It's A Waste Of Tax Money To Do Drug Tests On Welfare Recipients

If the point of drug-testing welfare recipients is to save taxpayers money, it's not working.

According to state data gathered by ThinkProgress, "the seven states with existing programs — Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah — are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ferret out very few drug users."

The politicians who support these programs think they'll save money by eliminating the benefits of recipients who use drugs. They also believe they can steer drug users towards treatment programs.

"The statistics show that applicants actually test positive at a lower rate than the drug use of the general population. The national drug use rate is 9.4 percent. In these states, however, the rate of positive drug tests to total welfare applicants ranges from 0.002 percent to 8.3 percent, but all except one have a rate below one percent. Meanwhile, they've collectively spent nearly $1-million on the effort, and millions more may have to be spent in coming years."

With stats like that, Time magazine's Darlena Cunha is right: the tired image of the welfare queen with six kids, driving around in a Cadillac, watching soap operas on an expensive television and eating junk food on the couch has had its day.

h/t ThinkProgress, Time


Prime Minister-designate Boris Johnson has dabbled with illicit drugs in the past, but reforming the United Kingdom's antiquated cannabis laws probably won't be part of his future. On Monday it was officially announced that MP Boris Johnson had been elected as Leader of the Conservative Party, which means he will succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May as the head of government. Johnson is expected to take a different approach to politics than his predecessor, but anyone hoping that he will push for national cannabis reform probably shouldn't hold their breath.

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