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Florida Governor Orders State Employee Drug Testing

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) Tuesday issued an executive order Tuesday requiring that current state employees submit to random drug tests and that applicants for state jobs undergo pre-hiring drug tests. The order will go into effect in 60 days for current employees and immediately for new hires, but it certain to be challenged in court.

The executive order came as the state legislature grapples with a bill that would require people who apply for state welfare benefits to submit to a drug test -- and pay for it themselves -- before receiving them. That bill, Senate Bill 556, is supported by Gov. Scott and passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Tuesday.

"Floridians deserve to know that those in public service, whose salaries are paid with taxpayer dollars, are part of a drug-free workplace," Scott said. "Just as it is appropriate to screen those seeking taxpayer assistance, it is also appropriate to screen government employees."

The bill applies only to workers in executive agencies that answer to the governor. Legislators and their staffs would be exempt.

State law already allows for, but does not require, pre-employment drug testing of applicants for jobs at state agencies under the Florida Drug-Free Workplace Act. But the random drug testing of both state employees and welfare recipients is likely to run up against the US Constitution.

Federal courts have generally found that random testing of government workers who aren't in jobs that affect public safety amounts to a "search" by the government. Such searches must be "reasonable," generally, and some courts have interpreted such requirements of ordinary government workers as a violation of the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. A Michigan law requiring drug testing of welfare recipients was thrown out by the federal courts in 2003.

The ACLU of Florida attacked Scott's order, saying that a federal court had in 2004 already ruled that the state was violating the Fourth Amendment when the Department of Juvenile Justice instituted a random drug testing program. In that case, a US district judge ordered the agency to halt random drug testing and pay the worker who sued $150,000.

"I'm not sure why Gov. Scott does not know that the policy he recreated by executive order today has already been declared unconstitutional," ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon said in a statement. "The state of Florida cannot force people to surrender their constitutional rights in order to work for the state. Absent any evidence of illegal drug use, or assigned a safety-sensitive job, people have a right to be left alone."

While Gov. Scott is coming off as a hard-liner when it comes to drug testing poor people and state workers, he has also zeroed out the state drug czar's office and blocked the state from beginning a prescription drug tracking plan. But then, as the saying goes, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.


NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: StoptheDrugWar.org
Author: Phillip Smith
Copyright: 2011 StoptheDrugWar.org
Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org
Website: Florida Governor Orders State Employee Drug Testing
 

Shanty

Member
I agree with 100%. I do have concerns about the government over-stepping the bounds of what is maybe stretching. However, this is not broad to all, this are those after July 1, 2011. These are our tax dollars. Of course those states that have Medical Cannabis use, with a recommendation card, would be exempt. However, at this time, Florida has no such Medical usage law.

The bogus part of this law, is ANOTHER person can be given these benefits to ensure the Children are not effected due to the Guardian. Which really makes the law a joke, as we all have a friend or family member that will always be clean on a UA, so the attempt has good intentions, the loop holes out of the gate, sorta defeat its implamantation of the laws usage.
 

G-Dog

New Member
In a bad economy there are different sorting processes to make sure that everyone is on the same page that is eating, working and paying the mortgage. You don't want any of those pro-MMJ people eating in a bad economy. Better to hire a bunch or our own selected sheep while we can afford to be picky.
 

Weed420

New Member
A complete waste of tax payers dollars and also unconstitutional. Its a clear violation of the 4th Amendment about illegal search and seizures. Reasonable cause has to be seen before people can be tested. Just because you're poor and on welfare doesn't mean you don't enjoy the same civil rights as every other citizen in AMerica.
The costs alone should be enough to kill this bill. And anyone that bothers to do 5 minutes of reading on the net will see that all these drug tests are easy to beat.
 

Shanty

Member
It is a very complicated conversation. If I have to take a UA test for employment, as much as I want to stomp my feet and say "You are stepping on my 4th amendment" If I want the job, I piss in the cup. In this case, it is for me to bust my butt, be away from my family all day, miss some special events because of my schedule at work, to have that paycheck.

Yet you and others believe they are not employed by the state, but given food stamps, WIC, Welfare and the TONS of other programs they get FOR FREE, FREE. I say they certainly are employees of that state and their laws if they want all that free handouts.

I say provide free or low cost daycare, if not already in most places, so the receipents so they can look for work. I am not saying take them away if they are clean, I am saying put on a Orange Vest and get your stick with the nail on it and clean the sides of the roads. Do something, stop getting it for free, unless you fail a state mandated law.

Poor people, they might have to pass a UA, just as most anyone who goes for any employment these days do all the time. fail, no job, fail, no freebies.
 

Bonehead

New Member
Of course those states that have Medical Cannabis use, with a recommendation card, would be exempt. However, at this time, Florida has no such Medical usage law.

Unfortunately this is NOT the case in California. If you are an employee in California who has to submit to a drug test, you could be terminated by your employer even with a medical cannabis recommendation. In California the law is step up as a defense in a court of law. It's not about pre-employment screening, random, or reasonable suspicion testing. You could lose your job. So far, most rulings involving medical cannabis and one's job have ruled on the side of the employer. A person should still keep it on the down-low at work. It's a medical issue and should not be discussed.
 
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Shanty

Member
I totally get it bonehead. How could a state pass a law that, even most of the people with cards should never have one. But it is wrong to allow a doctor to prescribe a med, then that med stop you from doing the good job you are doing for your employer.

Remember, Cannabis is illegal in all 50 States and possessions. Because the feds have not went after, in most cases, End Users, due to state laws, does not take away from that fact that in Florida for sure, it is illegal.

Last time I visited Venice Beach, all the way from Alabama, medical marijuana is a joke in California, Marijuana for all intense and purpose is legal in California when there is a sign out saying Dr. Is in and people handing out papers to the fact.

As Mitch Hedberg used to say, When someone hands you a flier, it is like they are telling you, you throw this away. LOL

Seriously, if you take public, state and federal assistance, in the case of Florida where Cannabis is illegal, the public, state and feds have the RIGHT to require simple things that they must abide by.

I know Governor Scott, he would not remember me. He would love nothing better for this not to have to cover Cannabis. The movement is growing in Florida for Medical Cannabis and the drugs they really want to go after is Cocaine, Pills, Crack and Meth. Unfortunately, Cannabis is illegal and they cannot take that one out. I think the last thing I read, Florida tops the nation with something like 35-40% of Oxycontin being prescribed in Florida. Very easy to get with the vast amount of older people.

Did I mention, I get 8 facet shots in my back every 2-3 months. I had to sign a state narcotics agreement that I would not have prescribed to me or take other drugs by state law. After almost three years, while coming under or out of the Propophal, I must have mumbled something. The pain doctor sent me for a UA, I knew it was going to be a UA and while I could have bought all the flushing stuff, before my appointment, two weeks later, cleaned myself out. I did not. I no longer can be prescribed in the entire state, my 10/325 percocets. Did my S1-6, L-4/5. Psoriatic Arthritis that is deteriorating my back to, they tell me, a cane or wheel chair if it keeps progressing like this, in 3-5 years. I am 52. I lost the med that keeps me going and I only took about 2 of the four a day I was allowed. CANNABIS DOES NOT, and I have tried most all, take this pain away. Well, if that happens to me with a REAL Neuro diagnosed series of problems and I can get tested and lose something that allows me to get out of bed and function, then damn right those taking my tax dollars should be held to the same standard. Just my belief, I respect fully yours.

Scott
 
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