Florida’s law that requires drug testing of welfare applicants has had its fair share of reactions — both positive and negative — since it was first proposed. This week, U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven’s decision to temporarily halt the enforcement of the drug testing sparked a new round of discussions, arguments and debates.

Many residents in Jacksonville found themselves supporting the law.

Pamela Wiltgen said: “I had to take a drug test to get a job, so I think they should have to take one as well to not have one.”

Donna Larson expressed: “Well, if they can afford drugs, then they should be able to fend for themselves.”

Mike Swanston said: “If state and federal employees and even those in the private sector are required to take drug tests and have backgrounds checked, then someone on the dole, and I don’t mean that in a negative way, should be obligated as well.”

Attorney Stephanie Ross explains that drug testing in the private sector is not the same thing as drug testing through the state. “You have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so I have a reasonable expectation of what’s in my home and what’s in my body, and this is what they’re doing here. These individuals that are going on welfare do have a reasonable expectation of privacy of what’s in their urine. They can do that all day long because they’re a private entity, but when the state comes in, they have to meet certain requirements.”

 

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