Drug-Testing for Welfare Wannabes

A friend of mine recently raised, what I thought to be, a very good question. Why is it that so many honest, hard-working Americans are subjected to pre-employment and/or random drug-screenings by their employers and yet no such requirements exist for people to collect welfare benefits?

As of the date of the most comprehensive statistics I could find (without looking too hard,) Michigan is the only state in the U.S. that requires ‘suspiscionless’ drug-testing for all welfare recipients. The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 granted all states the right to choose drug-screening as a requirement for welfare applicants; Michigan is just the only state to act on that power.

Most arguments against drug-screening (of any kind) are based around the Fourth Amendment’s references to unreasonable search and seizure. I am not usually one to go against those standing behind our Bill of Rights but here I think the document is being used in the wrong context.

We want to prevent the government from imposing such ‘searches and seizures’ in any form, including drug-testing, when it is a violation of our rights as citizens of the United States. As far as I am concerned, welfare benefits are a privilege our humble tax dollars should afford to a select, deserving few.

I know that welfare regulation is not such a cut-and-dry matter but mandatory drug-testing, even on the tax-payer’s dime, for all welfare applicants seems like a logical starting point. Why should the very people supporting those on welfare be powerless to the fact that their money is perpetuating the cycle of drug-abuse that prevents the poor, huddled masses from getting a good job because the company performs pre-employment drug-screenings?

Obviously the private sector has found a far better way of regulating to whom they will be giving their money. Afterall, that is the crux of the issue; it is their money. The government blows through our tax dollars faster than, well… faster than a welfare supported drug-addict on the first of the month.

We, as voting citizens, need to make our voices heard and prevent abuse of our massively over-burdened welfare system with one very simple, logical step: stop our money from being wasted on drugs. It isn’t the ultimate solution but it is a solution nonetheless.


2 responses to “Drug-Testing for Welfare Wannabes

  1. The reason is because the majority of welfare for healthy, working aged adults is aimed at children.

  2. That is a good point. I was thinking about that and considering if drug-testing in this instance would help in cases where parents are using dollars that should go to their children’s well-being for drug habits instead.

    If they know that spending money on the drug will not only force their children to go hungry but also cut off any future money from that source would it make them reconsider? I think it could.

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