Drug tests: Presumed guilty

    0ur Republican governor and his Legislature have seen fit to strip us of the legal right of "presumed innocence."  In their headlong rush to pass new and tough anti-drug legislation, they have passed a law that will require each working person to be forced to prove that we are not guilty.
    We now will have the right to be presumed guilty until proven innocent."

-- Dennis R. Eldridge,
1123 Val Kay Ct., Hampton.

    I am a nurse, and personally have no problem with being tested at anytime.  I'm sure many other public servants feel the same way, as this ensures we care for our clients with clear minds and physical competence.
    My concern is that our legislators exempted themselves and administrators from random testing.  The majority of these representatives all had jobs in the work force prior to election, and are no better than the rest of us "common folk."  We elected them to represent us, and as representatives they should be expected to abide by the same laws and regulations that we follow.
    I know I wondered what they were all on when they spent so much time and effort discussing the official state language, and so little time and effort on what the state can do to help the schools.

-- Peg Froehle,
2000 E. King Ave., Des Moines.

    What's good for the goose ...
    I listened as the news announcer described the new employer drug-testing legislation.  It all sounded fairly reasonable, until the last sentence of the report.  That is when the announcer said that the new law will apply to everyone in Iowa, except government employees.
    Why would the agencies that make and enforce the rules all citizens have to live by be exempt from those very rules?  Government employees turn what the law says into what the law means every day to you and me.  Should not the people who are doing that have to live with the result?

-- David Havenridge,
2313 Sixth St. S.W., Altoona.

    Thanks very much for going directly to the Fourth Amendment in criticizing Iowa's new "law" subjecting individuals to forced drug testing by employers to keep their jobs (March 16 editorial).  Your pointing out the double standard between private- and public-sector employees is well taken.
    However, it is not the worst thing about this bill.  The worst thing is that, regardless of the details, it purports to legalize aggression and requires Iowans to prove their innocence in order to be left alone to live normal lives.
    It is greatly to be hoped that many, many employees in Iowa will summarily, and preemptively, inform their employers that they will under no circumstances submit to drug testing, will leave "en masse" in sympathy with the first employee who is fired either for testing "positive," or, better yet, for refusing to be tested, and that they will provide financial and strategic support to any lawsuits, federal if necessary, which such an employee might choose to pursue.

-- Patrick L. Lilly,
9 Normandy Cir.,
Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Des Moines Register
Thursday, March 26, 1998, Page 14A