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Drugs and Welfare

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Should drug testing be mandatory to receive welfare?
Americans face tough challenges in life, and some may have to apply for financial aid for federal or state funding through rough times such has lost of job or current job not providing enough money pay the bills. Those who do receive assistance, should they be drug tested?
There are several Americans who will agree with the drug testing because they feel their tax dollars are being wasted on those who do not qualify for assistance. The welfare program is there to help those in need. The ones that are suffering due to lack of employment or lay off should be receiving the assistance.
There are several families out there struggling but the parents are causing their struggle because of drugs. Many people decide that drugs are more important than their families because they are so addicted to the drug. If drug users can afford to pay for their drugs, than why can’t they also afford their own food? A person should put their own life and safety and as well as their family before they purchase any drugs. If they decide to buy drugs, than they are not in much need for TANF, food stamps, or any other federal or state assistance. If they take a drug test and fail the test, the state should have their own laws and take action for the safety of the family. This could mean more children in foster or shelters due to the parents lack of judgment of what is important.

One in six Americans are relying on government anti-poverty programs to help them weather the lingering recession, and that number is growing
A survey that was done by the newspaper found that more than 50 million are on Medicaid, the federal-state funding for low-income Americans. This is up 17% since the economy went down in 2008. The funding for low-income families is not improving much since 2008. There are thousands of families moving into another family member home to help support each other because the lack of employment or their jobs that had laid them off. More families are becoming closer together to help one out. Many families have at least one person living at their home with no job. For some this isn’t by choice. It was because their employment closed their doors because they could no longer afford to stay open due to higher cost and the demand for higher wages.
Since the recession hit the federal food stamp program grew about half with more than 40 million people. Also about 4.4 million Americans are on welfare. This is 18% increase since 2007.
Medicaid has jumped 36% in two years, to $273 billion. Unemployment has soared to the high and now jobless benefits went from $43 billion to $160 billion. The food stamp program alone has gone up by 80% to $70 billion and welfare has gone up by 24%, which is $22 billion. Food stamps and welfare together is more than Medicaid.
In 1939 when the food stamp program began it has helped many families. With the food stamp program families are kept together and families use the help while looking for a job. The also use the assistance when there job just isn’t able to provide what is needed for their family. As in all programs, there are flaw. Many feel that people on food stamps or welfare assistance should be required to submit a drug test.
Do people think mandatory drug testing is fair? Many think it is because welfare recipients accept millions of American aid every year. It is fair for them to be tested so the aid is given to those in need of help. Some say this is not right because of their civil rights. Most employeers require drug testing pior to hire date and some also do random test through out your employment. This doesn’t mean they are implying that you are using, it is just how the business is ran and for some companies this is a requirement. Why do people think this is any different from being able accept state or federal assistance?
Ultimately there are pros and cons on the issue. First pro is have mandatory drug test would reduce recipients from buying and using illegal drugs. It would also lessen children from livingaround drugs and other substances. This could possible save the system money because less people would be on the assistance program.
One major con on the drug testing is it will be costly. It could cost hundreds and thousands of dollars even if one out of five recipients were tested. Another con is people who take prescription medication could show a false positive. Some also say this is a breaking the Constitution rights as well.
The HB 2275, a bill that would require mandatory random drugs testing for welfare, public assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid recipients is trying to be passed by the legislators. The bill has been called “cruel” and “inhumane” by the ACLU.
There is only two reason not to pass the bill for drug testing. First reason is the cost of drug testing. It could be costly for those on welfare. The second reason is families with children who receive assistance, the children may suffer because of the parents test results. ; The children suffer even more because the family will lose the assistance they did receive.
If drug testing for assistance is “cruel”, than why isn’t “cruel” when hired for a job and have to submit a drug test? Employers can randomly select people at work for random drug testing. For those who take prescription drugs, there is paper work filed out prior to drug test. If you are on a prescription drug than you will have the prescription from the doctor which proves why you tested a false positive.
In the state of West Virginia, delegate Craig Blair wants welfare recipients to take drug testing in order to receive welfare, unemployment compensation, or food stamps. If the person continued to test positive after couple months they would lose their benefits. Blair’s says the need for unemployment will be increasing and these people should be front of the line. Blair’s also says that some people may decide to move out of state instead of being tested.
Hawaii is also another stated that introduced a bill last month for random drug testing for those on TANF. Hawaii decided to drug test because some on TANF may not pass the drug test. The drug testing may also help the state decide if those who test positive need a drug assistance program for help.
In Arizona, Russell Pearce a sen. proposed a bill to test TANF recipients for drugs to balance the state budget. People who tested positive for drugs would have their benefits taken away. The drug test would be paid for by the state’s Department of Economic Security. Pearce also said that people who receive tax dollar benefits should not be involved in any criminal activity.

With the mandatory drug testing some fear that it will be used to punish, rather to provide treatment for the drug abusers. They feel the mandatory drug testing will not only take away their welfare benefits but also cause them punishment. South Carolina is another state considering the drug testing for welfare recipients. The state plans to do random drug testing on those clients in treatment. If found they are using then their benefits could be cut off.
The American civil liberties union said many legal experts say that requiring drug testing for welfare applicants is illegal search. On May 5, 2003 a Michigan court upheld a ban on the testing for drugs for welfare recipients. The policy has not been enforced since 2000. The judge ruled that it violated the privacy rights. The ban would not affect any drug testing policies in other states. Applicants or recipients who refused the test or failed would be denied benefits.
In the United States there are several families who need assistance that do not use drugs but do not qualify for assistance. Then you have the families that somehow are on welfare and use drugs. If they have the money for drugs, Than they should have money for their needs. A drug is not a need and if you receive welfare from the state, you should be required to submit a drug test. If you pass, than you keep your assistance. If you fail, you should not receive assistance and have to wait a period before you can again and be required to submit a drug test more often than others.…...

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