Kansas is one of the most recent states to try to pass laws requiring welfare recipients to submit to drug testing. Although there are many opponents who claim that this will cost the state too much money to test all of these people, in the long run this will help to ensure that the money is going to the children and welfare dependents who need food and shelter. Too many drug users are on welfare and using the state’s money to purchase drugs. From any perspective this is not the intention of welfare and makes most taxpayers (including me!) angry. In fact, many of the welfare recipients who were asked about the drug testing bill now headed to the Governer of Kansas support the concept. They have seen friends and relatives using welfare funds inappropriately.
The unfortunate side effect of passing laws such as this, and so far 30 states have proposed bills like this, but none have successfully been enacted, is that this doesn’t provide a support system for drug addicts. The bills address different aspects of the problem, from receipt of welfare benefits, to applying for welfare, to receipt of food stamps. Those who test positive may be referred for treatment but the treatment isn’t necessarily covered and then there is the question about how they will support themselves while undergoing treatment, if they actually take that step. What about false positives? Is there any recourse for those who receive an incorrect result? Another worry is that some who really need financial aid, and may use it properl,y won’t even apply if they have to be tested. Some states are even proposing that welfare applicants pay $15-$25 for the test themselves. Perhaps lawmakers will address these issues later but are hoping that this will be a deterent allowing money to be spent on the things it was meant to provide as a stop gap measure for those temporarily out of work: food and housing. This is a good idea, but needs to be part of a bigger picture and an overhaul of the entire system to help people who need it and then get then back on their feet and back to work.
Written by www.labtestingnow.com