Drug Testing for Welfare: If it doesn’t work, make sure you keep doing it anyway
Well, the first state of our ever bright union to use drug testing for welfare was Florida. Despite massive financial and humanitarian failures, and in the face of clear strikes against constitutional rights, the sunshine state carries on, continuing to blood drug test welfare applicants.
“So what?” you say, “doesn’t sound unfair to me.” Well, it may not, and even if you don’t give a hoot about the constitutional or civil rights of those who have to take these blood drug tests, you probably do care about your rights as a taxpayer, and that’s a bug part of what’s wrong with this picture. That is to say, for those who fail the drug test performed by the state, they’re just out $30. For those who pass the drug test–which is about 98.5% of all those tested, the state reimburses them the $30. You take $30 and multiply it by the number of people testing and passing, roughly 200,000 since the inception of the program in Florida alone, and I’ll let you do the rest of the math problem. So whose “the state” whose paying? John Q. Public, that’s right, Johnny Taxpayer–YOU.
And now, according to the Boston Herald, “Oklahoma and Tennessee are the latest states about to require drug tests of those applying for welfare benefits.” And not surprisingly, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says this is how taxpayers will keep from having to subsidize the drug using population that takes advantage of welfare and assistance programs to keep using. Yep, all two percent of them who can’t pass a drug test will be kept from abusing the tax payers–that’s the state’s job! So instead of forking over hundreds of dollars in assistance that may get misspent by a drug addict, people of the great states of Tennessee, Florida, and Oklahoma get to fork over hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to reimburse the nearly 99% of welfare applicants who have to take these tests and pass with flying colors… because they’re not on drugs!
It’s 2012. And on another note, it’s time to stop arresting and charging people for criminal activity when all they’ve been up to is smoking a little pot. A shocking majority of those serving time in our prison system are there for drug related offenses–of those, 4 out of 5 are related to marijuana. So speaking of your rights as a tax payer, do you enjoy paying for three square meals a day and keeping the roof over incarcerated persons’ heads who could and should be home with their families? Do you suspect as I do that prisons are as much a part of the corporate American landscape as Walmart and McDonald’s? Did you know that the same company that owns the most lucrative hotel chains in the world is also the owner of most “for profit” prisons in the US? Yep. Remember that the next time you choose Marriott hotels.
Let me hear from all of you. I want to know what you think of drug testing for welfare and the fact that now 28 states have a bill in their congress for this cause. Do you think they should be passed into law or struck down?