Drug Testing Catches Shocking Number Welfare Recipients


Utah instituted a new policy up welfare
drug testing recently and we now have data on exactly how the first year that
went so in the period between August 2012 in
July 2013 they did a number of tests actually
we’re talking specifically hear about applicants to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program what are the
welfare programs available in Utah now during that period that we reference
there they had four thousand seven hundred and thirty applicants now based on the initial written our
response is up against gave they’ve responded to about 10 percent and said we want to follow up a new
blood test and out of those they had 12 confirmed drug users now this is the pup program
the cost about thirty one thousand dollars to institute over that period and you’ve seen their that they’ve
caught 12 people now of course some people who they
followed up with did not go because they knew they had done drugs
that’s certainly true and they believe that they’ve saved the state if you talk
about three hundred and seventy thousand dollars by not having those 247 people would think
that collecting benefits will not now be collecting benefits what
do you think about this I don’t have a major problem with this
actually the testing itself I mean if people are going to be getting
government subsidies for whatever the reason then having to be drug tested doesn’t strike
me as something that’s that intrusive I’m not huge government
program guy in the first place but if you’re getting money from the government it seems to me that they’re allowed to
know whether you doing drugs here I think my issue with it from the get-go
is it automatically reinforces a stereotype
about people who need government assistance it’s like oh you guys are all dead feature
probably doing drugs your lazy you don’t wanna work we’re gonna
drug testing so I just got I don’t like pushing that
stereotype n you know as the numbers indicate you know not that many people
are actually using drugs when they’re on welfare the vast majority of people who are on
welfare need government assistance I are working at two jobs or you know doing their best to make ends
meet but they have children you know that they have to provide you
know care for and as a result the money they’re making doesn’t stretch far
enough yes so i i just I don’t like painting
this picture above you know above welfare recipients is like these
drug use it really annoys me that’s my main problem with it as well
and we’ve seen other states have instituted measures like this or even
harsher once Florida had mandatory drug testing it wasn’t
some percentage and they found after testing everyone
over a period of time 2.6 percent tested positive for some sort of drug and I had the same problem with it that
you do I don’t understand why one word were denies it is people in
their time of need and specifically why are we demand I think this a one way
that they’re wasting their money or what you can watch as much reality TV is you
want will test for that you can drink constantly you can eat
totally unhealthy food there’s all these different vices you
can engage in but if you smoke marijuana they’re gonna cut you off now in Utah
specifically you can still get the benefits but they require that you take
some sorta drug rehab program or something like
that but why are we demonize in this one particular negative active in what if you’re abusing
pharmaceutical drugs exerting its just how how how do you draw that line you’re using alcohol yeah look you can a
new york city you can be on food stamps and you can literally by all alcohol if
you want I mean you go to Duane Reade urges the main drug store in New York
City and it says very clearly you know you BT taking here and you could just stock up on and beer
and that’s it so I i’m not defending that obviously
but that’s why I think there’s some level love this that that I’m sort of okay with I get
the idea about the stigma thing I would completely disagree with
you i think i and the problem with this on a civil liberties basis I think that
it is unreasonable search I don’t think that
there is a compelling state interest in making sure that this particular very
small very narrowly targeted group of people should be set aside for special a
special testing and special searches that’s my problem I think that the
actual issue earlier is that it is not anything is I but public about to the
money that’s going to work supporting their drug habit this is about punishing
the poor yes this is about finding additional
ways to make it that much harder for people to access the services that they are
entitled to that we have a as a nation have decided they are entitled to have access to this
assistance because you know there are not just the
people who are testing positive for drugs these people have children these people
have families these people have other folks who are depending on them to be able to access
these services so yet with when you have kids involved
as well so I have a complete and total absolutely think these are stupid I
think the idea is just to punish people

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