The hazards of drug testing on welfare Essay

Submitted By KatieBreitzke
Words: 736
Pages: 3

24 April 2013
The Hazards of Drug Testing for Welfare The establishment of welfare has proven to make a positive influence on thousands of Americans’ lives. The argument that is now surfacing is whether drug testing should or should not be required for welfare recipients. There is cause for pause because both sides to this argument have good view points. Today, each state is given a check by the federal government and is then in charge of distributing the money to each welfare recipient. This is why each state must decide for itself whether or not drug testing will be mandatory; however if each state requires drug testing, it is profiling families based upon their income and seems to be a violation of the fourth amendment. Not to mention the fact that the cost far outweighs the benefit. Studies also show that there are other ways to prevent drug use, rather than disabling families that are down on their luck and in need of some assistance. The first fact that we will discuss is that the cost to each state far outweighs the benefits. Florida has regretted setting up drug testing because of their tremendous out of pocket expenses. The state paid thirty dollars per test, and ended up costing the government over forty-five thousand dollars over what they saved (When Collecting Welfare)! Many other, larger states will pay much more for their drug testing, as well. The next reason that we will look at is the fact that drug testing welfare recipients violates their constitutional rights. According to the fourth amendment, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searches, and the persons or things to be seized (Lewis, Kenefick).” Rendering this true, if a state requires drug testing to receive welfare, they must have probable cause. This begs the question: Does being destitute make you a drug user? Common sense says no. States that necessitate drug screening profile welfare recipients. To assume that because a person is poor and therefore a drug user uses the same logic as saying that because someone is a minority that they are probably a criminal. In that case it is racial profiling…Is financial profiling any different? Absolutely not! It is not the welfare system’s job to police their recipients. The last point is that there are other ways to discourage drug use, other than crippling families that are just down on their luck and in need of some assistance. This will harm the children of these families more than the parents, even if they are drug users. In impoverished areas, there are clinics that are set up to help drug users face their issues. Many clinics encourage users to go through a six step program. It has helped many addicts overcome their dependency. First, you must admit that one can