6/10/11

Myth: Welfare Recipients are Drug Using Mooching Monsters


Florida Governor Rick Scott
 
Here in my home State of Florida, my insane Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill for mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients. In his world welfare recipients are drug using mooching monsters and we need to treat them like they are.



Rick Scott: "Well, what you have to think about is you have to think about the children in those families and those households. When-when there's drug abuse-drug abuse in those households, you know, if you go in and you find that, those kids, you know, are, are having problems. And so, basically, on top of the fact that we'll save money because, uh, you know, we'll make sure these, you know, recipients don't use drugs-because my experience is, if you do test people they generally do the right thing. But on top of that, if you do find a problem, those children will be taken care of and we'll find those problems early rather than late, so I think it's the right thing to do."

Before he imposed such radical actions based on his personal belief about welfare recipients, Scott should have considered the cases the ACLU has won against this draconian policy.

The reasons they've won the cases are fairly relevant.
  • Welfare recipients are no more likely to use drugs than the rest of the population.
  • 49 States Rejected the program for fiscal and practical reasons. (I don't know if this is Florida's first time trying to implement the policy)
  • The average cost of a drug test is about $42 per person tested, not including the costs of hiring personnel to administer the tests, to ensure confidentiality of results and to run confirmatory tests to guard against false positives resulting from passive drug exposure, cross-identification with legal, prescription drugs such as codeine and legal substances such as poppy seeds."
  • Most types of drug tests fail to detect alcohol abuse – the most commonly abused substance among Americans.
  • The policy is opposed by the American Public Health Association, National Association of Social Workers, Inc., National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, National Health Law Project, National Association on Alcohol, Drugs and Disability, Inc., National Advocates for Pregnant Women, National Black Women’s Health Project, Legal Action Center, National Welfare Rights Union, Youth Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, and National Coalition for Child Protection Reform
Read more:
http://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform/drug-testing-public-assistance-recipients-condition-eligibility
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/NewsEvents/NewsReleases/Pages/welfare.aspx

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