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December 20, 2013

Should elected officials be subject to drug tests? And then forced to resign if they fail?

The questions in the title of this post are prompted by this new Politico article headlined "Trey Radel likely won’t resign after leaving rehab." Here are excerpts:

Despite an eventful two months that saw an undercover cocaine bust and a stint in drug rehab, Florida Rep. Trey Radel (R) doesn’t sound like a man who is going to resign.

On the same day he walked out of a Naples, Fla., drug rehabilitation clinic, the freshman congressman — who pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine in November — said he is wrestling with what he describes as a problem with alcohol, and added that he loves “serving” his southwest Florida constituents.  “I’m excited to begin this process of rebuilding your trust and doing what you elected me to do,” Radel said at the news conference.

Radel, a freshman member of the House, was caught buying cocaine from an undercover federal agent near Dupont Circle in October. Radel bought what’s commonly known as an “eight ball” of cocaine from a federal agent, according to court records.  When he realized he was purchasing the drug from a federal agent, he tried to throw it away, the records detail.  When those agents entered his D.C. apartment, Radel handed over more cocaine. He pleaded guilty to possessing the drug in D.C. court in November, and entered a rehabilitation facility on Nov. 21.  He has been on leave from the House.

Radel pledged to answer all questions at the news conference, but declined to detail the timeline of his cocaine use, or answer questions about why he waited nearly a month between getting caught buying cocaine and revealing it to the public.  Radel said he was not with any other member of Congress when he was caught buying cocaine, and said elected officials should be subject to drug tests.  He said he only used cocaine a handful of times.

The court of public opinion isn’t his only judge. The House Ethics Committee is investigating the incident. Radel pledged to “cooperate” with that inquest “in every absolute possible way that I can.”

December 20, 2013 at 08:35 AM | Permalink


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No, and nor should anyone else. What a person chooses to ingest in their own time is nobody's business but their own. It is irrelevant what they do for a job!

Posted by: jway | Dec 20, 2013 11:00:52 AM

No. The higher and more impaired the fewer the less their productivity of toxic laws and regulations.

Posted by: Suptemacy Claus | Dec 21, 2013 11:05:08 AM

Horse Puckey! Of course they should. They have no problem mandating mandatory drug tests for other people. So of course it should apply to them as well. As for being removed from their jobs. If the drug test finds an ILLEGAL drug. Damn Straight they should lose that job. You know the one that comes with an OATH OF OFFICE3 to uphold the law in the first place.

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 21, 2013 11:46:40 AM


I don't know, SC may have something there. The more wasted lawmakers are, the fewer opportunities they would have to bastardize our way of living. Their current track record couldn't be more irrational if they tried.

If they must be punished, they should be forced to hear a 5 hour lecture from Bill on how he and his federal posse saved Western Civilization by demanding and obtaining mandatory minimums in sentencing and stopped any meaningful drug reforms.

Posted by: albeed | Dec 21, 2013 5:13:13 PM

good one albeed but that pesky constitution kicks in about "cruel and unusual" punishments!

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 22, 2013 3:21:20 PM

rodsmith, didn't realize two wrongs make a right.

Anyway, I'm surprised the entire article didn't mention Chandler v. Miller, which answers this question anyway. It's also the best case to suggest that mandatory drug testing in other broad areas are also illegitimate.

Posted by: Erik M | Dec 22, 2013 8:11:55 PM


Cruel....? Yes!

Unusual....? Yes!

OMG, I'm turning into an AUSA. Help Me!

Posted by: albeed | Dec 22, 2013 9:21:26 PM

LOL sorry Albeed but if you have went that far. There is no GOING BACK!

We'll just have to shoot you and put you out of our misery! last thing we need is ANOTHER govt lawyer!

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 23, 2013 5:10:08 PM

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