Welfare and Drug Testing Essay

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Subject: Mandatory Drug testing for Welfare recipients. Problem: In today’s society, drug users are abusing the welfare system. This abuse is costing the taxpayers 11.7 Billion dollars a year. In order to stop the abuse I am suggesting mandatory drug testing for any welfare recipient. Discussion: The opponents of drug testing claim we are violating the fourth amendment that protects us from illegal search and seizure. In 1989, the Supreme Court held that requiring employees to take urine samples was a search within the guidelines of the fourth amendment provided it met one of the three reasonable reasons; 1. The job poses safety risks 2. An employer has reasonable suspension that an employee is using illegal drugs. 3. An employee accident on the job. Because of this, most states have had a hard time getting legislation approved, until you look at the Drug free workplace act of 1988. In 1986, President Regan signed an executive order prohibiting all federal employees from using illegal drugs on or off duty. Congress followed with the Drug –Free workplace Act. This act makes it legal to test federal employees and requires companies that contract with the federal government to test their employees. Since welfare, recipients’ receive federal money; they should be considered federal employees. In 2002 the national survey on drug use and health reported that approximately 22% of all female welfare recipients had used drugs at least once in the past year. They estimate that approximately 4 to 13% of all persons 18 and older in the US used drugs in the past month. In 1995, the center for addiction and substance abuse reported that 20% of all females that received some form of welfare ranging from food stamps to low income housing reported regular use of alcohol and or illegal drug use. In 1995, they estimated that 77.6 billion dollars went to federal welfare programs.

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