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your piss

First, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons of things to be seized.

OK, now let’s begin.

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Rick Scott has ordered, as of March, that drug testing be mandatory of new hires and spot checks of existing state employees under him. In addition, Scott has upheld his promise to drug test citizens seeking welfare, effective July 1. All of this applies regardless of suspicion.

The language of the bill states that the Florida Department of Children and Family services will be required to conduct drug tests on adults applying to the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. The aid recipients would be responsible for the cost of the screening, they would recoup in their assistance if they qualify. Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, sans reimbursement.

This may sound swell to those top 2 percent, fiscally well-off minorities, who can’t relate to the poor, or worse, refuse to. But to us humble observers here at the Spinnaker, it prompts many pensive questions: Where is the line drawn? Are families receiving Medicaid, state emergency relief, or educational grants and loans going to have to piss in a cup to get a few bucks? Why is it worth thousands of dollars to prove that people aren’t high in the midst of such devastating cuts to education? More important, why is it that the people who don’t want you to get high, or have sex, are the same people that you wouldn’t want to get high or have sex with in the first place?

“It’s not right for taxpayer money to be paying for somebody’s drug addiction,” Scott told CNN last month.

True, albeit, a short-cut to thinking.

Florida’s ACLU executive director, Howard Simon, refuted Scott’s legislation, calling it an intrusion upon citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights and an “egregious use of taxpayer money.”

Even if it is only for testing drugs, he said, urine samples analyze many elements that are simply none of anyone else’s business, like pregnancy, diabetes or depression.

“What [Scott] is doing,” he said, “is giving ugly legitimacy to an unfortunate stereotype that has been in this country for a couple of decades – that all welfare percipience are a bunch of drug users.”

It was Benjamin Franklin who said: Those who would give essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither.

We’re curious what will happen once enough poverty stricken drug-users are denied their bread and butter. If you think they’re ugly now, wait till they reach their breaking point. Better beef up the National Guard, Scott.

Similar legislation was passed in Michigan in 2000, but the federal district court struck it down as violating the fourth amendment. See, (Marchwinski v. Howard, 113 F.Supp.2d 1134).

To be fair, Scott is creating jobs. These drug tests will provide thousands of new customers to Solantic, a company Scott used to run – it’s now owned by a trust in his wife’s name.

Since stereotyping is OK, let’s talk about how street savvy people on welfare are. You think they can’t pass a piss test? Get real. Swipe a cleanser at the GNC and it’ll be raining food stamps at the Dollar General.

Have we mentioned that drug testing employees, unless they are in a safety-sensitive position, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment? We know they drug test at McDonalds, but people who apply for jobs that require a drug test voluntarily waive their Fourth Amendment rights. There is a difference. Therefore, welfare recipients can’t be tested, since they aren’t employees.

Another bit of flawless logic: Drug tests are stupid.

If half of our staff smokes a joint, on their own time, on the first of the month and takes a drug test the last Friday of the month, they’re probably going to get busted. However, if the other half snorts a heaping pile of meth the first of the month, they can test clean by the end of the week.

In sum, drug testing is an expensive process that has never been legitimately proven to increase productivity or decrease the use of recreational drugs. This endeavor is sure to cause a number of unfortunate outcomes, such as making the drug-testing industry extremely lucrative at the expense of increasing consumer and taxpayer costs, and increasing the use of very addictive, legally prescribed recreational drugs, such as Xanex and Viagra. Alas, this will create new industries that produce fast-acting drug cleansers.

The real issue here is that politicians, such as Scott and his ilk, don’t care about the poor, and by blaming them for poverty the politicos are freed from finding real solutions. It’s a perniciously prejudice attempt to brand drug use by poor as the cause of poverty, rather than a symptom of poverty. But remember: we pay their salaries, too. So drink some water, Scott and pony up that piss, boy, because you must be on drugs if you think this is justifiable.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    Concerned for UNF and JacksonvilleJul 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

    What kind of a bubble do you live in college boy? Don’t you read the paper? Don’t you see the one area of town with ALL the failing public schools? Don’t you see the area of town where the 15-24 year olds are constantly shooting and killing each other over fifty bucks and a dime bag? Don’t you see where most of the city/county tax revenues are being distributed by way of welfare, generation after generation? We have to find a way to rid ourselves of this institutional slavery that is happening to our welfare recipients.
    We all know that the northwest side is not the only place drugs are being consumed. I see that college kids and trailer trash like them also, but we need to set these people free of the reliance of government and drugs and let them go out and earn an honest wage like the rest of town.
    I also know that children and the elderly get more welfare than druggies, but they won’t likely fail a drug test. They aren’t who Scott is after. You can tell if someone is taking that GNC “stuff” to cover up drugs. If by some miracle the drugs aren’t a factor then we can scale it back or do away with it all together.
    Maybe you are too young or haven’t been in town long so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. From someone who has lived here and watched this murder capital, cesspool spin since the mid eighties, this is a good law for Jacksonville!
    I’ve also heard the unfounded, inevitable cries from the ACLU about racism. How does race have anything to do with this? If everyone in whitetown, indiatown, or chinatown was living on welfare for decades and spending part of the money on a bustling underground drug economy, we would have the same problem and need the same remedy. The law doens’t say anything about race it targets ILLEGAL drug users.
    Maybe some of your college boy friends who like to smoke doobies will like this article. People don’t call it dope because it makes you smart. Just remember that they have never paid anything more than sales tax and are indirectly supporting this institutionalized slavery by giving up that “bread and butter.” I doubt the real owner of this college (real taxpayers) thinks your welfare loving, wasteful spending, government can tell if you have diaqbetes, Scott doesn’t care about the poor rhetoric is sophmoric at best.
    I’m not here to vilify you or the northwest side or its inhabitants. The villain is the system that enslaves them. You want to be a rebel? Lets find a way to put welfare on the endangered species list. Make it acessible only to children and the elderly and in TEMPORARY, dire circumstances.
    You are right about one thing, these people aren’t employees. They should and now DO give up the right to total privacy when they ask real taxpayers to give them something for nothing.
    Since you misunderstand the words of Ben Franklin, this may be pointless, but let me show you a Tom Jefferson quote. “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.” Think about it.

    Concerned for the future of UNF and Jacksonville