No Drug Test for Welfare

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Many public policies that are documented, frequently have negative consequences that are overlooked. One of these documents would be the drug testing of welfare recipients; screening public assistance recipients for the abuse of any intoxicating substances. Even though suspicions have risen about substance abuse among welfare participants, those suspicions lack factual information. Many of these suspicions, however, arise from the mental problems which some of the recipients actually suffer from. A program that forces citizens to submit to a search of their bodies as a condition of receiving a government benefit, with no significant evidence, is unconstitutional, unhelpful, and illogical. The high number of taxpayers who want welfare recipients to be drug tested are not aware of the little effect the drug testing will have. According to many workers of an anti- poverty group named Just Harvest, any potential savings that the taxpayers believe drug testing will have, will not even be noticed by the state because food stamps and welfare are federally funded. The state does pay a portion of the administrative costs, and the drug testing would increase the cost as shown in a New Hampshire state fiscal note. The law says, “Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children.” This would last for at least six months, and up to one year unless the same person fails a second time where there is a minimum of a three year ban. There is no way to know that the person designated would not give the funds to the recipient who was banned because one would assume that they have a relationship of some kind.

Drug testing would be discouraging to those seeking help, and it would only target some of the criminals. In April, City Paper reported that “Many people saw this legislation not as targeting welfare fraud but aiming to discourage people for applying for welfare”. Also, a worker at a Budget and...
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