Friday, November 9, 2012

Drug testing for welfare and public assistance?

Should there be drug testing for Welfare or other Public Assistance recipients?

I see this question often on Facebook. Most people answer with a resounding, "YES", of course they should. Mostly the claimed reason is that the employed person, having been drug tested themselves to maintain their employment, is paying taxes that contributes to the welfare system. The fact that the welfare system is wrong and shouldn't exist is another post for another time. Since it does exist, and this drug-testing-issue is important to many people, I want to elaborate on why I say, "No, they shouldn't be tested". I'm sure I'm in the minority here but I'll type it out anyway.

First and foremost, I believe doing drugs is wrong. The Bible tells us we are to be sober, but you will not find prohibition there.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. Titus 2:2
Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. Titus 2:6; 

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, Titus 2:4 

This is my list of reasons/concerns and oppositions on this issue.

  • It's discriminating against a specific group of people. Drug testing for a job is at the discretion of that employer, it is not the same thing. Welfare and public assistance are intended as a temporary help for those who are facing hardship. Singling them out for testing is discrimination against poor people. That being said, I do not believe that employers should drug test anyone either. What is the purpose? They already have the right to terminate the employee if they do not meet the performance requirements. I wonder is it only because drugs are illegal? Or do they also test for legal drugs like, alcohol and prescription narcotics, cigarettes, which can be more dangerous than illegal street drugs. If an employee comes to work sober, on time, works their scheduled shift and follows the requirements for the position why should the employer be so concerned with what they do in their free time?

  • Privacy is invaded. The government wants us to believe that they set up Welfare/ PA to aid those in need, correct? Are these people no longer entitled to security and privacy because they have asked for help? This forces them to relinquish their 4th Amendment rights! Yes, I understand that they are receiving the benefits of another person's labor and paid taxes. Not everyone on welfare is refusing to work. If they are working, they are also having taxes deducted from their paychecks. The argument that only non-welfare/PA individuals are paying all the taxes, is false. Many of them have the same taxes withdrawn from their paychecks. This is what the people have allowed our government to do. I believe our government makes it extremely difficult to survive without asking for aide. They have taxed the people to the hilt, robbed them of their hard-earned incomes and then offered back their own money in the form of assistance. Wouldn't that technically be drug testing before returning their own money to them?

  • The automatic assumption that families accepting welfare/PA are drug addicts is appalling. This is a slippery slope. It's a common assumption that people on welfare/PA are lazy drug-addicts who refuse to work while happily sitting at home getting one over on hard-working folk. In a time where "tolerance" and "equality" are shoved down our throats, this type of stigmatizing the poor is surprising.

  • Where is the same concern for other recipients of our tax dollars? The same demands to test public and government employees paid through tax dollars doesn't exist. How often have we heard of their immoral financial choices? Are members of the Senate and Congress drug tested? Is the President? Maybe they all are, I don't know. If they all are I'll retract this part of my post. Why are we not adhering to "what's good for the goose is good for the gander"?

  • Drug testing is extremely expensive and doesn't yield results that would be expected. Florida already implemented this at an exorbitant cost to tax payers. Passing such a thing will only lighten the pockets of tax payers while lining the pockets of drug-testing companies. At the price of drug tests it could very well add more than $4 million dollars to the annual budget in most states. This is not cost-effective at all.

  • Most drugs, save Marijuana, are out of a person's system in 24 to 72 hours making it extremely difficult to detect. I wonder if the real issue at hand is to catch those using pot? I do not use Marijuana. I do not consider Marijuana a harmful drug. Actually, I don't consider it a drug at all, but a very beneficial plant when used appropriately. It has many, many healing and disease curing abilities. It is 100% less harmful than any illegal or legal drug/alcohol. No one has EVER died from an overdose unlike all other "drugs". It would be perfectly acceptable for a recipient on welfare/PA to receive morphine, antidepressants or benzodiazepine's even though all of those are harmful and addictive and have caused many deaths. All recipients would need testing several times each month to "catch" them. Can you imagine how much that will cost?

  • How can we be sure that the test was accurate? They can give false results. What happens to a family, who has not used drugs, and then the test shows positive in error? They lose their assistance and all credibility through no fault of their own.

  • The children of those people would be hurt more than the recipient of the assistance. If you have no experience with drug addicts you should know that forcing one to quit never works out well. An addict of anything will only quit when they realize they need or want to quit. Taking away the means to feed their families will not force them to stop using drugs.

  • Those who are fortunate enough to not need help during a tough time become dictators of those receiving help. This is a problem with forced charity. It's no longer giving, it becomes forced taking and redistributing; in turn this causes animosity in the tax payer. They now insist that they control the way the welfare recipient uses their tax dollars.

Again, I think drugs are wrong. They, more often than not, destroy lives and families. But, they should not be illegal. The government should not have the power to tell anyone how to run their lives. As we allow them the power to tell us what we can/can't put into our bodies, it will get out of control and they will eventually start forcing their poison vaccine injections or consumption of their genetically modified garbage. You can't force people to do what you think they should do. They are just as passionate about how they believe; they want to live their lives just as anyone else.

The 4th Amendment in case you are unfamiliar: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."


Lucy said...

I would also suggest that if you take Welfare away from people, they will probably turn to crime to survive. I would much rather support somebody through the taxation system than have them break into my house.

Karen R. said...

Very well said Kimmie, I agree. If every sin was illegal we would all be in jail. I often wonder how making pot legal would end the drug wars where my relatives live on the border in Mexico..or how much tax payer money we would save if we released all drug related incarcerations from the prisons. Why not just treat it like alcohol and cigarettes and put a high tax on it? I think we can learn a-lot from the prohibition part in our nations history, no? Thanks for the good read, it is an unusual point of view today in our Christian community.

Anonymous said...

Very good post , I agree 100% God's laws are what is best for us .

Heather said...

Finally a person with some common sense! I see that poll go around on FB all the time, and the number of 'yesses' is appalling! People just don't think of the ramifications.

Sarah in Ireland said...

I LOVED this post Kimmie! I read it a while back on my husbands phone, but never got around to commenting!

So thought provoking! Great post!

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