Madawaska's Board of Selectmen approved developing a policy to require random drug testing of all the participants in the town's General Assistance program.

Scott Lewis

Madawaska Town Manager Ryan Pelletier says this isn't to single out low income people, but to be equitable for all those who receive the assistance.If approved, it would make Madawaska the only Maine community to require drug testing for the program.

Pelletier said he wanted to make the point that Madawaska was "not an open checkbook for welfare benefits" and that state laws are being fully complied with.

Pelletier adds the proposal is still in the early stages and that a new ordinance would require further discussion by the Board of Selectmen and then approval by the voters.

The Maine ACLU and the Maine Equal Justice Partners have sent letters to Pelletier urging him and the board to reconsider.