The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 1

Drug Testing

7 January 1997

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Congressional Record (Page H21)   Cached

Mr. SOLOMON. May I yield for a couple of unanimous consent statements? I would yield to my former classmate from 1978 for a unanimous consent statement.

1997 Ron Paul 1:1
Mr. PAUL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Speaker, I ask for unanimous consent to revise and extend, and to express my concern about some of the rule changes.

1997 Ron Paul 1:2

Mr. SPEAKER. Without objection.

1997 Ron Paul 1:3
We are now being asked to support rule changes that will require random drug testing of all members and staff. Drug usage in this country, both legal and illegal, is a major problem and deserves serious attention. However, the proposal to test randomly individuals as a method to cut down on drug usage is ill-advised and should not be done without serious thought.

1997 Ron Paul 1:4
The real issue here is not drugs, but rather the issues of privacy, due process, probable cause, and the fourth amendment. We are dealing with a constitutional issue of the utmost importance. It raises the question of whether or not we understand the overriding principle of the 4th amendment.

1997 Ron Paul 1:5
A broader, but related question is whether or not it’s the Government’s role to mold behavior any more than it’s the Government’s role to mold, regulate, tax, impede the voluntarism of economic contractoral arrangements. No one advocates prior restraint to regulate journalistic expression even though great harm has come over the centuries from the promotion of authoritian ideas. Likewise, we do not advocate the regulation of political expression and religious beliefs however bizarre and potentially harmful they may seem. And yet we casually assume that it’s the role of government to regulate personal behavior to make one act more responsibly.

1997 Ron Paul 1:6
A large number of us do not call for the regulation or banning of guns because someone might use a gun in an illegal fashion. We argue that it’s the criminal that needs regulated and refuse to call for diminishing the freedom of law-abiding citizens because some individual might commit a crime with a gun. Random drug testing is based on the same assumption made by anti-gun proponents. Unreasonable effort at identifying the occasional and improbable drug user should not replace respect to our privacy. Its not worth it.

1997 Ron Paul 1:7
While some are more interested in regulating economic transactions in order to make a “fairer” society, others are more anxious to regulate personal behavior to make a “good” society. But both cling to the failed notion that governments, politicians, and bureaucrats know that is best for everyone. If we casually allow our persons to be searched, why is it less important that our conversations, our papers and our telephones not be monitored as well. Vital information regarding drugs might be obtained in this manner. We who champion the cause of limited government ought not be promoters of the revolving eye of big brother.

1997 Ron Paul 1:8
If we embark on this course to check randomly all Congressional personnel for possible drug usage, it must be noted that the two most dangerous and destructive drugs in this country are alcohol and nicotine. To not include these in the efforts to do good, is inconsistent—to say the least.

1997 Ron Paul 1:9
I have one question. If we have so little respect for our own privacy, our own liberty, and our own innocence, how can we be expected to protect the liberties, the privacy and the innocence of our constituents for which we have just sworn an oath to do?

1997 Ron Paul 1:10
This legislation is well motivated, as is all economic welfare legislation. The good intentions in solving social problems—when violence is absent—perversely uses government power, which inevitably hurts innocent people while rarely doing anything to prevent the anticipated destructive behavior of a few.

1997 Ron Paul 1:11
The only answer to solving problems like this is to encourage purely voluntary testing programs whereby each individual and member makes the information available to those who are worried about issues like this.


The title of this chapter was editorially supplied.

1997 Ron Paul 1:3-10
The text of these verses was inserted into Congressional Record as an extension of remarks, and not spoken on the House floor.

1997 Ron Paul 1:4
fourth amendment probably should be capitalized: Fourth Amendment. 4th amendment probably should be capitalized: 4th Amendment.

1997 Ron Paul 1:7
Its not worth it. probable should contain an apostrophe: It’s not worth it.

1997 Ron Paul 1:7
big brother probably should be capitalized: Big Brother (from George Orwell’s novel 1984.)


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