Barry McCaffrey, the former head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), called Florida’s new law that requires drug testing for welfare applicants counterproductive.
General McCaffrey spoke at a news conference at the Twelve Oaks Treatment Center in Navarre, Florida during an event honoring Recovery Month. According to WCTV, General McCaffrey said one out of four returning veterans is addicted to drugs or alcohol. “We owe them significant interventions in their lives,” he said.
When asked about Florida’s new drug-testing law, which affects some veterans, General McCaffrey called it misguided, according to the news report. “What kind of sense does that make? You’ve got to make the barriers to entering rehabilitation low. You want people in treatment,” he said. General McCaffrey was confirmed as ONDCP Director in February 1996, and stepped down in January 2001.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s new law, which took effect July 1. It requires applicants to be responsible for the cost of the screening. They can recover the costs if they qualify for assistance. Under the law, applicants who fail the drug screen can designate another person to receive the benefits on behalf of their children.