Should people on welfare have to be drug tested

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5 March 2016

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There is an ongoing debate on whether drug testing of welfare recipients is legal in many of the local state governments. Welfare is suppose to meet the basic needs and drugs are far from the basic human needs. If recipients on using drugs get all the benefits they are more likely to take their check and spend it on drugs rather than their needs. Drug testing people randomly who receive assistance would decrease the amount of people abusing the system, it would require recipients to stay free of using drugs and would reveal who is wasting the tax payers money. Randomly drug testing would benefit the system, others on assistance, and tax payers. If you have to be drug tested to gain employment why not be randomly drug tested to continue to receive assistance?


1. Welfare assistance should not be a one-way handout or open-ended privilege. We should provide assistance on the basis of a return obligation. Taxpayers should provide support to those in need, recipients in return should engage in responsible behavior for receiving assistance. Requiring welfare recipients to stop using illegal drugs is an element of a return obligation. It’s a real issue. Most related studies indicate that one third of people on welfare use illegal drugs (Rector, 2011).

2. As welfare approaches over a trillion a year, (Rector, 2011) taxpayers have a right to insist that their money goes to those who truly need it and it’s not spent on frivolous activities like drug use. Evidence shows that drug testing can reduce unnecessary spending and misuse of money.

3. Florida’s policies of requiring drug testing for welfare applicants, for example appears to have reduced new welfare enrollments by as much as 48 percent. Potential applicants who use illegal drugs simply chose not to enter the welfare system. They could sign up for welfare in the future, but first they would have to refrain from taking illegal drugs. The choice is theirs (Rector, 2011).

4. Those that are opposed of drug testing recipients believe that denying benefits to drug users punishes families and takes money away from the kids. By looking the other way, we’re condoning illegal behavior and missing out on an opportunity to turn the drug abusers situation around. Instead we should get abusers back on track and prepare to get them jobs and get off assistance.

5. The cost involved in drug testing would cost taxpayers even more money, including the employees to monitor the drug test and not to mention the cost of the drug test. If drug testing is done it will save the taxpayers money who feel they are wasting money on drugs. Drug testing will require the recipients to stay drug free. 6. A few believe that it is purely discrimination against the poor, who most often receive these benefits. They argue that since some people have jobs where they are never drug tested that poor people should not have to undergo testing either. They also argue that they are basically telling poor people that they have no right to be happy, or experience the full spectrum of human experience, whereas those not on welfare who are not drug tested at their jobs can do this freely (pros-cons-drug testing welfare recipients, 2014). The jobs that don’t do drug testing are ones like 7-11 or certain gas stations, all other jobs you have to a mandatory drug test and if you refuse a drug test you will not get the job and if they do a mandatory test at your current job they only give you so many hours to submit a drug test and if you don’t you are automatically terminated.

So if you receive any kind of benefits from the state you should submit to a drug test, to some collecting a welfare check is just like a job they sit and wait until their money comes on their card and then go out and spend! If you can wait on check you can wait in line to drug a drug test so the taxpayers will know where their money is going. 7. A Senator stated a proposal for drug testing fears it would allow the government to pick on poor people. Under this bill, the Department of Social Services would administer drug tests to those receiving temporary assistance if a caseworker has reason to suspect drug use. The goal would be to keep the state from being an enabler by giving cash to people who are using. It’s not to be punitive or anything other than giving people to get on the right path. Those who test positive for drugs would be ineligible for three years to receive temporary assistance benefits, which are given to individuals with children for basic needs such as; housing, utilities, and clothing. Children do not lose benefits if parents test positive, but credits for their needs would be redirected to grandparents, or other appointed adults (Hearin, 2013).


The idea is simple; no taxpayer wants to see their hard earned money to pay for someone on welfare to pay for drugs. Taxpayers deserve to know that their hard-earned dollars are used wisely and not funding drug use for welfare recipients. It’s not right to take the taxpayers money for drug users. Welfare pays for many different things like unemployment, housing assistance, foods stamps and more. I believe random drug testing should be done for those that fail to pass a written screening test which is even better and less better and less expensive. The consequence should be the same; a failed drug test; no check. Drug testing welfare recipients needs to be in action for all states, because taxpayer money should not condone illegal drug use. With this policy law-abiding citizens are protected and illegal drug users are penalized. Those who do not use illegal drugs will not have to worry about their benefits being taken away.


Hearin, J. (2013). Drug test seen as welfare rule. Substance abuse would sever aid. pros-cons-drug testing welfare recipients. (2014). medical articles and infrographics. Rector, R. (2011, December 15). Welfare Programs Should Promote Self-Sufficiency. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from us news.

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