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It is starting again. With the whole Florida “welfare” drug testing, all sorts of people are on Facebook professing their love for the policy. With the love fest though, is a number of inaccuracies that I have to correct. First off, there is no such thing as welfare. Please quit using the term. Welfare was abolished under Bill Clinton in 1996. There are other public assistance programs with varying requirements but no welfare. Second, it is an unconstitutional policy. In 1999, the state of Michigan created the exact same policy and it was quickly deemed unconstitutional by the courts. So, instead of being worried about taxpayer dollars being spent on “funding drug habits” maybe the real concern should be taxpayer dollars being spent to defend a law that has already been deemed unconstitutional. Third, and a lesson learned from Michigan, is that the policy is ineffective. Only about 10 percent of “welfare” recipients tested positive for drugs, no different than the general population. The entire program was deemed an incredible waste of time and money.
I am unsure how people applying for public assistance, who must be 200 percent below the poverty level, will be able to afford a drug test. And I am not sure why these “fiscal conservatives” want to spend more money on “welfare” because those that test negative, and if history is any indicator that will be 90 percent, Florida will have to reimburse those individuals, costing tax payers MORE MONEY. A simple urinalysis will also miss most drugs. The crack addicts, people using heroin, or meth heads will still, in most cases, receive a negative drug test and you will still be supporting their habit. These drugs have quick half-lives and will easily be out of most people’s systems by morning. The only people this will punish are marijuana users and I am assuming that most people are more offended by the hard drug users. Of course a major issue with this whole ridiculous policy is that Governor Rick Scott of Florida pushed this legislation through so he could pad his bottom line. Scott and his wife own a chain of healthcare clinics that do DRUG TESTING. This is not about saving any money; it will cost the state far more in the long run than in will save. And Scott knows that. It is about greedy Rick Scott making money off the backs of the poor and indigent.
This is just another example of people judging others and perpetuating the myth that people are public assistance are druggies. It is a way for us to feel better about our situation and live in the myth that it can’t happen to us. Guess what? It can. Whether you use drugs or not. And substance abuse is a medical issue not a criminal one. What good is taking away someone’s benefits going to do? Does it solve the problem? No, it only makes things worse. You can drug test people on public assistance. But instead of taking away their benefits, maybe help them get into treatment. Despite what most people think, treatment for substance abusers is not readily available unless you have PRIVATE insurance or are independently wealthy. How the hell are these people supposed to get any help? By taking away their lifeline? Oh sure, I guarantee that will help them kick the habit. Wake up, substance abuse is not a lack of willpower. It is a medical condition. Would we take away benefits from a diabetic that was eating sugar? How about a person with clogged arteries eating steak? Give me a break. Can we have any compassion? Do you realize that the amount of money coming out of your taxes to pay for public assistance is probably about 2 pennies? Your money goes to a host of really really awful things so can we PLEASE get our priorities straight? Maybe we should drug test the idiot CEOs and Board of Directors of some of the corporations that gladly took our taxpayer dollars. And quite a bit more than ALL of the social service users combined in the entire United States. I am so over people judging others. It is really easy to be critical and judgmental when you have food on your table. And most of these judgmental people call themselves “Christians.” What a freaking joke. I know very little about the bible, but I am pretty sure Jesus did not talk about conditions on those that you help. You help to help, not because you want to control someone’s life.