Welfare Drug Testing

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Should recipients of welfare be forced to take drug tests? States have been proposing this very thing since the federal welfare reform in 1996. Sentiments from many who are supportive of the legislation seem to be in agreement that they do not want tax dollars spent on drugs and that if you have enough money to buy drugs then you don’t need public assistance. One popular belief is that this will save wrongfully spent tax dollars and shift it to those who need it and are trying to do the right thing. They are attempting to get a job, an education or are actually caring for their families and children with the assistance. Proponents of drug testing recipients say that the people that are harmed are the tax payers and those who genuinely use this benefit for its intended purpose. While opponents of the measure, such as the ACLU, feel that such laws unjustly punish families and that it takes money away from children. Among the main points of controversy for this issue is that the American Civil Liberties Union argues that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, saying the law constituted an “unreasonable search and seizure” by the government. (Sulzberger) Advocates for the poor say the testing policies single out and vilify victims of the recession, disputing the idea that people on welfare are more likely to use drugs. I expect the average working; tax paying citizen would disagree with the notion that drug testing is a violation of any rights. Especially since most of these individuals had to undergo a drug test to get the job that that in turn helps to pay for federal assistance programs. To answer the question of who has the most at stake on this issue depends on who you ask. The opponents of drug testing say it’s the families and children. While the proponents of the measure feel it’s the tax payers “with potentially billions of dollars of welfare funds ending up in the wrong places or being spent on illegal drugs.” As you may have already heard, Florida...
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