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Drug Testing and Welfare Benefits

            When welfare began, it was only intended to be there for people who needed to receive temporary help. Nowadays, some people are abusing the system and using welfare as a permanent crutch. Some states in America have already passed some kind of law that there is to be a drug test in order for them to receive a certain kind of welfare benefits such as TANF, and food stamps. While that has happened in only ten states, there are many who support the idea, and there are many who do not. One side claims that drug testing for welfare is unconstitutional and unfair. This side supports its view for three main reasons: It goes against the 4th Amendment, they feel that it is unfair because they are being discriminated against and are being labeled as drug users, and that it would be too costly for the states and the government to drug test each recipient of welfare. The other side maintains that drug testing for welfare would be a positive change because some people believe that it would be in the best interest of the children who have parents who are using drugs, others think that drug testing welfare recipients would ensure them to use the welfare for a temporary time and get themselves back to the working field, and drug testing would give welfare to the people who really need it, rather than abusing our system.
             The people who oppose drug testing for welfare think that it is a violation of the 4th amendment; because it clearly states that you need probable cause to search a person, and drug testing is considered a type of search for lawful reasons. Florida, was a state that passed the law and then was later dismissed by a federal judge. There was a U.S. Navy veteran that refused to take the test in Florida; for his actions, he was denied benefits. The Federal Judge, Mary Scriven, dismissed the case and the law saying that it was unconstitutional (Sutton). The opposing party also believes that the people who are receiving the welfare benefits are being discriminated against because since they are too poor and have to get on welfare, the government is just assuming that they got this way from using drugs.

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