Drug Testing Welfare Recipients is “Compassionate”

Florida is already mired in courtroom proceedings over their new law mandating that all welfare recipients must submit to and pass a drug test in order to receive benefits. But despite the state’s court blocking the law as a violation of the fourth amendment, Ohio legislators are looking at implementing the same practice in their state.

Because, as one Republican law maker puts it, it’s the “compassionate thing to do.”

Via Think Progress, Ohio GOP state Sen. Tim Schaffer, the bill’s sponsor, claims “Implementing this bill is the compassionate thing to do. It will end the cycle of poverty by referring drug users to treatment and providing safety for children.”

That “for the children” excuse was one used by the Florida Republicans as well, with Florida Governor Rick Scott stating: “Welfare is for the benefit of children and the money should go to the benefit of children. This makes all the sense in the world.

Florida quickly learned that regardless of the legality of their plan, the actual testing itself showed that despite the Republicans’ assumptions, very few welfare recipients actually were using drugs. In fact, the percentage of welfare recipients using drugs was actually lower than that of the regular population.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Jerry H.
Jerry H.5 years ago

That pic, does that joint have a filter, wtf

Jerry H.
Jerry H.5 years ago

shove your brand of compassion buddy, lets see you will arrest us, not give us rightful benefits, force us into programs that will humiliate the individual and harm our families, give unnnessecary and unwanted expense to the individual and to the taxpayer, someones got to pay for the counselors, monitors, etc & etc, then when you are finished with me I'm gonna roll up a fatty, in fact I will do it just like the rest of us who do it because WE WANT TOO

Michael MacDonald

*it needs to end

Michael MacDonald

oh and if they want to claim that putting drug addicts in jail helps the children
why don't some of you go and ask some children who lost their parents to children's aid and find out just how much it helped them. (sarcasm)

Losing your parents to children's aid is one of the most traumatizing experiences for a child.
they aren't at all soft with how they deal with these situations.
They'll yell and scream at the parents calling them monsters right in front of the children.
I've even seen one video where they police shot the kid's dog which was in a kennel for no reason what so ever while they were busting the guy for a small bag of weed.

I've seen one of these go down in person too,
and I've never seen anyone act so bigoted in my entire life.

the kid was crying their eyes out,
they're still messed up because of it,
and all of this was over a few grams of weed.
These were awesome parents that love their child more than anything too.

They sure are helping these kids. not.

Michael MacDonald

there is nothing at all compassionate about drug testing welfare recipients.
In fact, this is an incredibly bigoted thing to do.

First of all, they are assuming that being poor inherently makes you a drug addict.
second, they are planning to violate the privacy of people simply because they're getting welfare.
(violation of privacy rights)
Third, putting people on the street or in jail because they have drug addictions is
the opposite of compassionate.

and for everyone who's on here trivializing the cause of ending prohibition:

go look at the death toll in Mexico because of this ideological war on drugs
and then see if you can still sleep at night.

30,000-40,000 died just this year.. up 11 percent from last year
and don't think that this isn't happening at home either.

Every time a young person is stabbed/shot after being called a rat, every time a young person kills themselves after being forced into prison, every time somebody dies doing tainted drugs, etc
it's because we're too ignorant to even take 5 minutes out of our days to research what's actually going on instead of just catering to our fears.

Also, it's just been found in a study that 90 % of drug users are either mentally ill or have experienced sexual/physical abuse in the past.
This means that 90 % of drug addicts are self-medicating their pain.

I don't know how anyone can still support this disgusting, bigoted law in the 21st century.
It's need to end.

Jackie D.
Jackie D6 years ago

Jennifer M: "Unfortunately, if you are asking for government assistance, it's not fair for you to be on drugs. I smoke pot daily, but if I needed welfare, I'd quit."

You smoke AND hold down a job AND you could give it up at will. You're a great example of why pot should be legalised. Legal pot would cost less, so that would leave more money in the pockets of people on welfare because they wouldn't have to consort with criminals to get their dope. Win win.

Denise L.
Denise L6 years ago

I guess I would not be totally against it but I would also think that all state employees should have to submit to random drug testing- teachers, police officers, nurses, politicians, etc

I have seen various people struggle with addiction and by far some of the worst cases were people who had university educations, houses in nice suburbs and made lots of money

Currently I'm living in Saskatchewan and I know that for many jobs here everyone has to pass a drug test. My husband didn't find it demeaning to pee in a cup for a good job. For many of the trades it is a matter of safety. And I know I wouldn't want to lose my husband cause one of his co-workers is high at work and messes up.

And it's sad but we have told some people back in Ontario that there is lots of work out here but they don't want to give up smoking pot for a job out here. Often times things come down to a matter of choice and I don't want to sound harsh but maybe people need to choose between government assitance and drugs.

That being said I hope that when people choose to get off drugs there is all the support and resources necessary available to help them kick their addictions

Jackie D.
Jackie D6 years ago

Linda M:
"Thank heaven I refused to continue with the Rx which could have "hooked" me & were actually unneccessary. If 2 weeks of Rx drugs in 62 years makes me a druggie, so be it."

How do you think that sounds to someone on anti-deps (like me!)? Your lack of compassion and respect for people with mental health problems is shocking. I'd rather throw my self under a bus than seek "help" from someone like you.

You managed to feed yourself AND keep a roof over your head DESPITE losing your job and falling into depression. You "toughed it out". What did you live on - air pie? Anyway, good for you. Please do share your insights into how to stay sane, sober and drug free through life's adversities.

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K6 years ago

Florida also lumps, in the groups to get tested, those on unemployment and worker's comp.

Of course they too are probably lazy, druggie, welfare cheats. Why else would they be lying around with a broken leg or back collecting money.

Jackie D.
Jackie D6 years ago

David A. Don't get your undies in too much of a twist because the amount your govt spends on the small percentage of welfare recipients who use drugs (to quote the above article) pales in comparison to what it spends on CORPORATE welfare and waging wars:


Now you have something to really get annoyed about.