Drug Testing

Drug testing in the United States began with the explosive use of illegal drugs,
in order to curb drug abuse. This began during the Vietnam War with drug use at
a climax. In general, Drug testing is a way to detect illegal drug use and deter
it, usually by Urinalysis. Drug testing in the United States violates a
citizenís right to unreasonable search and seizureís along with jeopardizing
oneís freedom. Drug testing is not only an unreliable invasion of a personís
privacy but it assumes that one is guilty before submitting to the test. Drug
testing began to take place in the mid 1960ís when drugs like Marijuana,
hallucinogens and other drugs were becoming widespread (Stencel, pp.201). The
military implemented mandatory drug testing because of the widespread use and
the number of Vets that were returning home because of addiction. Ronald Reagan
pushed for employers to implement drug testing and even had himself screened for
illegal drugs to encourage employers and to reduce opposition to testing (Stencel,
pp. 200). "The increased concern about drug abuse has, in part, ben the result
of the early 1986 appearance on the streets of crack-a new, powerfully addictive
form of cocaine-and the growth of cocaine addiction" (Berger, 12). President

Reagan later called for a second "war on drugs" campaign. In October of

1986, President Reagan signed into law a 1.7 billion dollar antidrug bill,
called the "Drug-Free Workplace Order". In addition to the bill, Reagan
instructed his cabinet officers to create a plan to begin drug testing for
federal civil employees (Berger, 14). Drug testing thus begun a sharp climb into
the area of private employers. In November of 1988 Congress passed an Act
requiring grant recipients or federal contractors to maintain drug-free
workplaces. Most of the employers set up voluntary testing programs and many
employees began to sue, claiming that individual testing is a violation of
privacy rights. The argument is that the employees are being deprived of their

Fourth Amendment protection. Many believe that government testing programs
should be unconstitutional unless the authorities have either reasonable
suspicion or probable cause that the individuals being tested are on drugs. To
justify the use of private employer testing, President Bush said in 1989 that

"Drug abuse among American workers costs businesses anywhere from $60 billion
to $100 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, drug-related
accidents, medical claims, and theft" (Horgan, 19). This claim was derived
from a source that interviewed families that were 28% lower in overall income
than the average household. This was used in an effort to promote Bushís"war on drugs" forum into the private sector (Horgan, 21). Many behaviorís
of lower income people often differ statistically from upper-income people,
therefore the statement of Bush never establishes a clear or accurate statistic.

"In 1989 President George Bush unveiled his National Drug Control Strategy,
encouraging comprehensive drug-free workplace policies in the private sector and
in state and local government" (Stencel, 201). This created many controversies
within the American workplace and in National Treasury Employees Union v. Von

Raab decision, the Supreme Court upheld that drug testing was legal as long as
it outweighs privacy rights (James). Then, in 1991 Congress passed the Omnibus

Transportation and Employment Testing Act, which would extend drug testing in
the United States. Throughout the rest of the 90ís drug tests were extended to
the outermost sectors of society causing drugs to become a significant issue
during election times, although politicians are never tested themselves. The

Fourth Amendment of the Constitution was created because of the rough treatment
of colonists by the British. The British restricted trade and travel and this
gave way to smuggling. "British soldiers frequently conducted unrestricted
house-to-house searches. People were forced to keep their private records and
other personal information on their person or hidden in their home or business
to avoid exposure and possible arrest" (Berger, 102). The Fourth Amendment was
part of the Constitutionís Bill of Rights to protect oneís privacy and
maintain search and seizure guarantees. The right to privacy was described by

Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis as "the right to be let alone-the most
comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." The

Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the "right of the people
to be secure in their person, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable
search and seizure" except upon probable cause. Random drug testing threatens
the Fourth Amendment and has been called suspicion by association. This is to
say that it is not possible to justify a search of one person because