"Lord knows they beat us up enough," he said.
Kessler also said the state does not have enough treatment facilities to accommodate all the people a random drug testing program would identify.
"Discovering them is going to be easy," he said. "Find a treatment center in this state. There's not enough.
"We're not really going to accomplish anything."
Brenda Green, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's West Virginia chapter, said while Carmichael might have good intentions with his legislation, the bill still would violate the U.S. Constitution.
"There have been a lot of good intentions behind bills that turned into bad laws," she said. "From what he said, the intentions are good there, from his perspective. But you're still talking about an illegal search. You're still talking about stigmatizing a certain part of the population."
She said making the drug tests random does nothing to change the legislation's constitutionality, either.
"It may be random within this group, but it's still within this group," she said.
The U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment is meant to protect citizens against "unreasonable searches and seizures" by the government. Green said the welfare drug testing measure would not stand up under this amendment, because it doesn't meet the burden of proof needed to search a person or property.
She compared it to police asking a judge to sign a search warrant, but the only proof they have of wrongdoing is the individual receives public assistance.
"That would not meet a judge's standard for Fourth Amendment. It doesn't meet the burden of proof," she said. "There is a drug problem. But violating people's rights isn't the way to solve it."
Senate Health and Human Resources Chairman Ron Stollings, D-Boone, said Wednesday was the first time anyone has mentioned the drug testing bill to him. He said no one, including Sen. Green or any members of the committee, have suggested the bill be added to an agenda.
Stollings said he consulted with Senate leadership following Wednesday's floor session. He said he was advised to leave the bill alone until the Florida court case is completed.
"I'll talk to the members in caucus, but the key people I've talked to said it's unconstitutional, it's in the court process as we speak and we don't like doing things that are in the court process," he said.
He said he personally does not oppose Carmichael's bill, however.
"I like the idea if there's some way to do it," he said. "If the will of the caucus says to run it, I have no problem running it."
But like Kessler, Stollings expressed doubt the state could treat all the drug addicts identified under the program.
"Frankly, we don't have current capacity to handle drug recovery and drug counseling for the number of patients we have now. That's a glaring deficiency," he said.
Stollings said the state might increase its substance abuse treatment offerings under Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's prison overcrowding bill, currently before the state Senate.
If that happens, he said lawmakers could always try the welfare drug testing bill again next year.