23 States Considering Welfare Drug Tests
Lawmakers follow lead of Florida
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 1, 2012 2:10 PM CST
Lots of states are considering Florida-style drug test laws.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Lawmakers in 22 states think Florida had the right idea with its law requiring welfare recipients to pass a drug test. States like Wyoming, Illinois, Maryland, and Colorado are all considering similar laws that would make a clean drug test a prerequisite for food stamps, welfare, and other forms of government aid, USA Today reports. Ohio and Tennessee are even considering restricting or eliminating eligibility for those convicted of drug felonies. Another proposed law would mandate substance abuse training for anyone receiving housing assistance.

"If you have enough money to be able to buy drugs, then you don't need the public assistance," reasoned one Colorado legislator. Of course, the Florida law has caught very few offenders, while drawing a fierce—and so far successful—legal challenge from the ACLU, which says the law unfairly stigmatizes welfare recipients. "This exemplifies the extent to which folks are willing to scapegoat poor people when it suits political interests," a lawyer for the group says.

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Showing 3 of 106 comments
Mar 3, 2012 3:32 AM CST
If anyone who receives government assistance/taxpayer money is subject to a piss test I want the mayor, governor, state reps, federal reps, I want the banks, car companies, oil companies, pharma companies, etc.. etc.. tested. This is an absolute waste of money, the amount of money spent on testing people who are not taking drugs will GREATLY over shadow the amount "saved" by cutting off the extremely small minority of people who are in fact taking drugs while on welfare (Notice I said taking drugs, not BUYING drugs). If I was poor, jobless and saw these complete morons running for president, threating to shut down all the programs I was entitled too, paying a smaller percentage of taxes than I do, thinking 300 grand a year is not much money, saying they don't care about poor people... You better fucking believe I'd think about taking drugs. And you know, just because someone is on drugs, or has drugs in their system does not mean they spent their welfare money on the drugs. They could have been over a friends house who felt sorry for them, or maybe someone they know smokes pot for their glaucoma or cancer. I love how anyone who has drugs in their system is automatically a very bad person with absolutely no excuse for it. Way to think that you know everything in the universe. Hows that working out for you?
Mar 2, 2012 11:06 AM CST
drugs are a freedom as long as i dont hurt or impose on someone else.
Mar 2, 2012 9:05 AM CST
Unfortunately the druggie parents are not the ones who suffer from no food, it's their kids.