Welfare in the United States began during the 1930’s during the great depression to help families and individuals with little to no income with assistance. “Many Americans were unhappy with the welfare system, claiming that individuals were abusing the welfare program by not applying for jobs, having more children just to get more aid, and staying unmarried so as to qualify for greater benefits. (welfareinfo.org)” The question today is whether or not drug testing for welfare recipients should be allowed. Drug testing for individuals applying for government cash assistance should be mandatory before assistance is granted. Anyone willing to apply for a job or joining the military is subject to random drug tests. Anyone that works and pays taxes helps the welfare system. The reason testing could be justified would be how much fraud is generally found each year alone without drug testing and just by reasonable suspecion. “The Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified $16.67 million in fraud during Fiscal Year (FY)2011 within multiple Michigan public assistance program areas” (michigan.gov). Drug testing would save the government money and help distribute the benefits more to those who actually need it, by denying those who fail to pass a drug screening when applying. Many of the laws purposed would not deny benefits to the dependents the person may have, just the person applying. The dependent(s) would still receive the necessary help. Also the person who failed the drug test or has an apparent issue with legal substance abuse could be given the correct direction for treatment and get their lives going back in the right direction. Drug testing is unjustifiable, ineffective, potentially unconstitutional, and worst of all being discriminatory. Besides it being an invasion of privacy, it’s in violation of the 4th amendment. Using illicit drugs may not even be the reason they are applying for welfare. People have a choice where they want to work, but not always...
Bibliography: durantdemocrat.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from durantdemocrat.com: http://www.durantdemocrat.com/view/full_story/17375795/article-Why-Mandatory-Drug-Testing-for-Welfare-Recipients-is-Wrong-%E2%80%93-Fiscally--Legally--and-Morally-
floridafga.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from floridafga.org: http://www.floridafga.org/2011/10/floridas-drug-test-law-for-welfare-cash-assistance-first-quarter-facts-2/
michigan.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/OIG_2011Annual_Report_384513_7.pdf.
NCSL. (n.d.). Retrieved from NCSL: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/human-services/drug-testing-and-public-assistance.aspx
welfareinfo.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from welfareinfo.org.
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