Why Drug Screening Welfare Recipients Doesn’t Work

Scott Walker has recently come under fire for proposing drug screening procedures for potential recipients of public assistance. His critics claim that similar drug screening measures in other states don’t work. And all the bleeding hearts claim drug screening is insulting to the poor.

But setting aside stereotypes and leftist rhetoric, let’s take a look at why drug screening really doesn’t do much good.

First, most drug screening programs don’t administer actual drug tests unless the potential recipient self-reports drug use. Forgive me for being “cynical,” but I imagine it’s possible that many people aren’t being honest about drug use. Just a hunch.

Second, drug screening tests don’t pick up on much other than marijuana (which stays in the system far longer than pretty much any other illegal drug). And even that can be avoided pretty easily with a urine kit. Unless you administer surprise drug tests and make sure that the person being tested actually pees in the cup, it is unlikely any of these tests will come up positive. And I guarantee leftists are going to fight tooth and nail against any kind of real drug testing for welfare recipients.

Ultimately, it is not demeaning to ask that citizens use any money they are given by other taxpayers to buy wholesome and legal things. Welfare may be demeaning in itself, but that is not the fault of the taxpayer. If welfare recipients are so insulted by strings attached to free money and other people butting into their business, I have a tip for them: get off welfare and pay for your own life. Not only will you be granting yourself dignity no one can take from you, but you will also be free to use your money pretty much however you choose.

Well, most of your money. Some of it will be taken by the civil government to pay for the drug and drinking habits of your next-door neighbor. When that starts to happen, I’m sure you will sympathize with how taxpayers have been feeling for some time now.