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Everybody Must Get Stoned How much information can and should the government know about it s citizens? Mandatory drug testing for Federal Aid is a way for our government to control even more information that to most people is considered private. There are many questions raised with this policy. Who is going to put up the money for the drug testing of each person on aid? Is there a clean out time for the people to get off of the drugs that they are currently on? Is this going to apply to all people on aid or just the ones that receive amounts over a certain monetary value? These questions and many more will be argued and discussed in this paper. Before I can argue that this is a bad idea, I will first show the numbers of people on aid and the cost of drug testing all of them. The average cost of a drug test that tests for amphetamines, crystal meth, cocaine, opiates, and marijuana is twelve dollars. The main problem is that there are no tests that look for all drugs. If you wanted to test a person for everything, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and LSD; it would cost three hundred and fifty dollars per person. This high price is because you need a special test for each drug. The test for LSD costs two hundred and fifty dollars. This is because the only way that you can test for LSD is through a spinal tap. Personally, I believe that people who receive Federal Aid should not be tested for drugs. The money for the tests would come out of the pockets of the taxpayers. Testing for drugs is also an invasion on someone s personal privacy. Also many different drugs could be specifically looked for such as, heroin. This would not do anyone any good because people on drugs need as much help as normal people (Jerry Garcia). The government could use a policy like this that would cause a snowball effect. Next the government will want to drug test everyone that goes to school. Then they will start testing the people that work for outside sources (contracted workers). Then they will want to drug test everyone that lives with in the boundaries of the United States. This would eventually lead to the total control of our lives. This would also turn our country into a Communist State. This is just an exaggeration, but it could very easily happen. The government should not be involved with many personal areas. Most of the highest ranking officers in our government do not have to submit to a drug test, so why should the meek who receive aid be treated any differently? Drug testing is not as reliable as most people believe. According to the Mayo Clinic, fifteen percent of all marijuana tests result in a false positive. This causes much controversy by itself. When you get to harder drugs such as cocaine you get a failure rate as high as forty-nine percent. There is only one test that can be used that is 99.8% accurate, known as RIA (Radioimmunoassay) this is primarily used in the government. The two problems that arise with RIA are that it is too sensitive. It will give you a positive result to Opium and Heroin if you have eaten a poppy seed within the last eight hours. If you were to eat an entire poppy seed muffin it can stay in your system for up to 4 weeks.

There are also many systems on the market that will clean your system out for a reasonable price. If you walk into 4th Street Records in Charleston, Illinois. You can pick up a cleansing kit for $14.95. This system will clean out all drugs for a matter of forty-eight hours. Anyperson that was threatened with loosing their check from the government can easily pick up one of these kits and pass the test. A survey that was conducted by the National Drug Council found that fifty-eight percent of all people admitted to drug counseling in 1998 were on some sort of federal aid. This fact is quite alarming that more than half of the people that admitted they to drug counseling is receiving government assistance. How can our government even suggest an idea like this where the test that they give is not accurate and the people that take the test can easily have they results altered from reality by paying a small price to a merchant. This is an outrageous idea that could only be invented by the people that run our government. Fewer good things will come out of this proposal than there would be downfalls. Think of a man who has been out of a job for three years. He and his family live in a trailer park in Mattoon. His family is being supported by a check from the government every month. If this man decides to go get high in his personal time, his entire family will loose everything because of one night of fun. Another major downfall to this terrible idea would be the thought of testing these people. How and where does even our government have the size or manpower to house that many people and give out drug tests? This is a very awesome amount of people. There is no possible way to take a feat as large as this one. Take Chicago for example; in certain neighborhoods there are 88% of the people that are on some sort of financial aid. As you can see this idea would be hard to enforce and even harder for people to like. This is just another way that the government is trying to get a hold of us. This plan would not be cost efficient and it would also cause the lose of financial aid to those that really need and deserve it. If the government wants to start drug testing its citizens, maybe they should start with themselves. They only way to find truth in government is to marry one of the officials (Nancy Reagan).


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