Drug Testing For Unemployment/Welfare Recipients?

Some people in one state may soon have to undergo and pass drug tests before being granted unemployment benefits or welfare.

 

Some people in one state may soon have to undergo and pass drug tests before being granted unemployment benefits or welfare.

Georgia state lawmaker, Republican Michael Hardin, is sponsoring the bill that requires random drug tests for anyone getting such benefits.

Hardin says the bill is an idea whose time has come for weary taxpayers. Hardin says, "They want to know without a doubt that their tax dollars are not going to support illegal drug activity."

Harden says the drug test would cost no more than $25.00 and be paid by the person being tested. The state would cut off anyone who refuses the test or fails.

Other backers of the legislation say they want to make sure those on the unemployment line have the ability to go back to work and they say one of the things that's preventing them from having that opportunity is the fact they can't get past the drug test.

What Hardin is proposing is nothing new. The Congressional overhaul of welfare in the 1990s allowed states to implement drug testing as a condition of receiving help. Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Virginia tie eligibility for some public assistance to drug testing for convicted felons or parolees. A Michigan proposal for random testing was struck down by a federal court on grounds it violated the 4th Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Now before you assume this is a great idea and there couldn't possibly be any opposition, consider this...Bonnie Erbe wrote an opinion piece for U.S. News & World Report last year saying drug testing for unemployment recipients, "Is one of the dumbest things I've heard recently coming out of state legislatures." Her reasoning..."There's no room for alcoholics and low-scale drug users in jail and forcing them into homeless shelters isn't going to get them any closer to recovery."

Of course the flip side of Erbe's argument would be why should taxpayers fork over their hard earned money for people who do drugs, and if they have the money for drugs, why do they need our money? I know a lot of hard-working people who have to pass random drug tests to collect a paycheck...so why should welfare/unemployment recipients not be included? Who knows...the random tests might just be a blessing, forcing drug users to clean-up their lives!

What do you think? Should people be required to pass drug tests before receiving unemployment or welfare benefits? Do you think NC should consider such legislation? Or do you have no problem with people doing drugs and collecting taxpayer-funded assistance?

 

 

 

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