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Drug Testing & Welfare : Research Essay

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MaryAlice Arocha

on 13 October 2013

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Transcript of Drug Testing & Welfare : Research Essay

2. Unconstitutional
3. Costly
Should welfare recipients be drug tested to receive benefits?
1. Meager Results

Does testing pass the test?
MaryAlice Arocha
T H E S I S :
Mandatory drug testing is not an effective way to regulate welfare because very few drug users have been found as a result, testing is unconstitutional, and costs more money than was originally being spent on the program itself.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are 12,800,000 Americans on welfare.
Michigan, Arizona, & Florida drug test welfare recipients.
In 2009, 87,000 people were tested. Of that 87,000 only a single applicant tested positive for drug use. (“Drug Tests”)
It was reported in the Miami Herald that only 108 of the 4,086 welfare applicants who were tested failed. (“Testing Logic”)
As a result of the Marchwinski v. Howard case in 2000, US District Court Justice Victoria Roberts ruled that drug testing recipients of welfare benefits violated their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. (“Preface”)
Simply receiving government assistance is not a credible reason to believe a person is using drugs. (Kenefick)
When Florida compared the amount of money saved to the cost of testing, $45,780 was lost in the end. (“Testing Logic”)
Arizona saved a meager $560 out of the $200 million in benefits paid out since testing started. (“Drug Tests”)
C O N C L U S I O N :
Drug testing as a form of regulating the welfare program simply is not the answer, and there are other solutions—that are surely more effective—we should be looking at.
W O R K S C I T E D :
“Drug Tests for Welfare Applicants Produce less than meets the eye.” USA Today 19 Mar. 2012: 08A. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
“EDITORIAL: Testing logic of the tests: Drug testing of welfare applicants is producing meager results.” Anniston Star [Anniston, AL] 20 July 2012. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
Lewis, Matt, and Elizabeth Kenefick. “Welfare Programs Should Not Include Mandatory Drug Testing.” Welfare. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. From “Random Drug Testing of TANF Recipients is Costly, Ineffective and Hurts Families.” Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
“Preface to ‘What Are Some Alternatives and Improvements to the Welfare System?’.” Welfare. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.

Thank you!
2. Unconstitutional
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