Should We Be Drug Testing Welfare Recipients?

Should We Be Drug Testing Welfare Recipients?

March 29th, 2016 in Society and Addiction
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Testing Welfare Recipients

The concept of drug testing those who are applying for Welfare is considered a hot-topic, due to the amount of controversy surrounding it. “If we start with our politicians and our corporate CEOs first, yes,” said D.J. Diebold, a Behavioral Health Therapist in Scottsdale Arizona. What Diebold is referring to is Corporate Welfare, defined as government subsidy or support of private business, such as tax incentives.

What Diebold is referring to is Corporate Welfare, defined as government subsidy or support of private business, such as tax incentives.

“There is no welfare as expensive, to put it mildly, as corporate welfare.” Welfare is funded by the federal government, whether it is for the unemployed or corporate welfare. Currently, there are private businesses are able to attain substantial tax breaks from the federal government by applying for corporate welfare. Many claim this is unfair considering the amount of money made by these private businesses.

Welfare is funded by the federal government, whether it is for the unemployed or corporate welfare. Currently, there are private businesses that are able to attain substantial tax breaks from the federal government by applying for corporate welfare. Many claim this is unfair, considering the amount of money made by these private businesses.

The primary reason contenders for drug-testing recipients is welfare programs do require their users to be drug-free, which needs to be enforced.

Some companies require drug testing for employment, and failing a drug test will often result in termination. The military has mandatory drug tests on a regular basis and failing the test can result in an Article 15 disciplinary measure or a Bad Conduct Discharge.

The Pros

There are two sides to every coin just like any argument. As such both sides of an issue can have valid points that need to be considered. One of the alleged pros of drug testing welfare recipients is that it would deter recipients from drug use. Knowing that their welfare can be revoked if they test positive would be a substantial motivator.

Another issue raised is the concept of fairness. There many,  jobs that require a drug test in order to get hired and added to payroll, and because of this, it is believed that people who are receiving welfare should also have this requirement.

The most common argument for the testing of welfare users, however, is to enforce policy. Yes, welfare programs require a clean system in order to receive the benefits, but without any kind of test, there is no way to really enforce this policy.

The Cons

“The data we’re gathering right now is showing minuscule drug abuse from those who are actually being tested,” Diebold said.

A large con of this issue is the amount of money being spent in order to test welfare recipients, especially considering how few test results are coming back positive.

The loudest argument against this notion is whether or not it is constitutional.

Many on the side of the opposition are using the 4th Amendment (protection against illegal search and seizure) to say that requiring these tests for every single recipient would violate this amendment. Since welfare benefits are available for the poor (with the exception of corporate welfare), some think that requiring them all to be tested would be discrimination.

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