Pubdate: Mon, 12 Dec 2011
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2011 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Tiffany Hughes


A hot topic in recent months has been the proposed policy of requiring
mandatory drug testing in order to receive welfare benefits. It would
seem that the majority of public opinion tends to agree.

If California were to require everyone to submit to a drug test, the
state would actually lose money overall. The money it would save by
not granting benefits to the roughly 2 percent of people who use drugs
on average would not cover the cost of drug testing.

Studies have shown that people on welfare are no more likely to use
drugs than the rest of the general population.

Furthermore, not a single study has shown that denying cash assistance
facilitates substance abuse treatment.

Requiring applicants to take a drug test is nothing more than
conservatives' attempting to create another barrier in obtaining
financial assistance to those who need it most. In America, we are
protected from unlawful search and seizure without probable cause.
Applying for welfare benefits does not equal probable cause.

Some will argue, "Well, I had to take a drug test for my job." It is
true that many workplaces do require drug tests. But not all
workplaces require drug tests, and you have the choice of applying
there instead.

There are very few choices for those finding themselves destitute with
children, which is becoming more common in our current economy.

Tiffany Hughes

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MAP posted-by: Jo-D