Pajama Journal

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The Unacceptable Costs of Drug Testing Welfare Applicants

On: July 31st, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Number of Comments » 21

By Deborah Mackto

Florida has been hit hard by the deterioration of the nation’s economic condition. The recession and resulting unemployment has created the need for more families to apply for public assistance during a time when the State is facing significant budget deficits. On May 31st of this year Governor Richard Scott signed legislation into law that requires all applicants for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to submit to, pay a fee for and pass a drug test by urine sample. Governor Scott said, “It’s the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don’t want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs” (Florida Governor Signs Welfare Drug-screen Measure). However, testing welfare applicants violates the United States Constitution, causes catastrophic emotional and financial hardship on our neediest citizens, fails to address Florida’s most dire drug…