For some time now, the idea of having welfare recipients drug tested for them to receive benefits has been appealing to many, but for those on the left as well as those who are on welfare, it’s a different story. No matter which side of the issue you are on, this topic brings a lot of discussion and emotion to the conversation.
The state of Florida has recently passed a law that states that any new welfare claim that is submitted, the person must have a drug test done before receiving any benefits. the claimant is responsible for paying for the test, but if the test is negative, the person will be reimbursed for the cost of the test. If they fail, they will not be paid back for the test as well as they will not be eligible for welfare for one year. This issue has become an ever growing concern for people on both sides of it.
The left (Democrats) feel that it’s an unconstitutional decision to invade someone’s privacy. They use the 4th Amendment as they reason to not allowing these test to be legal. The right (Republicans) think that if you’re going to get assistance from the government, you should be expected to abide by the same standards as those who have to take a test to get a job. They say that since employees who work to pay taxes to help fund entitlement program have to take the same test to work, the people on welfare should do the same. The reason behind their thinking is that there is so much corruption within the welfare system (along with multi-generation families) that this is one way to weed out the wrong-doers.
Those people who say that the drug testing is wrong is because if infringes on their Constitutional right as laid out in the 4th amendment The fourth amendment protects the American citizen from unwarranted and illegal search and seizures. In 2003, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Michigan’s drug testing of welfare applicants as a Fourth Amendment violation.
As for the other side of the issue, the 4th amendment pertains to privacy and they feel that if these people are looking for public assistance, then the issue of privacy doesn’t play a role in the debate.
While I agree to the drug testing, some say that I’m wrong. All I can say to that is that I must trust the judicial system to make the right decision on the matter. Unfortunately I don’t trust those who are serving on the circuit courts as well as the Supreme Court. Again this issue is for each state to make their own decisions as to if they want to legalize medical marijuana.