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Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients is Illegal and Unnecessary - Essay Example

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Instructor name Date Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients is Illegal and Unnecessary Random drug testing of employees and job applicants began during the “just say no” era of the 1980’s when the Reagan administration amped up the failed “war on drugs” that began in the early 1970’s by the President Nixon…
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Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients is Illegal and Unnecessary
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"Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients is Illegal and Unnecessary"

Download file to see previous pages Employees are required to prove their innocence while showing no outward signs of using illegal drugs. Many would say that violates not only the U.S. Constitution but the precepts of any free society. A more egregious example of an overzealous drug policy is the recent growing trend to require welfare recipients, residents of public housing and other forms of public assistance to be tested for drugs prior to receiving assistance. These policies do not save money or lower the rate of drug use. What they do is oppress and humiliate the most vulnerable of society, the poor and minorities, and constitute a considerable and unwarranted invasion of privacy. At the heart of this passionate political debate are demeaning and inaccurate portrayals of people who “typically” receive welfare, characterizations that are not supported by evidence. One such stereotype is of the drug or alcohol addicted “welfare queen” who continues to bear children so the amount of her assistance checks increase and she can buy more drugs. Drug testing the poor is unquestionable popular among voters due to the prevailing yet misinformed opinion that the poor are lazy and undeserving of government help, “why should I work to pay for ‘them’ to sit at home all day?” is a commonly heard phrase. ...
The facts, however, mirror this perception. Laws meant to purge the system from “drug abusing welfare cheats” do not accomplish what they are intended to do and are most likely unconstitutional. For example, drug testing people on welfare is supposed to save money, that’s the main argument. The 2008 Great Recession caused a great financial hardship to individuals as well as all levels of government. Saving money by eliminating waste is a popular political stance but the money saved is relatively small amount and is often exceeded by the cost to implement the testing law. “Idaho recently commissioned a study of the likely financial impact of drug testing its welfare applicants. The study found that the costs were likely to exceed any money saved.” (Cohen, 2012). An extensive peer-reviewed study found that a only a small minority of public assistance programs recipients such as Medicaid, food stamps, WIC AFDC and SSI, contrary to common opinion, have drug and alcohol problems, about five percent abuse drugs and six percent have an alcohol dependency. (Grant, Dawson, 1996.) A report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism confirmed several other studies which found welfare recipients do not use or abuse drugs or alcohol at a rate higher than the general population. A separate study discovered that nearly three-quarters of adult drug users are have full time jobs. The arguments for drug testing welfare recipients do not square with the facts or the reality of the situation but the laws are politically popular due to the broadly help belief that the poor deserve unequal status and should be punished by society for their financial circumstance. This society would ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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