Quick Question: Should welfare recipients have to drug test?

In Georgia, it has become law for you to have to take a drug test to get public assistance. Here is a quote,

Georgia advocates and a well-positioned staffer within the of state Department Health and Human Services, the agency tasked with implementing the testing program, all insist that the law was never intended as meaningful policy. Rather, it was purely cynical politics–an effort by Tea Party Republicans to demonize the poor as unworthy of help, atrophy the cash assistance rolls and generally undercut safety net programs in the public discourse.

One might say that if you have money for drugs, then you have money for food, rent and otherwise, but why should you have to prove you are not on drugs to get help? Since when did they become intertwined?

7 thoughts on “Quick Question: Should welfare recipients have to drug test?

  1. Absolutely not! There should not be any mandatory drug testing for welfare benefits. I believe this is another way to attempt to target certain groups of people. The two are not intertwined, and I believe that the actual numbers would show that there is not as much correlation between the two as one might think…

    • I think you are right. But its hard to say that its a bad idea because do you really want people to take public assistance and use it for drug related activities? I mean most jobs drug test, so why should you not have to drug test for what is for all intents and purposes, “your job”?

      • Your point is completely understood, however the issue for me really comes from the overall message that will be sent by making such laws and policies…Drug testing is mandatory for many jobs these days, but I believe these to be two separate issues. “Public Assistance” comes in many forms, and welfare is just one..so why would it be ok to make mandatory drug testing a requirement for people who seek to get or keep welfare and not other forms of assistance? To me, it sends a message that people on welfare either use drugs more or are more likely to be drug users. It further increases the stigma that is already in place, and the sad part is most people do not even know who the majority of the people are in this country who are on welfare. They think that Black people are in the lead, and therefore it would further hurt the already negative stigma and perception. Also, I think that we must be very careful in terms of what we allow and want our government to “regulate” through mandates and policies….We see this as evidenced by the fact that you cannot receive federal financial aid (another form of public assistance) if you have been convicted of a felony…yet we preach “equal access” and opportunity for all, and say that people deserve a second chance…The average person completing a FAFSA and going through the process of receiving student loans doesn’t have to do a mandatory drug test….It appears to me that this may in fact create a “slippery slope” effect that starts with welfare and then begins to include multiple sources of public assistance…oh but wait, I doubt that would happen, we only try to make certain people look bad in this country!

  2. Well, I think that this is a bit less racist than one may try to make it. I’ll start off by saying that all drug users aren’t african american, and all african americans aren’t drug users. It targets the people who are spending gross amounts of unearned money on things other than what it was initially allocated for. I have to take a drug test in order to work in the area that I’m working in, and if I fail, I will be sent home and will not be able to work with that oil company again in any region of the world (blacklisted). Are you saying that these people, the people that receive these BENEFITS, should not be held up to modern day standards? I’m curious to know why? That’s their primary means of income, and if priorities were in correct order, drugs would be the last thing that they would try and spend those BENEFITS on.

    • It’s more of an issue of perception and the connotation that comes along with certain laws and policies that are implemented and enforced. Of course not all African Americans are drug users, vice versa, but the fact is drug laws are based on racist standards and practices anyway…I do not really agree with anyone having to be drug tested for employment really…I just don’t care too much to object and don’t mind having to do drug test because I do not use illegal drugs…but I still do not believe the two can be compared here. If it is going to be mandated for public assistance, then make it mandated for ALL public assistance…include all military benefits, benefits for the elderly, students with federal and state financial aid etc. that’s all assistance…why pick and choose?

  3. I agree with you on that point… Both points actually. But when you look at the history of our american government, please indicate where they have ever shown to be the least bit consistent. No matter the Commander in Chief, our decision makers have sold us dreams by way of corrupt schemes, and the majority overrules here. If we did begin to become more uniform in our policies and procedures, I have a feeling that we will soon be labeled as Communists or similar. There definitely needs to be more scrutiny when deciding who they give their money, our money too. In every aspect.

    • Now that I agree with you on, but start somewhere else and not with policies that are so disproportionate and based on such historical biases…I am not a fan or advocate of illegal drug use or abuse, but I am an advocate of equality.

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