i want to start by telling you my bias right off the bat: i do not use drugs or approve of drug use. i'm talking about recreational drugs. i also do not approve of mandatory drug testing.
i'm thinking about it because the supreme court recently refused to hear florida governor rick scott's appeal of a lower court ruling that he could not force all government employees into drug testing.
i'm against drug testing for employment, even for truck drivers and pilots and such.
but flask, i hear you saying, don't those people need to come to work unimpaired? how will we protect the public from drivers and pilots and heavy machinery operators who are on drugs?
yes, we do need those people to show up to work unimpaired an alert. i am going to suggest that if our primary interest is public safety, those people and people in similarly sensitive jobs should not be subjected to random drug testing, but alertness and dexterity testing every day they work, at the beginning of every shift.
there are a lot of reasons people might be unfit for work, including illness and fatigue.
can't pass your test today? you don't fly, don't drive. take a rest day. no penalty. too many failed tests and you might need to have drug testing or some medical testing, but overall, you get better safety without an invasion of privacy.
i do not care what competent adults do with their own bodies on their own time. i want people in sensitive jobs to be safe.
if it's about safety and not about trying to force other people into certain behaviors, we'd be testing for fitness and not randomly testing for certain substances.