(Closed) The Welfare System: To Drug Test or not?!

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Are you in favour or against drug testing welfare recipients
    All aboard! Totally in favour : (232 votes)
    64 %
    The concept is good but the logistics make it unreasonable : (72 votes)
    20 %
    No way, Jose! Let them be... : (58 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 3
    1402 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    My mother went from VP of her mortgage company to unemployed for over a year.  She was a hardworking woman who had some nasty luck.  She got fucked on her 401K too.


    She was a couple months away from welfare….with that being said….she would glady submit to a drug test.  Why not?  I think it’s fair.


    Post # 4
    272 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I live in an area that has a high percentage of welfare users. Heck, I probably even qualify for it if I would go apply. But I won’t, because to me welfare should be reserved for people who are in really REALLY hard times.

    That said, I see no problems with drug testing. At all. The proposed idea reimbuses all costs if you pass the test so that people wouldn’t end up spending needed money on the test. The process of testing is simple enough, and it would really cut down on abuse in my opinion. Just off the top of my head I can think of quite a few people I know wouldn’t pass.

    Post # 5
    8469 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I think drug testing for welfare is totally fair.  I also think there should be a time limit on welfare; for instance, someone could claim benefits for 2 years, but then cannot claim again for another 7 or 10 (medical/disability excluded).  Of course, I’ve never been on welfare, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    Post # 6
    4314 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Uhhh I guess for me it’s a waste of money.  Do you know how easy it is to pass a urinalysis unless you smoke a lot of pot?  And once they pass, they are going to go back to doing the same drug.  Yeah it would be ideal but unless you are willing to submit them to randomized drug testing (which could be possible, but almost just as costly to administrate which would be passed onto us) this concept will not work.  You just are not going to catch a lot of people.  I don’t think the concept is at all feasible.  We could do hair follicle, but those are extremely expensive, and I tend to believe a little intrusive for simply trying to get on welfare.

    Post # 7
    1926 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I’m all for it, but I think in the US they determined it would be so costly it wouldn’t be worth it. 

    Post # 8
    11760 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @lalalyanne:  yes the welfare system in the US needs more oversight and regulation which includes but is not limited to drug testing. However those that abuse the system will aLways find a way. I’m not entirely sure it’s worth it to spend even more money on regulating a system that can never be truly regulated.


    Post # 9
    4664 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    My understanding is that in the locations in the USA where it has been tried, it has cost considerably more money than it has saved and found that drug use among welfare recipients was really not an issue. So while there are ethical debates to be had, I think I can stand against it on that point alone – the taxpayer burden is increased by drug testing, not decreased.

    My DH has also worked in a welfare office in NYC – his anecdotal testimony is that while lazy people trying to do the bare minimum exist, they are not common, that the vast majority of the people he met were good, well-intentioned, diligent people who had simply fallen on hard times and wanted very much to dig themselves out no matter how hard they had to work for it. They were embarassed, not pleased, to be receiving welfare. They also were not permitted to just show up for the check – they had to attend classes and meet with a job counselor and prove a certain amount of time each week had been spent searching for work. 

    Post # 10
    2363 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013 - B&B

    I’m from Central PA… I look at it as this: In high school, we had to submit to random drug tests if you were an athlete. You did it for the priveledge of being part of the sports team. For a job, you often have to take a drug test… for the priveledge of working for the company. The military drug tests.

    So yes, I think you should be able to submit to a drug test if you need welfare money. I sort of think that often there are pockets of people abusing the system that give the whole thing a bad name, and it’s really not as MANY people abusing as it looks like. I could be 100% wrong, but you know. However if I would have to agree to a drug test for a job where I am going to work and provide a service, why shouldn’t you have to do a drug test when you are getting assitance from the government to get back on your feet?

    I would be curious to hear from other bees though what would happen to those people who fail the drug test. They get taken off? To get their money they have to agree to rehab/counseling services (which would have to be free to them because more than likely they wouldn’t be able to afford it). Would they be given 1, 2, 3 chances to pass later on before coming off of welfare? Do you think it would solve a huge chunk of the abuse or not?

    Post # 11
    5480 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I don’t think it’s unfair to drug test in order to receive welfare, but I do think it could be cost prohibitive for the already overextended government.

    I get it, I have to pee in a cup to get a job so I can pay taxes to support those who are either A)legitimately going through a hard time and need assistance, and B)those who are too lazy to do anything to better themselves of their situation.  

    I do get some kind of ragey though when someone sits around, smokes pot, uses my hard earned tax dollars to feed themselves, but somehow has the money laying around for a brand new iPhone, nice car, and trips to the salon for fancy manicures.  On the other hand, it’s not my job to tell other adults how to spend their money.

    In an ideal world, there would be measures in place to avoid widespread system abuse- including drug testing.

    Post # 12
    5222 posts
    Bee Keeper

    The welfare system is broken and it has very little to do with drugs ( although it does make up a portion), that at this point– I wouldn’t support the funding for it unless it came alongside a huge overhaul package. Things are already stretched so thin and allocated so poorly, I see it being even more of a burden to the taxpayer than alleviating some of the cost.

    Unfortunately- the welfare system is so far off base that drug testing wouldn’t even put a dent in cracking down on abuse of the system. 

    Post # 13
    2363 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013 - B&B


    @Bebealways:  Oh I was writing my post while you posted. That makes sense then, that if areas have already tried it and it’s just more costly than it’s worth… ah well then.

    Post # 14
    2687 posts
    Sugar bee

    I think many will agree that drug testing in general is a reasonable requirement for receiving welfare.  Employers and other organizations require drug testing, so why not those who are receiving welfare?  The larger issue IMO is how states are executing the drug testing.  I do not agree with states passing the cost of drug testing on to the welfare recipients.  If states care so much about drug testing, they need to fund it themselves and they need to make the system equitable.  They were debating a law like this in my state (not sure if it passed or not, I think it did), and someone tried to slip in a provision that state legislators (and all govt. employees) had to submit to a drug test too, as they are also paid by the state.  Shockingly, that provision did not pass.  Can’t take their own medicine, I suppose.

    Post # 15
    4314 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @Sunnyday278:  Well and the other glaring problem I see with this is — there is no baseline. We don’t drug test today so we don’t know how big abuse is. I feel like its more stereotypical than anything, and not based on fact. Most welfare cards, in addition, have been restricted to buy certain items. So if they are using money to but drugs, I don’t know necessarily its welfare money they are using. The problem is they have income that is not being reported that might disqualify them for welfare. 

    Post # 16
    709 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    I’m against it simply because I don’t think the children of drug addicts deserve to be punished any more than they already are. Also, true drug addiction is a disease, not a choice – when you view it as an illness, I find it more difficult to stand behind mandatory drug testing as a requirement to receive aid from the state. I understand why people are for it, I really do, I just don’t think it would solve any problem (not to mention the cost of it all, which PPs have mentioned) – and it would end up harming a lot of children and a lot of people who are truly trying to get off drugs and better their lives. 

    In addition, if you look at real, reliable studies on welfare fraud, the numbers are quite low (at least in the US), as it’s actually pretty difficult to get on welfare in most parts of the country.

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