Friday, August 3, 2012

Commentary on "Welfare and Drug Testing"

     I've been meaning to discuss the Welfare/Drug Screening Issue myself soon, but I have not had the opportunity to. I agree with Seth Arteaga's blog post Welfare and Drug Testing. The implemented Florida law requiring drug screening for welfare eligibility is something to be considered.
     Though it is incorrect to assume those on welfare are not employed, it is undeniable that many abuse the program. The idea of welfare was intended to be a safety net that offered temporary provisions to those who needed it. There are many people who have been put in situations, some unforeseeable, who desperately rely on welfare to help make payments on time. I know personal friends who have lost everything, work, and still need welfare. However, it is quite a different story to rely on welfare when that individual is using those benefits to purchase drugs. Many companies require employees to take a drug screening if asked. Though this is not a mandated law, drug testing a right that private businesses hold. The point: job applicants are often subject to drug screenings if they wish to work. Should not the same be asked of those who rely on government support? If I am a hard working tax-payer, why would I want my tax money to support even a few welfare recipients buying drugs?
     Some may cite the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution in opposition of the welfare/drug testing law. However, welfare itself is not a guaranteed right in the constitution. Welfare is a privilege that has eligibility requirements. Welfare is a governmental charitable benefit. Also, the $12 cost to citizens for the drug testig has been improperly researched by some. Colorado State Representative Sonnenberg reports that the cost of $8-12 would be reimbursed to those that pass. Those that do not must get clean and reapply.
     Agreeably, the law in Florida yielded less than promising results, yet it has not been tested in other states such as California, which boasts 32% of the nations welfare cases. Florida's implementation did indeed cost the state $46,000, yet the same cannot be said for future cases in other states.
     The act of welfare drug screening is certainly controversial, and both sides have credible arguments. As welfare is currently a government privilege, it is certainly legal to drug screen applicants.


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