Drug Tests for Politicians?
‘ A Political
‘A Political View’ By Sherry Holliman
Drug testing is the evaluation of a urine, blood or other type of biological sample to determine if the subject has been using the drug or drugs in question.
Drug testing is often done when applying for employment, and drug testing is now common in general for many U.S. employers as part of an ongoing effort to lessen the impact of drug abuse, safety concerns, and low productivity in the workplace.
Voters should be entitled to know about the actions of people that are making our laws. A double standard is a clear demonstration of unfair treatment, and some of our leaders are guilty of it. Elected officials are responsible for making laws that decide the punishment for people who illegally use and abuse drugs. So why are they not holding themselves accountable for the same actions?
The misuse of prescribed drugs is illegal, and those elected to serve should set an example by demonstrating that they do not break the law. Voters have a right to hold every leader to a higher standard, and if they are breaking the law, the public is entitled to know about it.
Elected officials make decisions for all of us and spend our money. The voters are entitled to express concern about leaders making legislative decisions under the influence of drugs. If testing for drugs deter some people from campaigning for office or continuing to serve, that is a good thing — these people don't belong in public service.
One example of how drug use affects decision making is our elected official that maybe driving under the influence of drugs?
Taxpayers pay the bill for the transportation of the elected official, and if he or she is involved in an accident as a result of taking drugs, should the taxpayer have to bear the burden?
Just as a chain-smoking politician may be influenced on his or her vote on legislation relating to tobacco, surely a drug-taking politician may be influenced on his or her vote of legislation regarding the drug testing debate. All government officials should be drug and background tested. Government officials should not be above the law, seeing convicted criminals and tax evaders serving in a government capacity would disqualify regular people from the same jobs.
Taxpayers have a right to expect their elected official to operate in a drug free workplace. Most of the public servants are likely committed to upholding the laws of the land but for the elected official that is in fact violating those laws by illegal drug use, the public has every good reasons for being informed about this. Many debates have been made of political candidates revealing past drug use.
Voters have a right to know what a potential leader has done in such areas. If an elected official has in the past broken the law, or is presently breaking the law, this knowledge should be disclosed to the general public. If elected officials have nothing to hide in this matter, they should be willing to stand up and be tested. Reacting with “invasion of privacy” as a reason not to drug test only makes the tester seem like they have something to hide.
The fear of invasion of privacy is a deflecting method for the guilty users and should not be a factor while elected officials are on the taxpayer clock. If the elected officials are living drug-free lives, such tests should present no problem. All the talk of “invasion of privacy” is beside the point. If an elected representative is using illegal drugs, the public has a right to know and if he or she is not, they should be quite eager to let this be known.
Tax payers do you care about your elected official being drug free?
Sherry Holliman is a concerned citizen of Crittenden County and has some views on a variety of topics that she wants to share with her neighbors.