Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Panel Speech

When you bring up the subject of drug testing recipients on welfare there are a variety of stands and opinions that people have on this matter. People who are providing their opinions come from many different cultures and important positions that may affect how they feel about this subject. My objective is to explore these different stands to give everybody a better understanding of where our peers may be coming from. The idea is not for me to take a stand but represent each stand there is in a neutral form. Should recipients of welfare be drug tested? Is it constitutional or unconstitutional?

Lawrence Mead, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at New York University says yes, but the drug testing should only be required of recipients with a history of substance abuse. This is a viewpoint of somebody that agrees generally with both sides of the issue. We can also look at the viewpoint of a person who entirely agrees with welfare recipients being drug tested such as Ohio State senator Tim Schaffer who was quoted saying in the Toledo Blade newspaper that “the drug epidemic is tearing families apart and if taxpayer dollars are fueling it then we’ve got to bring it to a stop. But someone with an opposing view might say that we can’t assume that welfare recipients are using drugs at a higher rate than the general population because if the focus were really about addressing substance abuse it would be more realistic to go about it with a more treatment and screening approach. We can also look at some of the views of people who are entirely opposed to the idea of drug testing welfare recipients.

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In 1999 Michigan ran a pilot program to drug test welfare recipients and was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union claiming that constitutional rights were violated because testing was done without “individualized suspicion. ” Many other state such as Florida, Virginia, Ohio have all attempted to pass these bills but to no avail because already two months into this state legislative session and not a single bill has been passed. Many states according to the American Civil Liberties Union feel that this approach is far too expensive and not saving enough money in the end for the bill too be passed.

The overall opposing view is that drug testing welfare recipients targets them and invades their privacy without any proof that this action is necessary. As of today March 13th, 2013 according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Michigan lawmakers are still considering passing this bill. References: Giammarise, K. (2012, December 16) Drug tests for welfare recipients weighed. The Toledo Blade. Retrieved from http://www. toledoblade. com/State/2012/12/16/Drug-tests-for-welfare-recipients-weighed-Multicounty-effort-proposed-for-Ohio. html Bloom, R. (2012, March 12) Drug-testing welfare recipients: a trend with no traction.

American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved from http://www. aclu. org/blog/criminal-law-reform-racial-justice/drug-testing-welfare-recipients-trend-no-traction The Debate Club. (2013) Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs? U. S. News. Retrieved from http://www. usnews. com/debate-club/should-welfare-recipients-be-tested-for-drugs The Seattle Post Intelligencer. (2013, March 13) Bill requires drug tests for welfare recipients. The Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved from http://www. seattlepi. com/news/article/Bill-requires-drug-tests-for-welfare-recipients-4350335. php