Editorials by design, are meant to encourage change. This particular one regarding a welfare drug-test bill, LD 678, was no different. The bill ultimately failed, but not before the BDN’s editorial department took a stab persuading lawmakers to give it a thumbs down.

We felt Maine lawmakers needed to stop creating bills that would require welfare recipients to undergo random tests. We argued that the bill, as proposed, could have not only been unconstitutional but deepened the stigma that people on public assistance are more prone to substance abuse than others.

After all, it will take all of us setting aside judgment and bias and taking the time to listen to others’ stories to find a solution to drug use in Maine. Simply asking for welfare recipients to undergo random drug testing would not have effectively solved community problems caused by substance abuse.

Check out the full text on the Bangor Daily News opinion page:  

Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda is the editor of Maine Focus, a team that conducts journalism investigations and projects at the Bangor Daily News. She also writes for the newspaper, often centering her work on issues of sexual...