I read about this last week. Apparently several states are considering random drugs tests to people that receive things like welfare checks, food stamps, etc.
When I mention this to people, they overwhelming believe it to be a wonderful idea. "We don't want to give our money to druggies" is the most popular remark.
I don't know which way I fall on this. I don't believe in handouts at all. About 10 years ago, I spent my weekends in a relatively scary area of Dallas called Deep Ellum. Deep Ellum has since kind of gone the way of all good things.
I would meander around the city street by myself. I had really long hair and wore earrings at the time and never really looked anyone in the eye. I tried to fit in. It never failed that two kind of interesting things would happen when I was walking around. Someone would always come up and ask me if I was interesting in scoring some stuff. I'd get by that one, by saying, "Nah man, I'm good right now. Thanks for asking." I'd kind of slur and randomly glance over my shoulder while I talked to them. The other interesting thing that invariably would occur is guys coming up asking if I could spare them some change. I don't know if they were homeless, beggars, alcoholics, druggies or what, but they were always different.
I'd always tell them the same thing, "I never give money away. But, if you can show me the way to 'The Bone', I'll give you a dollar." Sometimes I'd substitute The Bone for any other club I was interested in. This accomplished two things. I had company walking down the street and it would prevent others from begging. One guy was funny. He walked with me to The Bone (it was a bar on Elm Street -- they always had blues on the roof). When we got in front, he said, "Man, could you buy me a beer. A dollar won't even get me a drink."
I told him, "I tell you what. You can come up to the roof with me. Every time a woman sits down and talks with us, I'll buy you a beer." It was one of the more entertaining Deep Ellum experiences I ever had. He was crazy.
The point is, we shouldn't be giving money away. As long as there are things like food stamps and welfare, there will be people standing in line to get it. I think random drugs tests will just be the opposite of the lottery. When you win the lottery, you get to be rich. When you are the victim of the drug test on welfare you become even more poor. It won't solve anything. Drug tests cost money so it won't save us any money. I don't think any good can come of it.
Of course if they would legalize drugs and make welfare come in the form of a "debit card", then they wouldn't be able to buy drugs with the welfare money anyway.