Pubdate: Mon, 18 Nov 2002
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 The Decatur Daily
Contact:  http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/696

DRUG TESTING SHOULD BE CONSIDERED PART OF WELFARE

A federal panel of judges has ruled that Michigan can restart its welfare 
drug-testing program shelved in 1999 after the American Civil Liberties 
Union of Michigan filed suit.

Michigan had a pilot program to require random testing of welfare 
recipients. Some asked the ACLU to have the testing stopped on grounds the 
testing was unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a testing 
program is legitimate to ensure that public money is not used for illegal 
purposes.

These judges apparently have common sense.

Some people need to be on welfare. There are those who are totally or 
partially disabled and unable to work. There are the elderly who didn't 
have the 401(k)s and other retirement programs now enjoyed by most 
Americans. These people have no resources other than the state to draw 
upon. The testing program was not established to keep these people from 
drawing welfare.

Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New 
York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Oregon are the only states that went 
ahead with testing programs, despite the court's earlier rulings.

This ruling clears the way for Alabama to initiate testing. If state 
workers take time to explain the reason to welfare recipients, there should 
be no problem from the majority. Those who do object probably are the ones 
who should be tested first.

No one wants to take away help from those truly in need. But if our money 
is being spent for drugs instead of food, medicine, clothing and other 
necessities, the state's financial resources should be withheld.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens