Ohio is one of several states that are currently considering laws that would mandate drug testing for welfare recipients. Ohio lawmakers in support of the bill say that it would help prevent taxpayer dollars from going to drug dealers.
As a follow-up to that proposal, another bill has been introduced that would require state lawmakers to also submit to drug testing. The bill, which is currently being considered by the Ohio Senate, would implement annual drug tests as well as random drug tests state senators and representatives.
The lawmaker who proposed the bill said it allows the elected officials to be "sincere in preventing individuals from obtaining public funds while also using illegal drugs." The lawmaker reasoned that "[e]lected officials should be held to the same level of accountability as a single mother receiving help to get back on their feet."
If lawmakers refused testing or were found to have drugs in their system they would not receive pay or be allowed to serve as committee chairs until they produced a "clean" test. The lawmakers would also have to participate in substance abuse counseling.
Additionally, lawmakers could also face serious drug charges that could potentially result in prison time. Just because lawmakers hold prestigious positions in society doesn't mean that they can't be criminally charged.
While we don't often think of elected officials as having drug problems, in reality, drug addiction affects all walks of life. Even people in some of the most well-respected positions have found themselves in trouble with the law after being arrested for drug crimes.
Prescription drugs, in particular, have a way of sucking in unlikely Ohio residents, seemingly out of nowhere. Anyone who is accused of drug crimes depends on an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect their rights, no matter if the person is a single mom struggling to get by or a well-known politician.