Should Welfare Clients Be Drug Tested?
When people go to family court in Niagara county they have to take their petition or any paperwork that they are turning in regarding children, custody, visitation or child support and go directly to the probation department. There they are given a drug screening and a short interview. Then the petition or paperwork must be taken back to family court and can then be turned in.
Job applicants must be screened for drugs, prescription and illicit before they are hired in most cases. After the employee is hired they are then required to submit to random drug testing, again in most cases.
So what about welfare recipients? Florida and a few other states have passed these new laws requiring welfare applicants to be drug tested and then required to submit to random drug testing but the laws were shot down in the supreme courts by judges because the laws violate the fourth amendment. There are rising concerns to issues revolving around illegal search and personal privacy.
I looked at both sides, both arguments and I am certainly interested in the coming months and years as to the outcome of this debate. It has to be a difficult issue for those in power to make a fair, just and constitutional decision regarding this issue. The first thing I would be concerned with is that immediately I would think most people who are receiving welfare are suffering from some form of addiction. This would concern me for many reasons, it would limit their ability to receive health insurance for treatment, the ability to survive while in treatment and what about the children of drug addicts? Should they be forced to suffer and starve at the hands of the government because of their parents disease? How will people survive if they do not have services to help them?
It turns out that I was all worked up over variables that are almost impossible to decipher because in Florida, the 6 months or so that this law was in affect only 2% of the people receiving welfare tested positive for illicit drugs. Now there is the issues of how they administered the tests, when the administered them, or did they schedule the tests giving people time to clean up or cheat the test. I don’t know. What I do want to know is what other people think. I have created a poll for bloggers to vote on this is and see the results.