Drug Testing

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst: Drug Users Never Amount to Anything

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst want to make passing a drug test a condition for receiving welfare or unemployment benefits. "This will prevent tax dollars going into the pockets of drug users and drug dealers," Perry said yesterday. "This isn't all about punishing. This is also an incentive to get people off these drugs." Dewhurst agreed that "extending taxpayer-funded benefits while ignoring a behavior that would make it virtually impossible for someone to enter the work force or finish school sends them down the road to a much bleaker future." In response, ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke complained that Perry and Dewhurst's proposal is "based on stereotypes about our state's neediest Texans."

Not to mention stereotypes about drug users. Apparently they can graduate from Columbia or Yale and get law or business degrees from Harvard, but they can't finish high school. They can ascend to the presidency but are not qualified for any other job. Except maybe governor of Texas. Or U.S. senator. And come to think of it, drug users reportedly have had some success in fields such as acting, singing, comedy, professional sports, writing, law, science, computer software, insurance, and currency trading. But that does not mean they are up to taking your order at Whataburger, selling clothes at the Galleria, or fixing your hail-damaged roof.

Among American adults who are below retirement age, current or past use of illegal drugs (mostly marijuana) is the rule, not the exception. Survey data indicate that nearly 40 million Americans have used illegal drugs in the last year. It is absurd to make generalizations about the educational and employment prospects of these vast, diverse groups of people based on this one characteristic they share, let alone write them all off as losers who will never amount to anything. Any politician who tries to do so should find that whatever he says next is drowned out by laughter. 

More on drug-testing welfare recipients here and here. A similar program in Florida, interrupted last October due to litigation, cost taxpayers more than it saved them.

[Thanks to Ron Steiner for the tip.]

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  1. The tipster’s REAL name is “Ron Stoner”, amirite?

  2. I don’t think it’s fair to attribute Dubya’s C student status to drug use.

    1. Sure it is. He would have been a D student without the drugs.

  3. Hey, I’m gonna get a job soon!

    Anyone wanna get high?

  4. When is the ACLU going to get on the case of the government who takes my money and distributes it to people who don’t deserve it? I don’t care if people want to get high, I do care if they need my money to do it.

  5. Dewhurst is kinda throwing stones from glass houses considering Bob Bullock, Anne Richards and the dude pictured above. I mean, substance abuse seemed to be a prerequisite of serving as Governor or Lt. Governor in Texas in the 1990s. And I don’t recall them being a bad time for Texas.

    More practically, our experience in FL with this shit is that welfare recipients test below (far below) a random sampling of, say, a university football team in drug use. In fact, that’s how I’d poison the pill. If welfare recipients test in percentage below the average of state funded college football programs for any year, it gets dropped.

    1. Agreed. Drugs aren’t free – most people need a job to buy them, at least with any consistency. Just more stupidity from Gov. Hairspray.

  6. Just imagine what Michael Phelps could have done without his drug use.

  7. Last I checked, David Dewhurst didn’t amount to anything.

  8. I nearly got a contact high from walking under a neighbor’s balcony last night. Seems to me they were normal, working folk looking to unwind after a day of toil. But to elitist scum like Perry & Dewhurst, normal working folk ain’t nuttin’.

    1. Yeah. The neighbors across the street are burning chronic pretty much all evening, and all day on weekends. I can smell it from the sidewalk as I walk by, and it smells good. It’s a young couple. Very nice folks. Professionals with good jobs, nice cars, a nice house in a good neighborhood.

      They’ll never amount to anything.

      1. “and it smells good”

        Yeah I gotta disagree with you there. The stuff smells horrible

        1. ^This. Every time I’ve ever smelled somebody smoking pot it smelled like a rolled up, burning cow pie.

          1. It’s an acquired taste.

            /snobbery

          2. Your nose doesn’t work right.

      2. Just think how many people could read EDG’s comment and think, “hey, does he live across the street from me?”

        Obviously not me. As a city-dweller I have an apartment and only one car, for starters.

  9. As long as Dewhurst and all his co-workers have to submit to a blood test to enter the statehouse every day. “Legislating Under the Influence” will be a hanging offense.

    1. We had this fight in FL, too. They argued that adding any test to legislators violated the right of the public to duly elect representatives. So I’m working to get a state Constitutional amendment on the ballot that legislators be subject to the strictest standards of drug testing employed by the state for any reason, including probation.

      1. More power to you. The hypocrisy must stop. Similar stuff should be done at the federal level. Hmm, maybe we could petition the White House for an Executive Order to this effect?

      2. Brett, this proposal is wonderful. Good luck with your State Constitutional amendment. It’s high time (no pun intended).

  10. Unfortunately this is Texas, so the average reader of a major newspaper in this state simply nodded in sage agreement and wondered why we keep pussy-footing around mandating the death penalty for “the marry-wanna”.

    And as someone else pointed out, the state has no problem funding high school and college football programs, where drug use is rampant. And most of those guys never amount to anything.

    1. My fellow Texan youngins don’t seem to have much of a problem with MJ from my hick cousins to the progressive douchtards from college. Of course none of us are average readers or a major newspaper.

      1. Try hanging out at a Plano city council meeting sometime, or the Collin County republican party.

        They will assure you that anyone who has ever even heard of drugs is a rapist burglar who mugs people to feed his filthy habit (and he’s probably black, too!)

        1. That’s funny, I thought everybody in Plano had a kid who shot heroin into their eye or something.

          1. I think the heroin scare might have had something to do with the staunch attitudes around here. I was still in school and not paying attention to politics at the time, so I can’t be sure what the attitudes were like before that.

      2. Are we using “reader of a major newspaper” as a synonym for an average voter?

        Because I doubt newspaper sales statistics support that.

  11. A few drug users come to mind:

    Percy Bysshe Shelley
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Sir John A MacDonald (Canada’s alcoholic first Prime Minister)
    Edgar Allan Poe

    Plus just about every rock star.

    1. Michael Phelps
      George W. Bush
      Sigmund Freud
      Barack Obama
      Albert Hofmann
      Timothy Leary

  12. Dewhurst is a piece of shit. There really isn’t much else to say about him.

  13. They argued that adding any test to legislators violated the right of the public to duly elect representatives.

    Wait, what? These legislators have VOLUNTARILY (to the extent of actually competing for the jobs) placed themselves in positions of great responsibility; they are the stewards of not merely the public purse, but the public trust. How could they possibly object? How could anyone possibly not believe this is a completely reasonable and proper duty associated with the office?

  14. I don’t imagine this is intended to apply to recipients of corporate welfare, is it? No? Ah, well then, never mind.

  15. Michael Phelps. Bill Clinton. Barack Obama. George W. Bush. Oliver Stone. Johnny Depp. Need I continue?

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