Mandatory Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients

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The process of drug testing individuals who are applying or receiving welfare benefits has recently become the focus of a widely spread controversy. Florida, the first state to pass the law, now requires all individuals applying for public assistance to undergo drug testing. The state of Kentucky, among others, have considered following this trend. State lawmakers hope to prevent the squandering of taxpayer dollars on drugs by proposing similar guidelines. Alabama’s states representative Kerry Rich clearly affirmed his state’s position on the matter, “I don’t think the taxpayers should have to help fund somebody’s drug habit” (qtd. in Time).

A decision to implement mandatory drug testing may be an imperative step for preventing welfare abuse; however, officials must not disregard other influential factors. We must also consider the multitude of variables that will or will not allow the law to work, and have a clear solution in place. Although not all Kentucky residents see eye-to-eye, an objective resolution remains vital.

Lawmakers insist due to an abundance of anonymous reports of welfare abuse, they must pass a bill to protect the state’s financial interest. State Representative Lonnie Napier alleged, “People are calling me from all over the state, telling me about people who are selling food stamps or other public assistance for drugs" (qtd in Kentucky). Napier’s theory behind the notion: if the state mandates drug testing when the applicant applies as well as on a random basis, they may target the individuals responsible for selling their food stamps for drug money (Kentucky).

The public, media, and fellow lawmakers have raised a list of concerns. One of the more worrisome matters, how much of an expensive will t...

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...ple sell food stamps for drugs. However, they also sell them for other sometimes-valid reasons as well; we cannot penalize the children. Kentucky needs a new law to prevent welfare abuse that includes specified expectations with detailed ramifications. Officials vote yes to pass this bill, when all factors have been considered, and a definitive resolution is in place.

Works Cited

“Amend KRS 205.200.” Kentucky Legislature Research Commission. Nov. 2011. Web. Nov.

2011. <>

Brammer, Jack. Kentucky Lawmaker Wants Random Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients.

17 Jan. 2011. Web. Nov. 2011. < random.html kentucky-lawmaker-wants-random.html>

Cohan, Adam. “Drug Testing the Poor: Bad Policy, Even Worse Law.” Time.,

29 Aug. 2011. Web. Nov. 2011.

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