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Minnesota House members vote to drug test themselves

Rep. Quam: "Bring on the cup!"
Rep. Quam: "Bring on the cup!"

Apparently, our legislators aren't in the habit of unwinding with a big fat bowl of ganj after a long day at the Capitol. Either that or St. Paul headshops should stock up on system flushers.

SEE ALSO: Medical marijuana supported by vast majority of Minnesotans, but won't be legalized this year

That's because yesterday, members of the Minnesota House included a provision in the Health and Human Services budget bill calling for members to submit to drug tests. If they fail, they won't receive their salary.

The Star Tribune provides some context:

The floor of the House was piled high with stacks of paper, both copies of the massive bill itself and of the 87 amendments members had filed to it. Among those was a proposal by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, who proposed mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients in Minnesota.

"You should be ashamed" for politicizing a program meant to help the state's poorest children and their families, Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, told Drazkowski during the late-night debate. She then countered with an amendment to his amendment -- calling for mandatory drug tests for state lawmakers too. Those who failed the test wouldn't get their paycheck from the taxpayers.

The drug test provision received bipartisan support, with Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron, actually proclaiming, "Bring on the cup! I have nothing to fear."

Get out and live a little, dude.

It remains to be seen whether senators will also include the drug-testing-for-legislators provision in their Health and Human Services budget, which has yet to be approved. But let's hope they do. After all, if anyone fails, that'd be a lot of fun to snark about, and it could end up saving taxpayers some money to boot.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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