Oh, Florida.

Governor Rick Scott (who I've been privately referring to as "Dick Cox," because I'm 12 and he's a jerk) has come under fire for the draconian measure partly because it's a ridiculous infringement on an individual's right to privacy, but also because he owns a large chunk of stock in a chain of walk-in drug testing clinics. Surprise! The Poors would have to foot the costs of their own drug tests. Straight from their wallets to Governor Scott's.

Controversy over the measure was heightened by Scott's past association with a company he co-founded that operates walk-in urgent care clinics in Florida and counts drug screening among the services it provides.
In April, Scott, who had transferred his ownership interest in Solantic Corp. to a trust in his wife's name, said the company would not contract for state business, according to local media reports. He subsequently sold his majority stake in the company, local media reported.

Of course, Governor Scott justifies the state's paternal moralizing to the poor by claiming that "the taxpayers" don't want to subsidize drug use.

"It's the right thing for taxpayers," Scott said after signing the measure. "It's the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don't want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs."

These taxpayers sure seem concerned about subsidizing drug use, to the point that it makes sense for the government to deprive people of the assistance that they need to survive in the name of preventing it. Drug use is bad and users are losers and just say no to drugs or McGruff the Crime Dog will give you The Rabies of Justice and all that. Let's enact policies that promote The Greater Good. I'm sure these taxpayers are equally as concerned about not giving any of their money to, say, banks that contain bankers that spend their weekends doing rails off of illegally trafficked Ukrainian sex workers. I'm sure they also are extra careful to verify that they don't buy any clothing made by Indonesian toddlers who are missing some fingers and paid 12 cents per hour. I'm positive that these supremely socially active taxpayers are vigilant to buying products with the smallest carbon footprint, insisting that grocery stores they visit buy local produce. And how can we forget the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who have taken to the streets to protest the multiple civilian killing military operations our country is engaged in at this very moment! Florida taxpayers sure are concerned about the well being of everybody!


A similar measure was introduced in Chicago, except the proposal in the Windy City suggested all city employees- including elected officials- be tested for drugs. Of course, elected officials put the kibosh on that, but framers of that proposal had a point- if we're going to scrutinize the activities of everyone who receives taxpayer money, maybe we should be scrutinizing elected officials more closely than those receiving a fraction of their salaries in government aid per year.

Additionally, the whole "let's test people for drugs before they get government aid" line of thinking seems patently ridiculous to me, as the sort of fat soluble drugs that stay in your urine for more than a few days- marijuana, for example- cause much less socially destructive behavior than stuff that's washed out of your system within a couple of days- like cocaine. We can't have poor people sitting around on their couches and watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force! Society will unravel!

Finally, it seems extra cruel for the state that contains both Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and Disney World's It's A Small World ride would be so discouraging of drugs. If those places weren't made for mushroom experimentation, then my faith in humanity is gone.

Florida's Debated Welfare Drug-Screening Measure Kicks In [CNN]