Aug 15, 2014

Drug Testing All Welfare Applicants: One Part “Suspicion-less Search”, Two Parts Wasteful Government Spending, and Three Parts Stereotype Based Policy

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“I wonder how much this cost the taxpayers in Tennessee. Didn't work too well in Florida either. Too bad the politicians didn't check the data in other states before implementing this costly policy”.  The previous statement is that of a colleague of mine posted online in a social media site.   My colleague was commenting
on a news item regarding Tennessee’s move to subject welfare applicants to a drug test.  Like Florida, which implemented a similar policy, Tennessee found that an extremely low percentage of welfare applicants/recipients tested positive for drugs.  According to the report, out of 800 applicants in Tennessee, only one person tested positive for drugs.  You may have heard a few years ago that Florida had similar results.  In 2011, only 2% of the applicants for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), aka “welfare”, tested positive for drug use.  This is a percentage that is lower than the percentage of Florida’s general population that uses drugs.  Soon after the posting, an acquaintance of my colleague responded with:
The purpose of the program is completely lost on you. Florida's program was only for the "Cash Assistance" portion of SNAP. That means the state will not just hand you cash without knowing you are not on drugs. The requirement being on the books simply deters these inappropriate applications. How much money did the state save not having to even process the thousands or millions of applications simply because those who knew they were going to fail the drug test opted not to apply?

Before continuing, here is some background on the issue and the role of the states from the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures:
States have proposed drug testing of applicants and recipients of public welfare benefits since federal welfare reform in 1996. The federal rules permit drug testing as part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant. In recent years, many states have proposed some form of drug testing or screening for applicants.  In 2009, over 20 states proposed legislation that would require drug testing as a condition of eligibility for public assistance programs. In 2010 at least 12 states had similar proposals. None of these proposals became law because most of the legislation was focused on “suspicionless” or “random” drug testing, which is at odds with a 2003 Michigan Court of Appeals case. Marchwinski v. Howard ruled that subjecting every welfare applicant in Michigan to a drug test without reason to believe that drugs were being used, was unconstitutional.
The proposals gained momentum beginning in in the 2011 session. Three states passed legislation in 2011, four states enacted laws in 2012, two states passed legislation in 2013, and two states has passed legislation in 2014, bringing the total number of states to eleven. In 2013, Kansas enacted legislation to require drug testing for applicants and recipients suspected of using controlled substances. In 2012, Utah passed legislation requiring applicants to complete a written questionnaire screening for drug use and Georgia passed legislation requiring drug tests for all applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Tennessee approved a bill to require the department to develop a plan for substance abuse testing for all applicants and Oklahoma passed a measure requiring all applicants for TANF to be screened for illegal drug use (Source link).
In Georgia, a bill was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Deal in 2012 that required all recipients of TANF to not only agree to submit to the drug screening, but also to pay for the test themselves.  This despite the fact that there was no obligation of the state to demonstrate that the applicant had any prior history of drug use.  Thankfully in 2014, the Georgia state legislature revised the law.  Georgia’s law now requires that there be reasonable suspicion of drug use before requiring the test. 
I was a little put off by the reply of my colleague’s acquaintance.  Not because of the counter argument, which is a reasonable opinion on the matter; but by the arrogant and condescending tone of the first line, “the purpose of the program is completely lost on you.”  Therefore, I felt compelled to come to my colleague’s defense, though as a smart and thoughtful man highly educated in Economics, he is perfectly capable of defending himself.   Here is my reply:
It's policy making based on a stereotype. Leads to inefficiency. I don't believe there was any data to support the costly testing to begin with. So if I move to Florida or Tennessee and get a refund on my state taxes in April, should I expect a drug test? No probably not because I need to be on welfare or food stamps as a govt benefit, rather than a tax subsidy so it can be assumed that I'm lazy and on drugs. By the way it's a suspicion less search that is not given to others who get cash benefits from the state like unemployment or subsidies. Which is why, I believe, there is a lawsuit out there challenging one of these state drug test programs. So it's not all that illogical that the purpose of the program is not lost on the many who see this as a stereotype based policy.
My concern with the policy of these states did not originate with my colleague’s posting and the reply of his acquaintance.  Moreover, my concern was not aroused simply by the cost of the program.  What bothers me the most is policy making based on stereotypes and perceptions that often are formed with a lack of evidence, or the necessary amount of data to support the perception.  Unfortunately for many, perception is indeed reality.  And the evidence sighted, is often just anecdotal evidence.  Anecdotal evidence simply notes something that was witnessed or heard about, and does not imply that there are relatively large numbers of that occurrence.  For example, we hear on the news from time to time that a pit bull has mauled a small child.  There is however, no mention of the total pit bull population and the possibly low percentage of cases in which a pit but harms another.   

First, however, let me appeal to those that support the policy because they accept the stereotype in the first place; and, simultaneously appeal to those that do not believe this is a stereotype based policy but support the policy for perhaps a variety of beliefs and concerns.  Requiring all participants of anything to submit to a drug test, whether it be for employment, admission to a school or participation in an activity is an example of a “suspicionless search”.  A “suspicionless search” is a search without “reasonable suspicion” that the individual has committed a crime in the first place.  It is generally accepted that private employers can require random drug tests if that is how they see fit to run their business.  It is a whole other matter when it is the government, which is bound by the Constitution.  Very broadly speaking, the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is interpreted as protecting us against searches without reasonable suspicion:  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,…”.   Recently, in Board of Education of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the school system could indeed require drug testing of all students seeking to participate in voluntary extracurricular activities.  Therefore, the courts have not deemed all “suspicionless searches” as unconstitutional.  Note that our rights are not absolute, but that the government may prove a compelling interest or reason in denying a right, and in such cases, the government action would not be in violation of the Constitution. 

There are two major differences, perhaps more, between the effort of some states to drug test all welfare applicants and the circumstance of the public school drug testing and the subsequent Supreme Court ruling.  One, the courts carve out a special consideration for minors; and, in their capacity of caring for minors during a large portion of the day, the courts give a great deal of leeway to schools in preventing violence and drug use.  Second, the school’s policy, to remain constitutional, was not allowed to apply to just one type of extra-curricular activity.  This means that the policy would be unconstitutional if it only applied to student athletes, such as football players, and not to other activities and organizations outside of regular school hours, such as math club.  As I stated in my social media reply, the requirements of states like Tennessee and Florida applied only to recipients of one type of cash benefit and not to recipients or applicants of other types of cash benefits from the state, such as unemployment compensation.  Therefore, the argument that state funds supplied by tax payers should not go to someone who may use the money to purchase drugs does not hold up under these circumstances.  If this were the only motive for the policy, than I find it perplexing that the state did not implement drug testing of other cash benefit applicants seeking unemployment compensation, or perhaps those that receive some other sort of subsidy or refund from the government as the result of meeting a qualification for a benefit. 

Second, this is a great example of wasteful government spending that should be detested not just by fiscal conservatives, but by all taxpayers.   The data demonstrated that the policy was not warranted given the cost to the state or the cost to the applicant who, if applying for welfare, is short on funds in the first place.  Does this policy now sound as reasonable as it first did when you saw the headlines referring to the effort of these states to drug test those requesting welfare?  If so, then I am quite convinced that I could show up to your door and convince you to spend thousands of dollars on something that might prevent an event that may or may not happen without any data to support that the possible event is indeed a threat or problem to begin with.   As proven by the financial burden and the lack of results, this policy flies in the face of fiscal conservatism as an additional regulation put on an individual, implemented by the government, and is costly to the taxpayer.  The reply to my colleague’s statement on social media referred to what may have been prevented:  “The requirement being on the books simply deters these inappropriate applications. How much money did the state save not having to even process the thousands or millions of applications simply because those who knew they were going to fail the drug test opted not to apply?”  The problem with this assertion is that we cannot measure who may not have applied.  In fact, he suggests that it could have been thousands or millions that did not receive welfare because they did not apply due to their drug use.  But there is no way to know if his claim is accurate, grossly exaggerated, or completely false.  My common sense and perhaps educated opinion tells me that it is at least grossly exaggerated.  However, it is not a good use of government time and money to implement policies where there exists no data to warrant them in the first place, and when the policy is not regarding national security or a threat to the immediate safety of others.

Third, and tying in with the earlier points, the policy is based in a stereotype that typical welfare recipients are lazy freeloaders that would rather sit on a couch, preferably to get high or drunk, rather than work like the rest of us.  The reality is that a large portion of welfare recipients are women with children and that most of their budget goes to necessary items such as food and shelter.  In fact, welfare recipients spend a small portion of their overall budget on frivolous items than do non welfare recipients.  As stated earlier, if the motive were primarily based in a desire prevent government money going to dangerous activities, the policy would not just apply to welfare applicants, but to all those that receive a direct cash benefit or is a benefit that frees up cash that can then be potentially used for drugs.  Rather, the primary motivation may be a perception of and disdain for those that receive welfare from the state. 

Government must avoid enacting policy based on a feeling particularly when the policy is costly, puts an unnecessary and unwarranted burden on individuals, and may indeed be in violation of constitutional protections.  Policy that is motivated by a feeling, a perception, or a stereotype leads to inefficiency and waste.  I hope that our legislators would not do such a disservice to the state and the nation.  I too prefer that government funds are not used for drugs or to hurt innocents; however, I do not believe in throwing money at something that does not produce results and that only has an extremely minimal impact, if any at all.  Moreover, because my motivation lies in preventing drug use and government waste, I would be more apt to support a policy that requires all those that receive any sort of government benefit to submit to a drug test, in addition to all those employed by the government, including our state legislators.  However, I would then only support said policy if the size of the problem warrants the size of the solution.


  1. If drug screening derails applications for gov't funds, how many programs would be involved (even if not fair). Further, if some states are the testing grounds that enlighten the rest of the country, should this thought be abandoned after the TN & FL results. Someone PERHAPS not doing something has never been statistical. When you know someone cares is when they see ways to find out that something is wrong and then tries to fix it. No do not think anyone at birth WANTS to be addicted to drugs and that is the true problem. Even if addiction is passed though pregnancy a child finds themself in a conditon that was not chosen. Life happens to many. Where is the program that fixes the problem? Where is the counseling that helps the person challenge the thought of never being on drugs again?

  2. This is a very interesting argument. I agree, that it is easy to pass the buck, and have disdain for an segment of the American population that is in an unfortunate circumstance. The logic seems to go, "Since they are poor and and unemployed, then they are all drug addicts, so drug test them". So what happens to the 6 kids who are hungry because their biological caretaker is abusing drugs and selling most of their means of survival for his or her next hit, is suddenly cut off?
    I don't think the system will ever be ready to absorb that many children this type of reasoning will displace. Look at the situation in Texas and other surrounding boarder states whos influx of child immigrants are flooding the system?
    Logistical nightmare to say the least. Now in dealing with the constitutional aspect of testing welfare recipient because you feel like it. IS a warrant-less search, but like was explained in the article, tax-subsidies and unemployment benefits are not being singled out. So where's the equality in that?

  3. I think that the concept of using random drug tests on welfare recievers is good, but I think the delivery needs to some help. I read that Florida did drug screenings which cost millions of dollars only to find out that a high percentage of those people were not on drugs. My questions would be.... Did they isolate this to one region or did they spread testing across the state? Were the tests provided the cheapest way to do it or could another test be cheaper? If those screenings only took place in an isolated area of the state, I think that the tests did not represent all welfare assisted people. It could be that more drug users recieve welfare if the sampling is done over a larger area. I think that a sampling of drug tests should be taken throught the states to find the nationwide percentage of welfare assisted citizens are drug users and this could lead to stricter laws that would limit recipents of government assistance.

    1. These were not random tests or sampling. The tests were a requirement for all Floridians applying for welfare, regardless of their location of residence in the state. But, you may be referring to the sampling to determine percentage of drug users. It is good to be critical of sampling, however, most sampling is done scientifically to get accurate results. Therefore, it is highly likely that the sample was done in a "random" and "representative" way, which would require it to be done randomly across the state. You would have to look at the methods of that particular sample but I am guessing that it was done correctly because of the need to have credibility. I have not seen these results called into question.

  4. Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s during his first term came up with the idea of mandating drug tests for welfare applicants. It was based on a dubious proposition, which Republicans found compelling, the state could save money by forcing drug users to withdraw from the public-assistance system. The New York Times released the most comprehensive data, on how the law failed during the short period of time it was in effect. Of Course the law was a fail, but we didn't know was just how much of a failure it was. In the four months that Florida's law was in place, the state tested 4,086 TANF applicants. A only 108 individuals tested positive. Over 25 states introduced welfare drug testing legislation this year. You would think that the court rulings and high costs might have stopped these bills, but they have not. In fact, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law that is very similar to Florida's, mandating all TANF applicants in Georgia be drug tested before being eligible to receive benefits. Lucky Georgia saw a problem with the law and revised it only for reasonable suspicion of drug use before requiring the test. Even so the idea of screening someone for drugs is just unconditional. If a person truly needs assistance it should be given no matter their circumstance. If a state thinks they make save a couple 100,000 dollars because the 1 out of 10 people is drugs and will be pulled out of the system, they are simply being cheap. The TANF program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency, If these families were on any type of of drug it would be notice and precautions would be place to handle the issue. I hope that this law will be vetoed in the near future and the needy of America can be helped free of negative outlook.

  5. If everyone that receives cash benefits are not going to be tested, then no one should be. Many people believe that welfare recipients are lazy, sit on their tails and don't want a better life. Well, there are some that have been raised that way because that's all they know. Their mother was on welfare and her mother was on welfare, so it's a generational cycle. But, then you have working mothers that are trying to provide for their children and need additional assistance. In fact, if they do have a job, the government says that they can only make a certain amount of money to continue receiving assistance. Then you have the elderly that receive welfare, are you going to make them get drug tested? Many of these elderly people wouldn't be able to go get tested or have the money in the first place to pay for the test. In fact, many of them are just getting by. The way I feel, if you are going to give them something, give it to them. Stop and think about the effects this will have on the children if the aid to their family was cut off? They didn't ask to come here, so why do they have to suffer if their parent is not spending the cash on what it was intended for. Do they have a roof over their head? Are they eating? Are they being abused? If the children are fine, I say leave it alone. I think something needs to be done to address the misuse of welfare, but this is not the answer.

  6. The study amongst Florida and Tennessee welfare applicants regarding drug testing should have provided enough data to eliminate the need to drug test welfare applicants altogether. Most government programs require means-testing and the majority of the recipients are the "working poor". That knowledge alone should eliminate the need to drug test government assistance applicants because the recipient has more than likely been tested at their place of employment.
    I agree, Professor Robertson, drug testing prior to government assistance approval is definitely stereotypical. Private businesses or corporations can conduct pre-screening practices for employees any way they'd prefer, but for our government to require drug-screening during pre-screening practices would violate our 4th amendment rights, if they did not have reasonable suspicion. Plus, personally I would be insulted or offended.
    I understand WHY many Americans advocate drug testing prior to administering government assistance, because they would like to prevent their tax dollars from being spent on an individual whom could potentially abuse the benefits and/or barter their benefits for drugs or whatever. But the study between FL and TN alone (stated earlier in the article) negates their assumptions. Also, those tax dollars they don't want to waste on "users", they are wasting on the testing that they would like to administer during pre-screening.

  7. I absolutely disagree with requiring mandatory drug testing of individuals that are accepting TANF (temporary assistance for needy families). Why would we think that those folks are more apt to use drugs than anyone else in America? The only answer is that we stereotype people. Why didn’t other states learn from Tennessee and Florida that showed that the number of individuals that tested positive is an extremely low percentage of the time? The blog states for Florida “In 2011, only 2% of the applicants for TANF, aka “welfare”, tested positive for drug use.” Tennessee’s numbers were much lower. Instead of learning from the knowledge of other states, we are spending more state and federal money conducting these tests.
    The only thing more ridiculous than forcing drug tests on welfare recipients is to require them to pay for the test themselves. Oh wait, the state of Georgia actually did that! Although, thank goodness, the Georgia state legislature revised the law in 2014. How much more can we do to set these individuals up for failure? If they had the money to pay for additional expenses such as drug tests, they might not require federal assistance in the first place.

  8. Ben Gagnon
    My mom’s side of the family is from rural Georgia. For the area, it is rare for people to make it out of high school, much less attend a university and move onto a well-paying job that will allow them to completely provide for their family. Some of my family members take advantage of the system by having more kids to get more money, and by being declared to be physically disabled so they don’t have to work. Other members of my family work hard but whenever they start to get ahead, something else happens. My point is that there are people who need the system to try to get back on their feet while there are others who look for ways to exploit the system in order to have others provide for everything that they need. Stereotyping people who use these programs is wrong. Just because someone needs help because they lost a job does not mean that they use drugs. There will always be people who take advantage of what is gifted to them, but that does not mean that enough people are taking advantage of the system (in the way that they are testing people for) to benefit from all of the testing.

  9. I have to admit, before I found out the result of the drug test, I was in support. In the environment around my I have heard insulting comments and seen many people look down on recipients of TANF. They would say they were lazy and "bum" in society. These people are mainly older men and seem to be socially conservative. When commenting their opinions, they based it on stereo types and without facts. After reading this article and hearing about the facts, I am no longer in support of the drug testing.

    TANF is very helpful for low income families. For the government to base their drug testing on stereo type ideas causes an unreasonable search. If the government is going to continue the drug testing, they need to test everyone who is receiving aid from the government. This would ensure that they are being fair and constitutional. The government also needs to do more research to see if this spending on mandatory drug tests are effective and show good results. So far there has been no evidence of a big enough drug use problem with recipients of aid, that justifies a mandatory drug test.

  10. Whether it is for police, an African American male, Hispanic, or welfare recipient, stereotypes are everywhere. This is obvious in Tennessee's and Florida's drug testing of welfare applicants. I think it is very narrow minded for people to assume that citizens are asking for money just to waste it on drugs. So many live under the poverty line, yet we do not take it seriously and simply shrug it off as their own laziness.
    Beyond the fact that drug testing welfare applicants is incredibly stereotypical and offensive, such drug tests are a dramatic expense for an ineffective result. I love the hypothetical situation included of how would one respond if you asked for thousands of dollars to prevent something that "may or may not" be a problem and has no statistical support. That concept is in itself is eye opening to how absurd it is to drug test applicants. There was no valid reason to drug test in the first place, and now, after two states have confirmed, there definitely is no significant statistical relationship between drug usage and welfare applicants. The only thing we can know now is that drug testing applicants is wasting even more of our tax dollars.
    GraceAnne Dukes

  11. Janna Bourdonnay
    The government requiring for people on welfare to take a drug test before they can receive the benefits is a waste of government funds. Just like the stereotype for homeless people (they are where they are because they did it to themselves; don’t give them money or they’ll just spend it on drugs and alcohol), the stereotype for people who need welfare to support their family is also false. As the test done in Tennessee proves, out of 800 people on welfare, only 1 tested positive for drugs. I find it interesting that in Florida, there is significantly less people on welfare that tested positive for drugs than the amount of drug users in the whole state. If the states think about the real cost, the cost to test everyone applying for welfare is much greater than the cost of that 2% of people using drugs and requesting welfare in Florida, or the 1 in 800 people in Tennessee.
    Like stated in the article, this legislation was based more on a stereotype than anything. The government is paying to fund a national belief of a stereotype. I think stereotypes have become just as serious as racism is in this modern era. It’s becoming a bigger issue, and costing the government tons of money, yet it tends to go unnoticed. Stereotypes don’t just affect this, but also such things as bullying is derived from stereotypes, and how much time and money is put into counseling and programs for that?
    I agree with the article, that if the states are going to require the drug tests for one government benefit, they should require it for all, just like how the schools can’t require it for just extra-curricular activity, they need to require it for all of them. Also, in ignorance people don’t see the money they are paying themselves to support this policy. Taxpayers are the ones who are ultimately funding this. If the government can’t pay for it, they will raise our taxes in order to pay for it. And as the article says, it is money wasted on ‘something that might prevent an event that may or may not happen.’ And again stated, the policy is based on a stereotype. The funds go to families in need, families that would otherwise have nothing. Living in a first world country and the superpower of the world, we have the luxury of being able to reach out and support these people to get back on their feet and recover from whatever tragedy that affected them.

  12. The mandatory drug testing of individuals receiving welfare is a large waste of resources. Drug testing is a large business and is very expensive. A drug screen can be easily faked if the alleged drug user has done some research. There is nothing a person will not try in order to cheat on a drug test, especially if they have something to lose. After reading this article, it seems like a large amount of money is being wasted on mandatory drug screening of Welfare Applicants. The entire process is an invasion of privacy and plenty of people are making money over these large contracts. I work in a drug testing facility and it’s a decent job, however I know that the testing process isn’t perfect. The only way to be 100% foolproof is to give someone a hair test and this is even more costly. This seems to me to be an invasion of privacy and waste of money.

  13. I agree that drug testing, if done for the purpose of granting money to individuals, should be done for all programs across the board. Singling one group out over another is unfair treatment. Do I think drug testing for these programs is a good policy? I would have to say I am undecided. These programs are there to help people get back on their feet and personally I would be more concerned with the options given to them to help achieve this goal.

    I would be interested to see more data on the subject as my mind works on the analytical side. When Florida posted the results, did they include the numbers from the year before, when there was no drug testing. Was there a decrease in applicants? This would give a different perspective on this argument. A significant decrease in applicants would show that drug testing had deterred some individuals. Where no change or an increase would further the argument that it is not needed and a waste of government funds.

    I have never thought of drug testing as an infringement of my rights based on the portion of the blog related to “suspicionless search”. This is something that has been done at most of my jobs and is required to obtain employment. It was very interesting to me and I never once thought twice about taking the test.

  14. This is a very interesting read, I have very mixed feelings about the drug testing of welfare recipients. Where I do believe that there is need to perhaps randomly test individuals throughout their time, I believe it to be a COMPLETE waste to require a test be conducted before hand, reason being, any rational person needing the aid could simply quit using for the amount of time needed to provide clean urine, ergo a waste of money by the government. I do however think that a sporadic random selection would be very beneficial. For example, at my work, we know that there are random drug tests, however I have been there 5 years and seen 3 people go for one, 2 of which were fired, now both of these individuals obviously passed the pre screening, and believed that they would be able to beat the odds of randoms Since this incident however, it would in my opinion deter others from thinking along the same lines. Costs associated would of course need to be taken into consideration first, and the amount administered should be low, but enough for people to not be tempted by the money to spend on drugs. I do believe there are people out there that abuse the system, I have seen it with my own eyes many times, how I'd love to eat lobster and steak, however I am poor and cannot do so, but those people make up a small portion of the ones that really do make great use of benefits. I also would like to address the constitutionality of the government to give tests without suspicion. I would like to note that I have taken about 50 drug tests in my military career, and have never in my adult life used drugs, they had no reason to believe I did, so how is this any different? People have made the argument that " I signed up for it", well yes I did, but people also signed up for free government aid, I have been to combat zones, and still had to pee to maintain my benefits, so I believe that argument is a bit invalid. Either way, to me our government needs to re asses how they are doing the testing, and make sure that it is financially appropriate to do so, in most cases they may find it isn't effective.

  15. I feel that this idea is good but the approach needs a little more to it, because it could come off as a stereotype issue and could cause an even bigger issue. I could also see this leading to a racial issue, not saying that it is indeed one but the way they are developing it could lead towards that direction. If they want to make this a law they should consider all of the government assistance programs not just welfare and TANF. Then they would have to consider the people who use specific drugs for medical purposes. Because based on this article they are basically saying they feel that all people on welfare are on drugs. Pointing fingers is only going to have such a big impact ,negatively, on the government. I personally do not see this law being passed, its too many inconsistencies. No specific reasons why they choose to come up with this law and too many finger pointing accusations on people who may actually be innocent.

    --- Sentoria Moss

  16. David ShakibanasabJune 20, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    I don’t think that all welfare recipients should be drug tested. I do I think that some of them do use their benefits for drugs, yes, but not all of them. Seeing the results from Florida and Tennessee it’s clear the majority of them don’t, and all shouldn’t be punished because of the ones that do. Now allowing drug testing when there’s a reasonable suspicion is a different story. Oklahoma has a “reasonable suspicion clause” and 297 applicants tested positive in 2012. Welfare benefits in Oklahoma pay out 292$ per month, that’s 3,504 per year, so for those 297 applicants that tested that would have been 1,040,688 dollars of taxpayers money. Then subtracting the cost of the tests $185,219 the taxpayers saved 855,469 dollars. So I do think there is a “right way to do this”.

  17. I agreed with mandatory drug testing for welfare receipts until I read statistics that stated only one out of eight hundred TANF recipients in the state of Texas actually tested positive for drugs. In 2011, in Florida only two percent of recipients tested positive. The only reason I disagree now is because it would be to costly of an expense for government to pay for or a family that is already struggling. If funds for the testing doesn't result in finding violators it is government waste and should be used for programs to get families off of welfare.

    I do not think that drug testing would violate any human rights. Take applying for a job. You know most jobs require a drug test before you can be hired. Should they not be able to test you for drugs? Would this be considered stereotyping everyone on a suspicion? No it would be a requirement. If you receive help from government there are requirements. You have the choice abide by requirements or opt out for the help.

    1. Can you mind sharing your name or some sort of identifier? Is this one of my students?

  18. I think mandatory drug testing for welfare is a waste of money. I also wonder how many drug addict would bother to apply for welfare. I feel like many of them would not feel bad about just stealing the food. My brother is a recovering heroin user and "luckily" my parents would pretty much always give him money when he asked for it, especially if he said he had no food. It may be just him, but I wonder if many drug addicts would be capable of getting it together enough to even apply for welfare assistance.