Essay about Drugtesting for Welfare

Submitted By amycarnley21
Words: 1234
Pages: 5

Drug Testing for Food Stamps The number of Americans using the governments Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly referred to as food stamps, shot to an all time high of 46 million, up almost twelve percent from last year, the USDA reported. Almost 1/3 of the 46 million people receiving food stamps, or any form of government assistance, have been assumed and accused to be using some sort of illegal drug. Florida was the first state to require drug screenings for all food stamp applicants. Florida governor Rick Scott defended the new rule by arguing that, “It is not right for tax payers money to be paying for someone’s drug addiction... In addition, this is going to increase personal responsibility and personal accountability.” Scott also states that the measure saves tax dollars and provides “incentive to not do or use drugs” (Prah). When seeking employment almost all companies now require you to take and pass a drug screening, why not drug test for any sort of government funded program? Some people claim that this bill is going against our constitutional rights to drug test for government assistance, but what is the difference in having to take a drug test for a job. For those who feel that this is an invasion of our privacy, keep in mind, that no one is required to take the money. If drugs are what you use the government assistance for, than you should not be receiving any sort of assistance in the first place. Almost 1600 people applying for welfare benefits in Florida alone have refused to undergo drug testing. According to state officials, five percent of 7,000 welfare applicants who underwent drug screening tested positive for drugs since the bill passed in July 2012, a majority of positive drug test were for marijuana (Staff). Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas are the latest states about to require drug tests of those applying for welfare benefits. “Hard working tax payers should not be asked to subsidize to drug abuse, and this bill will help to ensure that they are not” Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said a statement May 16, 2012 when she signed the measure into law. Lawmakers in at least 28 states this year have proposed drug testing or screening for public assistance applicants or recipients, according to a state by state map from the National Conference of State Legislature (Prah). Some states are still questioning where or not this is a good idea. Some have passed legislations requiring applicants to complete a written questionnaire screening for drug use; others now require drug tests for all applicants for all assistance needing families. Bills that would force welfare applicants to undergo drug testing are moving to Austin, Texas and Topeka, Kansas. In Austin, a Texas Senate Committee approved a bill that would require drug testing bill for all forms of government funded programs. Meanwhile, in Topeka, Kansas the House Senate approved a bill that would require drug testing of both welfare and unemployed applicants. Both bills seek to avoid the Constitutional Rights issues that where plagued earlier welfare drug testing laws in Florida and Georgia. In those two states, legislators passed bills attempting to call for suspcionless mandatory drug testing of all recipients, which has been repeatedly blocked by the federal courts. The Kansa and Texas bill on the other hand, only require drug testing upon “reasonable suspicion” (Lindell). One of the greatest arguments and disagreements with this drug testing bill, is the costly amount of drug testing, for drug testing is not cheap. It could cost hundreds of dollars, even if one of every five recipients were tested. However, this may be rationalized by stating that the cost that drugs have on our society in general, would be lowered. Those particular drug users should seek help from some sort of rehabilitation program, if they are that worried about food, money or their children. If you can go out and spend what little money you do have on