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Is it unconstitutional to require welfare recipients to undergo drug screening for elicit drugs?

Freya Andrea 2011/07/18 05:28:10
Protecting the taxpayers interest
Unconstitutional / Invasion of Privacy
Undecided
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Personally I do not find it unconstitutional, if a person must rely on the system for support than they should be able to submit to a drug screening. Most companies as a part of their hiring process ask potential employees to do this. They are not implying that all potential employees are drug addicts, but rather establishing the absence of chemicals from the start. Why should we hold welfare recipients to a lesser standard?

Recently in the state Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ignited a political debate by changing the legislature to mandate that welfare recipients pass a drug screening before they receive aid.


Read More: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-06-01/politics/florid...

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  • Walt 2011/07/19 07:11:51
    Protecting the taxpayers interest
    Walt
    +2
    I don't like the idea of large scale governmental lab testing because such a system can ultimately be used for other purposes, but there is no Constitutional guarantee of welfare. If welfare recipients do not like being on the public dole, they can either go to work, refusing compliance or they can comply in order to receive benefits.
  • Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL 2011/07/18 21:33:41
    Undecided
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    Not exactly a bad idea in theory but indeed would open a flood gate of other issues. The programs are not set up to handle the volume of people and the cost for drug testing. Too much government for me in all areas and not enough personal responsibility across the board. People are genuinely suffering and unfortunately I do not think that cutting off their benefits would make that big a difference. It would create another problem that they have no clue as to respond to either
  • Freya A... Nancy~P... 2011/07/18 22:41:42
    Freya Andrea
    Would you feel differently if it were privately funded organizations that were allocating assistance?
  • Nancy~P... Freya A... 2011/07/18 23:52:00
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    Who would want to to that?
  • Freya A... Nancy~P... 2011/07/18 23:59:47
    Freya Andrea
    Well privately funded drug rehabilitation centers that offer alternative treatment programs and incentives to indigent people.

    http://www.articlesbase.com/m...
  • Horace 2011/07/18 18:00:35
    Protecting the taxpayers interest
    Horace
    +2
    Random drug testing in offices is not deemed unconstitutional so I fail to see how this could be, and drug testing seems a perfectly reasonable condition for welfare , we stretch protection of privacy to absurd lengths these days.
  • Frankie Knuckles 2011/07/18 17:57:35
    Protecting the taxpayers interest
    Frankie Knuckles
    +1
    I do not believe it is unconstitutional. I am not a conservative by any means (usually lean toward the left) but the bleeding heart outcry for addicts is appalling. "they will die"..........."its not fair"........"they are having a tough life". Honestly i do not have sympathy for hardcore addicts. Sure they need help however anyone that has been close to an addict knows they take advantage of situations. This may not be an answer or solution however i believe it is a step in the right direction.

    Some may question Mr Scott's special interest but i do not see a problem with the core concept. As a taxpayer if i am required to pass a drug test, and a portion of my salary is going toward welfare, you can bet your sweet ass the recipient should be able to pass the same test to receive that aid.
  • Nancy~P... Frankie... 2011/07/19 00:01:44
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    Okay then drug testing would have to be as regular as eating to keep it accurate. That costs a lot of money to implement and who is going to pay for that program and be the watch dog for druggies, what kinds of drugs and what qualifies as too much. Too many gray areas.
  • Frankie... Nancy~P... 2011/07/19 17:05:14 (edited)
    Frankie Knuckles
    +1
    Hello -
    You are a level 16 diplomat and i am a mere level 2 loudmouth. I am not sure how to address you. Is it your highness, your majesty, queen or her eminence? Maybe i will try a combination of all four!

    Your Highnessjestyqueeminence :)

    They should screen just for known illicit drugs. An initial screen and random screens should be enough. People that are on hard drugs usually need a few days for it to leave their system (marijuana takes a lot longer and may be a problem). If they mandate a 12-24 hr deadline on the random test it would be effective enough. Basically its like asking a hardcore addict to stay clean for a period of 4 days at any given time of the month. I doubt that most people on welfare will have the resources to purchase "masking agents" just so they can receive a few hundred dollars of aid.

    Cost and implementing is an issue. Yes it would be expensive and yes i believe Mr Scott has a special interest for Solantic to admin these tests. Many people are turned off because of this reason. Clearly the work should be bid out in a fair and unbiased manner.

    As i mentioned previously i do not think this is a solution however i do believe it is an interesting concept and is a step in the right direction. The points you raise are all valid and tough to answer however the thought of welfare funds used to feed the habits of an addict is enough for me to welcome a new approach.
  • Nancy~P... Frankie... 2011/07/19 18:34:22
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    That is not a new approach.Thanks for the respect factor BTW LOL. It is plain and simple economics. New approach to age old problem is not and does not solve any of the problem. Just people thinkiing that they are supposed to feel that way. If it were not drugs it would be another issue. Please keep that in mind when you think you are doing good for some.

    Welfare was never intended to be the catch all for bad behavior, simply for people who could not makes ends meet in hard times
  • Frankie... Nancy~P... 2011/07/21 21:36:38
    Frankie Knuckles
    +1
    Ohhhhhhhhh i bet you thought i was going to let this slide. No way your majesty :p.

    I respectfully disagree. Welfare was put in place to help people but it is not a given right. Welfare benefits are something that people voluntarily apply for. If the FL state government wishes to implement screening to prevent fraudulent use of tax payer money, then it cannot be considered a catch for bad behavior. People knowingly enroll........... and catch themselves.
  • Nancy~P... Frankie... 2011/07/21 22:10:49
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    Apparently you did not read my post as written. Read it again. thx. I think I said it pretty clear. I suggested that it was not cost effective and to let the government or even privateteers to police this would be disastrous. If you want to test the recipients for drugs then be my guest. When they test positive which many will,.... then what do you do.... what with them? Throw them away, make them seek help, or deny a check? It is great in theory but highly impractical. That should have been introduced at its inception not after 30 + years of many playing this system and knowing the ins and outs

    Like that is going to make a drug user honest is a joke. Drug useres are sick and that is illness just as crippling as say diabetes or heart disease.

    I suspect that this government program would just introduce even bigger issues we both have never even thought about.
  • Frankie... Nancy~P... 2011/07/22 19:17:36 (edited)
    Frankie Knuckles
    +1


    I give i give

    The only realistic solution right now (since the law is in effect) is to have an open unbiased bid on the screenings.

    Heart Disease, Diabetes, Alcoholism, etc etc all are major problems however these afflictions are NOT from doing something unlawful. i agree that addicts are sick and it will not make them honest however do we just ignore the issue all together and just keep giving them money to feed their habit?

    EDIT: BTW i am a level 3 debater now so watch out :)
  • James Rowntree 2011/07/18 15:15:27
    Unconstitutional / Invasion of Privacy
    James Rowntree
    +1
    I would accept it if the same drug tests were applied to every politician too,
    from Obama on down... if the law applies only to welfare recipients, that is unfair discrimination. Our so-called 'representatives' are also reliant on the taxpayer for the benefits they receive. And worse, some (or many) of them are DUI or rather, LUI Legislating Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol. Test them too.
    Otherwise, it is Unreasonable Search and un-Constitutional.
    Wonder how many of the loons in the District of Criminals would pass a drug test?
    Either we are all equal under the law, or we are not.
  • Waldorf 2011/07/18 14:34:21
    Undecided
    Waldorf
    +1
    That would just be a drop in the bucket. Welfare programs are based on minimal oversight, because the bureaucracy necessary to micro-manage recipients would be massive and beyond expensive.

    In my opinion, welfare recipients should abdicate all relevant rights to the source of the assistance. That especially includes the right to have more children beyond an accepted number to satisfy their biological imperative. If they don't want the money, fine.
  • Nancy~P... Waldorf 2011/07/22 00:51:28
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    Wow now that is pretty invasive on our liberty now isn't it?
  • Freya Andrea 2011/07/18 12:27:57
    Protecting the taxpayers interest
    Freya Andrea
    I was trying to figure out a way to add mandatory birth control for female recipients into this debate, but felt that was stepping over the line. In my mind at the point that you allow government assistance programs into your world you need to be able to follow a certain criteria to maintain it, and sitting around doing drugs getting pregnant to get more funding is a gross misuse of the system. Now because of this patterned behavior we have a whole new generation of useless people doing just that because it works.
  • Nancy~P... Freya A... 2011/07/18 21:27:50
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    That is an entirely different debate :-) Yes it is a misuse of the sytem in many ways. There will always be people who use it as intended and those who take it to another level to the inth degree of the law. There is always a loophole and treading on people's rights we have to consider.The system is not designed to identify the difference. Good luck with that! :-)
  • Nancy~P... Freya A... 2011/07/22 01:15:38
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    I guess it depends on who you actually qualify as useless. Government is just too big and large and people lose sight of personal responsibility and knowingly go into compromising situations knowing very well that they can manage either way with government assistance. If there were no assistance at all what would the scenario be? Work for a real living?
  • Daniel 2011/07/18 10:23:45
    Protecting the taxpayers interest
    Daniel
    People have to, if they want some jobs. I'm thinking about dropping my employees and firing every pot head I have.
  • Cogs 2011/07/18 08:13:02 (edited)
    Unconstitutional / Invasion of Privacy
    Cogs
    +1
    It's a stupid idea that won't fix anything.

    For people who are actually addicted to drugs, it's basically saying "you should endure extreme pain and possibly death from withdrawal - or else we'll let you starve."
    That's not a reasonable way of breaking the cycle of addiction. Starving people are more dangerous than junkies and stoners are anyways.
  • Libby 2011/07/18 06:43:05
    Unconstitutional / Invasion of Privacy
    Libby
    Of course it is. Rick Scott, if he wants to do this, needs to drug test all doctors, hospitals, social workers, anyone who has access and a means to steal money through fraudulent practices from the government. Rick Scott, when he was the CEO of a large hospital conglomerate, fraululently billed Medicare and Medicaid out of billions of dollars. The scope of fraud exists from all corners, and you cannot single out one group of people within that scope. You can't get any more unconstitutional than that.
  • Freya A... Libby 2011/07/18 12:13:46
    Freya Andrea
    +1
    Actually he tried to have the same system implemented for government employees in the state of Florida as well, but that did not pass.
  • Libby Freya A... 2011/07/18 15:05:29
    Libby
    I'll have to check that. The company that is processing the urine samples is his, but it's now in his wife's name.
  • Freya A... Libby 2011/07/18 17:49:16
    Freya Andrea
    Yeah I saw that within the same story I posted there was a video link associated with it where that was brought to my attention. However, in further investigation it was determined that there was no conflict of interest etc., which is subject to opinion I know. Now in other stories it was mentioned he was trying to have this same form of testing passed for government employees, so I don't think he is trying to target just welfare recipients.

    I really just wanted to get an overall feel of what other people thought on the matter. Governor Rick Scott may have not been the perfect poster child for my debate, and other Governors in other states are tossing this idea around he is just the 1st to have it implemented in his state.

    I have not tracked statistically what the percentage of people on welfare actually is or what the average number of children in each household is but I would venture to say it's probably twice as many as there were a decade ago, and it keeps increasing because these people are not teaching their children by example or otherwise to do it any differently.
  • AL 2011/07/18 06:30:38
    Protecting the taxpayers interest
    AL
    +1
    Why should working people support dopers?
  • Libby AL 2011/07/18 06:45:38
    Libby
    So it's okay if doctors and hospitals bill Medicare or Medicaid fraudulently? It has to be universal, singling out one group is unconstitutional.
  • AL Libby 2011/07/18 06:56:09
    AL
    WTF! Are you high again? These two programs are not mandated by the Government, Yet Obama's new health care plan will be ever soon if its not defunded or repealed!
  • Libby AL 2011/07/18 08:45:29
    Libby
    I'd like to see Rick Scott's face plastered against a brick. This rightist extremist bilked Medicare and Medicaid out of billions as a hospital CEO, and now he's being an unconstitutional ass. It violates the 4th amendment, you can't mandate a law like that which demands you give a drug test without suspicion to government, hell, it's not even random. You could have said we need to investigate entitlement fraud, but you didn't. Is that type of fraud okay with you since he's a capitalist?
  • AL Libby 2011/07/18 21:26:10
    AL
    Wake up will you? Nothing in this life is free! The Government gives you somthing and they also excect somthing in return! Useual its our freedom and personal rights-in exchange for more Government controland power!
  • Libby AL 2011/07/18 21:58:39
    Libby
    You're wrong, a lot get things for free, and it's usually those who have money.
  • AL Libby 2011/07/18 22:04:35
    AL
    Hey look! Most EMPLOYERS today do infact have Drug testing for new employment or to keep your employment as well, So why should people on the Government dole be treated any better then?
  • Libby AL 2011/07/19 01:50:10
    Libby
    Because employers usually aren't the government and Rick Scott is government. We lose more taxpayer money through 'legalized' fraud.
  • AL Libby 2011/07/19 02:04:00 (edited)
    AL
    What does that have to do with screening lazy drug users on the Government dole? Why should people that have to be drug teasted themselves-let drug usings on the Government dole get away withiout doing the very same thing? that just doesn't make any sense what so ever!
  • Nancy~P... AL 2011/07/19 12:04:36
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    Many of the working people are dopers.
  • AL Nancy~P... 2011/07/19 23:49:22
    AL
    Indeed they are! thats why most Employers use drug testing now! So why shouldn't people on the Government dole have to do the very same thing then?
  • Nancy~P... AL 2011/07/20 00:25:32 (edited)
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    your guess is good as mine. We have more felons in this country than even perhaps illegal immigrants. Who is left to employ?
  • AL Nancy~P... 2011/07/20 00:35:46
    AL
    Those that have the good sense not to do drugs perhaps? Since that would put alot of unemployed none dopers back to work! That would also be an incentive for unemployed dropers to get clean as well at that point!
  • Nancy~P... AL 2011/07/20 00:39:27
    Nancy~PWCM~JLA~POTL
    oh my that is looking through rose colored lenses
  • AL Nancy~P... 2011/07/20 00:52:04
    AL
    So you don't really think with a 9.2% unemployment rate-there isn't enought none drug users willing to take those jobs of drug users then? LOL! Both Ford and chrys. motors both had workers get busted using drop on the job!

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