Drug Testing Welfare Applicants
Drug tests are a meaningful deterrent against drug use and a solid prevention strategy. The fourth amendment says "unreasonable search and seizure," It is NOT unreasonable to search a person if someone is giving them something. If a bank was giving out a loan, it would be quite reasonable for them search the applicantâ€™s credit history. Applicants must to submit private and personal data to show they are eligible to receive government benefits. It is important that federal and state governments make sure that individuals who are receiving special assistance from the government are not using those funds that they are attaining to purchase and buy drugs instead of food and other necessity items.
Families and individuals who are receiving state assistance, such as food stamps or a cash, are required to undergo drug testing in certain states. Legislators from 36 states have proposed baseless drug testing some even extending to recipients of other public benefits as well, such as medical assistance, unemployment benefits, and food assistance. Senator David Vitter has proposed bills and amendments on numerous occasions to enforce obligatory drug analysis on TANF beneficiaries and repudiate benefits and aid if they were unsuccessful in passing a second test after treatment. The most recent bill is The Drug Free Families Act of 2011. Senator Orrin Hatch also proposed required drug testing for TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and unemployment insurance beneficiary.
In 1996, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that â€œproportions of welfare recipients using, abusing, or dependent on alcohol or illicit drugs are consistent with proportions of both the adult U.S. population and adults who do not receive welfare (NIH Press Release, 1996). In Colorado, State Representative Jerry Sonnenberg has sponsored a bill that would require applicants for the TANF program to pay for and pass a drug test...
References: Budd, Jordan C, Pledge Your Body for Your Bread: Welfare, Drug Testing, and the Inferior Fourth Amendment, William & Mary Bill of Rights, Forthcoming, September 6, 2010.
Fallin, Mary, 2011.
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. (Feb. 4, 2011). â€œDrug Testing Public Assistance Program Participants.â€
â€œNIAAA Researchers Estimate Alcohol and Drug Use, Abuse, and Dependence Among Welfare Recipientsâ€ , National Institutes of Health Press Release, 1996.
Pollack, H.A., Danziger, S., Jayakody, R. and Seefeldt, K.S. (2002). Drug Testing Welfare Recipients â€“ False Positives, False Negatives, Unanticipated Opportunities. Womenâ€™s Health Issues 12(1): 23-31. (http://www.whijournal.com/article/S1049-3867(01)00139-6/abstract)
Romney, Mitt. 2012.
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