Making Drug Testing Mandatory For Welfare

1843 words - 8 pages

Over the years there has been an aid called “welfare” that helps struggling people by offering financial support. Welfare is a federally funded program that helps citizens that are in financial trouble, with the intention of being a sort of “stand in” for income until a person is able to get back on their feet and find a new source of employment. This program started back in 1930’s as a response to the financial hit many people with a family took as a result of the Great Depression. There are multiple types of welfare that give aid to specific aspects of a person’s life, which include health care, food stamps, childcare assistance, unemployment, housing care assistance, and cash aid. When welfare became popular, it created controversy all over the United States. The popularity led people question the program more and more in its entirety. People who were not welfare recipients wanted to know more about the requirements for being a candidate for welfare, the reasons people had for turning to government aid, and furthermore, people were beginning to wonder what exactly their tax money was funding. As more citizens began to question, the fear that their money was being stolen for illicit drug use, rather than given to secure the social and economic structure of the country the way the program had intended resulted in anger and further investigation of the possibility.
An instance where welfare fraud was committed was in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. Former welfare recipient Ruth Horn will serve a sentence of 18-36 years in prison because of her decision to commit welfare fraud. They abused the system when she and her husband began collecting welfare checks, but only to turn around and cash them in to fund the purchase of illicit drugs then sell them to others, making this a private business endeavor at the cost of the average American citizen (Flexer). Ruth Horn’s case is not unlike many others who have the same idea and cannot resist the temptation to take advantage of the government aid. Because of the commonality of these cases I believe that drug testing for those using welfare should be mandatory. Contrary to this opinion, many are against it, arguing that drug testing for welfare is unconstitutional. There is valid reasoning to both sides of the argument, but drug testing those receiving government financial aids can only benefit the system and the country in the long run.
People believe that drug testing is unconstitutional because it is a violation of the fourth amendment, which states a clause prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure. In Jackson Lewis’s "City's Pre-Employment Drug Testing Requirement Unconstitutional for Non-Safety-Sensitive Library Position" he states that “The need for suspicion-less testing must be far more specific and substantial than the generalized existence of a societal problem…” (Lewis). The people who would agree with Lewis are believe that the states which require drug testing for welfare are...

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