People On Welfare Less Likely To Do Drugs Than Those With Jobs

We’ve learned a lot of really important things since Florida started drug testing those who applied for welfare benefits.† We’ve learned that drug testing is for the sake of children.† We’ve learned the state cares very little for the constitution.† We’ve also learned that politicians don’t think they should have the same standards applied to themselves, despite the fact that they are receiving taxpayer dollars, too.

Oh, and we learned that hardly any recipients were actually doing drugs.

Now, Florida lawmakers are standing by their decision, despite the fact that it’s costing the state far more money to actually do the testing than it is saving in not providing benefits.† But it’s totally worth it, because this wasn’t about money, it was about helping people.† The New York Times reports, “‘We had to stop allowing tax dollars for anybody to buy drugs with,’ said State Representative Jimmie T. Smith, a Republican who sponsored the bill last year. Taxpayer savings also come in deterring those drug users who would otherwise apply for cash assistance but now think twice because of the law, some argued.”

Oh, so it was about making people stop doing drugs?† Well then, maybe the state of Florida believes everyone should undergo mandatory drug testing in that case?† After all, as John Cole writes, “Just to put this in perspective, only 2.6% of the applicants used drugs, while the DOJ estimates that from 8-10.2 percent of the workforce is on drugs. In other words, far from being lazy shiftless drug addicts, they are, as a whole, cleaner than the general workforce. Which may seem odd to you, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. DRUGS COST MONEY. PEOPLE ON GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE DONíT HAVEÖ MONEY. This is not rocket surgery.”

So, if Florida really believes it’s the state’s job to deter drug users, it’s time for a new bill.† Pee cups for everyone.


Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Bryant S.
Bryant S.3 years ago

People need to realize, the only people who really need to be drug tested are the people passing the Law. "Congress" Just in the pass couple years, several members of Congress have been arrested for under the influence of controlled substance, drug possession chargers, buying drugs from undercover officers, DUI arrests. Out of the 535 idiots or members of Congress who pass these laws to keep us in check, here is the amount who don't follow their own laws they passed.

29 have been accused of spousal abuse.

7 have been arrested for fraud.

19 have been accused of writing bad checks.

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at

least 2 businesses.

3 have done time for assault.

71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit..

14 have been arrested on drug-related charges.

8 have been arrested for shoplifting.

21 are currently defendants in lawsuits.

84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year.

Saved the best for last. Over 70% of Government employees including 15 of President Obama staff owe the I.R.S in back taxes to a total of over a Billion dollars. I have idea congress. How about paying your own taxes or just put your self in jail for not paying taxes, before you consider going after the American people. {Federal Tax Audit 2012}

Jen Fuller
Jen F5 years ago

This is bull!! I KNOW alot of People abuse welfare, over 75 % of people I know use there welfare for drugs and sell there food stamps for more! And buy there kids cheap roman soup for all meals just so they can get high. I also know some people who have baby's just to get houseing, and more to stay on it, even though they can't afford it. People SHOULD definetly be drug tested for there sake and there kids sake. Middle class is getting screwed on taxes to support a lot of peoples drug habbits. and a lot of people in middle class are starting to cut down there ours now to because of how unfair it is and they will be able to keep more of there hard earned money.

Dale Overall

Wow, wanted to comment but some here are so busy hitting each other over the head with two by fours, what is the point? Are you on drugs or what-can't take the fact that people have differing opinions without all the insults?

Anne R.
Anne R5 years ago

I disagree. It's stupid to say if you don't have a job you do not use drugs. That's not true.
Unemployment is extremely high in Florida,so a whole lot of people don't have jobs.
If you really believe that all these people aren't using any form of illegal drugs.You don't
know very many people in Florida.
The drug testing started not show that so many poor people used drugs. It started to weed
out those who could be using welfare dollars to buy drugs. It doesn't matter if it's 1 in 20 or
20 in 20. What matters if the money isn't going to buy gas,or rent or your basic needs, some
one else could use that money. Someone who really needs it that doesn't use drugs.
The drug testing program does not effect food stamps or medicaid. There's no children
being hurt by their parents being drug tested.If you are using drugs,the state will get you
the help to get off drugs,and be a better parent to your children.
Also almost every employer in Florida,drugtests before hiring, randomly during employment
and if you have a accident at work.The employer gets a break in insurance by doing this.

David Moffatt
David Moffatt5 years ago

This should be obvious....people on welfare don't have money for drugs!

Another nail in the coffin of talk radio "thought".

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

I disagree with the whole idea of if you dont have money you dont do drugs. A lot of people don't have jobs or money BECAUSE of drugs... and I KNOW people who do drugs and get foodstamps and such. They often lie about their income and such. If an employer can test you, so can a government who pays for your food, kids and bills. Taxpayers should never have to support an addicts lifestyle

Lika S.
Lika P5 years ago

Oh! Goodness gracious! You mean poor people can't afford illegal or recreational drugs? That you have to have money to buy them? Well, guess who just caught on!

Jane Warren
Jane Warren5 years ago


When I was on welfare, any prescription drugs that I needed for pain were not easy to get. Took a lot of proof of my need to the medical professionals. So much so, I didn't have energy left over to get prescription drugs for play.

Ellyn V.
Ellyn V5 years ago

The huge flaw in all this testing is that it only picks up the use of illegal drugs. You can lose your benefits for testing positive for MJ, cocaine, or PCP but you can sit around collecting your benefits and be high as a kite on Klonopin and oxycodone as long as you have a legal script. And since Florida has some of the loosest prescription laws in the country that is not too big a feat. I am not saying that everyone who applies for benefits is using these substances but it leaves a loophole you could drive a truck through for those who do abuse these "legal drugs". This is likely why Florida's testing has failed to catch very many people. Until something can be done about prescription drug abuse these laws are rendered absolutely pointless way before you even get into ethical arguments.

Bryon S.
Bryon S5 years ago

This whole drug testing thing is one more ploy by the right wingers to demonize poor people. Why would they do this you ask? To take away peoples' rights, keep them powerless and create a society where the rich 1% have all the control. It doesn't matter whether anyone wants to believe it or's happening. And the republicans won't stop until they get what they want. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT WE FIGHT THIS ATTACK ON THE POOR, ON WOMEN, ON GAYS, AND ON COLLEGE STUDENTS. We cannot let them get away with it. We must fight back. And the best way to do this is by voting them out of office.