Court Blocks Drug Testing For Florida Welfare Recipients

Those who are applying for welfare benefits in Florida will no longer be forced to pay out of pocket for a drug test, due to an injunction placed by Judge Mary Scriven.  Scriven recently ruled that Florida’s law could violate the constitution’s Fourth Amendment ban on illegal search and seizure.

The suit, which was filed by a Navy Veteran in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, proclaimed that the state had shown no established reason to believe that welfare recipients were abusing drugs, to which Scriven agreed.  “If invoking an interest in preventing public funds from potentially being used to fund drug use were the only requirement to establish a special need,” Scriven wrote, “the state could impose drug testing as an eligibility requirement for every beneficiary of every government program. Such blanket intrusions cannot be countenanced under the Fourth Amendment.”

Governor Rick Scott’s office continued to defend the law, stating once again that it was for the good of children to ensure that benefits went to their well being, rather than potentially being squandered on drugs.  “Drug testing welfare recipients is just a common-sense way to ensure that welfare dollars are used to help children and get parents back to work,” his office released via statement.

During the period in which drug tests were mandated, the state saw very few fails, proving their assertion that welfare recipients are more likely to be abusing drugs than the rest of the general population was completely false.


Related Stories:

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients is “For The Children”

Florida’s Mandatory Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients Finds Few Fails

Welfare Recipients Have To Pay Out of Pocket For Mandatory Drug Tests In Florida

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

Good. Scott has a fanatic's eyes.

Walter G.
Walter G.5 years ago

No one should be free to injure or kill, or cause addiction to anyone else they come in contact with. No one should be robbed, assaulted, raped, nor in any way injured as collateral damage of any actions of someone who either claims they didn't know or care what they were doing, and want a free repeated cure on the taxpayers dollar. I reside in Fla as my legal residence although I live on an island in the Pacific. Fla gun laws are about the only defense the public has against drug affected criminals. buy a weapon with a large magazine, they come in packs. BTW, don't leave anyone alive, you'll end up supporting them so long as they live.

Walter G.
Walter G.5 years ago

Which group of drug cartels pocket is this judge in?

Mary B.
Mary B.5 years ago

Oh this no help if you're on drugs makes SOOO much sense. What do you suppose a drug addict will do to take care of their basic needs if they can't get help, let alone buy drugs? How much does it cost to keep an addict in jail?

Alicia N.
Alicia N.5 years ago


Patrick F.
Patrick f.5 years ago

Even if the drug tests proved beneficial like Rick Scott says, his wife's clinic should be blacklisted from doing the tests as it is clearly a conflict of interest and using his position to extort money from people and the government.

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

The gov. needs to proove drug usage before making people take test. We don't want junkies on welfare if that's what they use the money for. I get ssi and food stamps and would hate to think my benefits could be cut because some one misusses the help they get so I'm hurt by that.

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik5 years ago

So, do you still think it is a good idea, Nancy L??? The state is having to pay back much more money than it is taking in for the drug tests because very few people (on welfare) have failed the drug test. You really think that is a good usage for tax money with all the infrastructure problems, the unemployment, the pilfering of the environment & all the other bad things that are going on?

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik5 years ago

Hunter, Most workplaces have a no drug policy. They pay for the test to be sure their future employees aren't druggies. It may not bother you to take the test in order to be employed by someone & truthfully, it wouldn't/nor has it bothered me in the past. I don't currently do drugs, nor did I ever.
The problem here is that the state is wasting money. The % of people who failed the test did not equal to people using welfare money to buy drugs. Facts are that welfare money isn't all that much & when people are starving & on welfare - when all their family is on welfare too; $50 is a bit much to borrow or have on hand to pay for the drug test. The money goes to a pharmaceutical company which essentially MAY provide a kickback to Governor Scott (that is called FRAUD & he has been guilty of it before). Then when the drug test comes back negative; the state HAS to reimburse the testee the $50 they were out... So far, the state has had to pay back much more than it has taken in & it hasn't stopped drug usage at all. This is just one more thing in a long line of things that is WRONG.

Hunter W.
Hunter W.5 years ago

There is no probable cause for an employer to conduct drug tests as well. Why don't you understand that? If I suddenly lost my job and needed welfare, I couldn't care less if you test me for drugs. I don't do them, I have no reason to have a fit over it. It's only maybe $50 for the test, and I could borrow it from a family member, or friend if need be until the government repays me for passing the test. It's that simple.
I felt no violation of my privacy while getting tested for work, and would feel no different if I was asking for handouts.