In an article for the website Raw Story, Tana Ganeva declares that drug testing welfare recipients in the United States is “profoundly stupid”, and proceeds to list five reasons why.
Most welfare recipients use money for food, not drugs
Ganeva believes welfare recipients don’t do drugs at much higher rates than anyone else, that majority of people on welfare actually use the money to buy food and other necessities. She takes a swipe at conservative lawmakers who she says are just exploiting the myth that all poor people are blowing taxpayer money on drugs and other bad stuff.
She also says drug testing people on the dole is unconstitutional, does not actually catch people who use drugs, and shaming people doesn’t work and it’s cruel too. Most the United States lawmakers who are behind the measure are actually are wildly misinformed about addiction, drug use and how effective rehab really is.
Drug testing welfare recipients in Australia ruled out in 2014
In 2014, the Abbott government of Australia also studied a proposal that would require dole recipients to undergo drug testing. The proposal, however, was eventually ruled out by Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, saying drug screening in Australia largely involves state jurisdictional responsibilities, and that made them unlikely to go down that road.
I think that decision was a missed opportunity, because while there is truth in Ganeva’s assertions about most welfare recipients not really buying drugs or alcohol with their welfare money, it would be naive to think that there aren’t people on the dole who actually do that. Now what should the government—any government—do about it?
What about you? Do you think drug testing Australia welfare recipients is not a good idea?
Read the full article here.