Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Should a State, Missouri or any of the other 49, drug test for welfare recipients? NO, and here is why:

Ok, the question has been posed on Facebook by Home Town Rolla, Missouri USA: Should welfare recipients be drug tested?

First and foremost, this is an asinine question. It makes the assumption that all welfare recipients are drug users. We are not. Of course, some are, and some of their monies that they make with or without welfare does indeed go to drugs, it's making the statement that one bad apple spoils the bushel.

Second, and more importantly: The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as provisions in the Missouri State Constitution protects ALL citizens, welfare recipients or not. Drug testing by the state is a search, no ifs ands or buts about it. Drug tests have been used in court to prove possession of drugs, and therefore are in fact a search. To search a welfare recipient, just because they are applying for food stamps, or TANF, or even disability is without warrant, and therefore is against the Fourth Amendment.

State and Federal workers are not drug tested exactly for the above reason.

The argument has been posed that "gee my employer drug tests me, why not welfare recipients who make it their job to get welfare?" To begin with, the statement that we make it our job is stupid. I want to work, I want also to get my meds paid for, just like people who have "good" jobs with benefits. I cannot work to that capacity. It's not my, or most other welfare recipients life goal to make it our job to receive welfare. Secondly: employers are not the state. While the state and federal governments are employers, one will find that they do not drug test their employees.

A recent statement was made that soldiers are drug tested: Soldiers are also considered "property" of the federal government, and thus are exempt from the fourth amendment protection.

To drug test all welfare recipients is like requiring all drivers to blow for alcohol before they drive. The argument is the same because some drivers drive drunk.

Finally, the welfare system already has provisions for those _convicted_ of drug crimes. This is completely reasonable: don't give them foodstamps or TANF for a few years, and or if they are already on welfare and/or disability: Take it away!


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