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Buddy T

Florida Begins Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

By June 2, 2011

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Florida has become the latest state to begin drug screening on adults applying for the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law saying it is "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction."

The law will go into effect July 1 for new TANF program applicants.

Under the new law, those applying for the public assistance will be responsible for the cost of the drug screening tests. If they qualify for the program, the will recoup the cost of the testing from the program.

Children Can Still Get Benefits

Also, if someone is applying for assistance for children and they fail the test, they can designate another person to receive the benefits on behalf of their children.

In the past, critics of the proposed law said it would punish children for the drug use of their parents. The new law addresses those concerns.

"It's the right thing for taxpayers," Gov. Scott said. "It's the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don't want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs."

Invasion of Privacy?

Still, the new law is not without its critics. Five Democrat lawmakers said the legislation was "downright unconstitutional."

"Governor Scott's new drug testing law is not only an affront to families in need and detrimental to our nation's ongoing economic recovery, it is downright unconstitutional," said Rep. Alcee Hastings. "If Governor Scott wants to drug test recipients of TANF benefits, where does he draw the line? Are families receiving Medicaid, state emergency relief, or educational grants and loans next?"

Rep. Corrine Brown said the tests "represent an extreme and illegal invasion of personal privacy."

Gov. Scott also signed a new law outlawing hallucinogenic designer drugs known as "bath salts" in the state of Florida.

News source: CNN. "Florida Governor Signs Welfare Drug-Screen Measure." June 1, 2011.

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Photo: © BigStockPhoto.com
Comments
June 2, 2011 at 7:48 am
(1) scubagirl says:

what’s next? medicare and social socerity benefit receivers?
go after the doctors and so many medical instutions that see fit to willy=nilly distribute RX pain killers, etc. there’s got to be constitutional issues here.also, this program puts money in his and wife’s pocket, as the drug testing facilities ARE HIS! let’s a HUGE conflict of interest. as usual it’s all about his on going money making machine!

when we will be be able to recall that jerk and his “wonderful” 29% rating!!

June 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm
(2) MRO says:

You need a drug test to get a job, so you should need one to get your government assistance. IF you have a legal perscription for any drug you are tested for then it doesn’t matter. The whole point is to catch those that are taking drugs ILLEGALLY. I am a hard working citizen in FL who needed a drug test to get my job. I am appalled by how many people work the system and are using their assistance for drugs!

June 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm
(3) victim of circumstance says:

I am 1 of a billion whom has used marijuana and neither marijuana nore I have ever harmed anyone.I also receive 39mos of public assistance,which is the life time limit.I receive 309 per month and have never had drug money left over with 3 children and bills.From my understanding all assistance offerd to my needy family must be paid back by my childrens father, made payable to The Department of Children and Families.So if the temporary assistance is owed back to the State of Florida,why is randum testing required? B4 I receive any paid out child support from theif father DEPARTMENT of CHILDREN and FAMILIES recieves what is due.

June 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm
(4) Derrick says:

I am not on welfare, nor do i judge those who are on it. I will say as a former alcoholic/drug addict, i was so angry when my parents tested me. Having said that, my mom would always say, “if you haven’t done drugs, then you have nothing to hide.” Rights this and rights that…….people on welfare are recieving financial aid, shouldn’t the government have the right to have a general idea of how their money(our money) is being spent?

June 6, 2011 at 6:34 am
(5) Christopher says:

Using Gov. Perry’s logic, random drug-testing should be performed on all those who receive their income from public funds, including police, fire, state and local employees and elected officials.

June 6, 2011 at 8:21 am
(6) Jeff says:

I like to smoke marijuana, but I pay for it. I can’t argue with this new law. If you need assistance then you need to comply with the requirements of that assistance. I know of WAY TOO many people who are on assistance for the free ride and spend that money on marijuana. I know, I sell it and many have to wait until the first so that they can get “paid”. Sorry, that just aint right.

June 6, 2011 at 8:58 am
(7) Elizabeth Hartney, Ph.D. says:

I wrote about this controversial subject back in 2009, and I’m still getting comments. Here is my perspective on drug testing of people on welfare benefits.

http://addictions.about.com/b/2009/04/05/drug-testing-for-people-on-welfare-benefits-proposed.htm

Elizabeth Hartney, Ph.D.
Addictions Guide

June 6, 2011 at 8:58 am
(8) Doug says:

It’s about time!! I wish Gov Christie of NJ would have the stones to do the same thing!!

I know 3 people that just keep having babies, stay on state and federal aid, and use part of that money to buy cigarettes, beer, pot and crack.

We should make people on state aid ineligible if they smoke cigarettes too.. Think about it? You want to pay 7-8 dollars a day for someone to smoke cigarettes, throw that money to big tobacco, then get cancer and leave us having to pay 10s of thousands in medical care to keep them alive so they can keep smoking and doing drugs??

Who would have ever thought Florida would be first?

Way to Gov. Scott!!

June 6, 2011 at 9:55 am
(9) Sean Reeves says:

Drug dependence (addiction) is a disease. Identifying those people so afflicted is the act of responsible government if the intent is to provide treatment for the disease as a condition of receiving financial assistance. Punishing any person for having a disease is cruel. Punishing a child for having a parent with a disease is insanely cruel. Treatments for dependency are as effective as treatment for most chronic diseases with similar relapse rates. When did taking care of the less fortunate become so difficult?

June 6, 2011 at 10:32 am
(10) Phunmun says:

As Sean says, addiction is a disease, but it is a treatable one. I feel if someone chooses to continue that life style, they should pay their own way. I live in N. California and would love to see druggies and alkies lose their benefits. Of course, then the following chaos may not be worth it. When it became too much for me I chose sobriety and have had it for 37 years.

June 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm
(11) Adonna Bustamante says:

What I find strange, is that I have been required to pay taxes all these years for the Welfare state, and I have had to submit urine samples upon employment. Also, the Companies are allowed to random drug test us, in order for us to keep our jobs. Talk about invasion of privacy. I shouldn’t have to pay for their drug habits. I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. If it is a personal choice, then I choose not to, and also, I choose not to pay for YOUR cigarettes, booze, or your drugs of choice. Escape reality on your own dime, not mine.

June 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm
(12) david dickinson says:

Marijuana is not addictive so there’s no medical reason for getting “addiction treatment” for marijuana — the only reason tens of thousands of young people are in marijuana treatment is because they got busted and were given the choice of treatment or jail. Before the laws were changed, almost no-one went to treatment for marijuana. It’s all politics and has nothing to do with science or medicine.

June 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm
(13) Fran says:

I just read Dr. Hartney’s reasons against drug testing, I realize that the potential client is responsible for the cost of the testing and then is reimbursed if drug free. Is that cost part of their monthly payment? or in addition? Where do they have to go for testing? A facility that specializes in drug testing or local Public Health facility? Would they use urine? hair? What about prosecution? Would any of these people face prosecution? Use of many of these drugs is against the law, how will that work since both police and public assistance are part of the same government system?

June 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm
(14) WPBresident says:

I have no problems with it. Then agan, I think if you are on continuous welfare, you should be on mandatory birth control too. I’m tired of having to do all the right things so that the government can take my money and give it to those who don’t.

June 7, 2011 at 8:25 am
(15) Sue says:

These state programs don’t go far enough. I am tired of my taxes going up every year so active alcoholics and addicts can stay active and lazy people can stay lazy. Our system encourages these entitlement programs to be passed from one generation to the next. Random testing should also be done for SSI, HUD, unemployment and food stamp recipients, not just TANF. In addition our system makes it next to impossible for a tax payer to report fraud in these programs. I reported food stamp and SSI fraud and have been invested by 3 different agencies on (false) countercharges of stealing a recipients funds. Nothing has been done to the perpetrator, who is still receiving full benefits!

June 7, 2011 at 9:52 am
(16) Sarah says:

Whoever complains about taking a drug test to recieve assistance needs to lay off the dope. Probably if they were spending more time looking for a job and less time tokin’ it up, they wouldn’t need assistance to begin with. And those who are legit would be more than willing to submit to a test. I am a paramedic and see more than one person’s share of abuse of the system. It sickens me daily to see the blatant direguard for mine and my co-worker’s tax dollars, by the same people I pick up over and over again. As far as constitutional rights, pay your own way and then what you do with your money will be your own business. Until then abide by the rules– just like I do to EARN money.

June 7, 2011 at 10:18 am
(17) Sarah says:

Also, In response to Chris, (Comment #5) WE ARE subjected to random drug screens… –Fire, Police, EMS… All the people who go around cleaning up messes created by menaces to society ARE subjected to random drug tests.

June 7, 2011 at 11:14 am
(18) annonymous says:

When you take a stance like this, you have to wonder if he is getting some sort of kickback through his or an associates company. Or, maybe he truly believes in this effort, if so, what is stopping alcoholics from getting benefits. Should we not take the appropriate steps in issuing them new state ID’s, that have a special insignia to prevent them from purchasing alcohol. I know when I was laid off from 2 high paying jobs, I supported my family for a short time on welfare, I never thought in a million years I would be at that point in my life. It is a shameful process, filled with paperwork, interviews and negative attention. Governor, the welfare system needs more positive solutions given to it, not more negative attention. People will always find a way around the system anyways, its human nature. I know several ways to beat the system (although I don’t do drugs). We are real people who need REAL solutions. Thanks

June 7, 2011 at 11:23 am
(19) julesgonzales says:

Scubagirl Social Security and Medicare are funds earned and paid to working contributing citizens. Good for Scott. If I have to have my personal space invaded to work I would be glad to do the same to receive public assistance.

June 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm
(20) Sara says:

I don’t see this as unconstitutional. People that do have jobs have to take a drug test and their job pays for those on welfare so shouldn’t those on welfare return the favor and get their drug testing done..I think so. I have seen those people on welfare some have new cars of the year, but they some how qualify for assistance. Then there are the people with jobs and don’t make enough don’t qualify for anything and they are truly struggling. I also see the homeless and drug addicts that get 100 percent of help and sympathy and they lie about where they are living. One time one my brothers friends that’s a druggie tried to use my moms address to qualify for assistance. They should be ashamed!! There needs to be a change!!!

June 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm
(21) HOW BOOT THAT says:

TEXAS NEEDS TO DO THE SAME THING. I AM A WORKING MAN AND RAISING 2 CHILDREN WITH MY WIFE. I HATE THAT I HAVE TO PAY DAY CARE AND NOT GET HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT. I STRUGGLE TO PAY MY BILLS AND GET FOOD ON THE TABLE. I MEAN REAL FOOD THAT YOU COOK AT HOME. I HATE HOW PEOPLE AT THE STORE LOAD THE BASKETS UP WITH FOOD STAMP AND THEN THEY LEAVE IN A NEWER CAR THAT YOU KNOW THE BOYFRIENDS MAINTAIN. I THINK IT IS TIME FOR THE ONES WHO ARE LAZY AND DON’T WANT TO WORK. PEACE……………………

June 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm
(22) Raquel says:

It’s about time!!!! How fast will the rest of the states catch on! :)

June 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm
(23) Taxpayer in AK says:

Rep. Corrine Brown said the tests “represent an extreme and illegal invasion of personal privacy.”

Is that so?? If that’s the case, then my pre-employment and random drug tests at work are ALSO an extreme and illegal invasion of my personal privacy.

If I am drug tested in order to work to support myself, and my family, pay taxes, and support those on welfare, I am all in favor of requiring drug tests for those who receive welfare, and if they refuse or don’t pass, NO welfare check.

June 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm
(24) Thankful citizen says:

It’s about time we started doing something about this. NO ONE that is on drugs (non-prescription) should be allowed assistance. Comments are true – I had to be drug tested to get my job and earn my money. If I’m going to be paying tax dollars to support those that do not work, they should have to follow by the same rules that I have to. I’m a single parent with a dead beat dad that pays no child support. I had to use the TANF during my maternity leave and have been off since I went back to work. It is Temporary assistance for those in NEED, not those that need to supplement their drug addictions.

June 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm
(25) Dizzy says:

LOL OWNED!

June 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm
(26) Reliz says:

My children would be punished if I failed a test at work, and they don’t care. That’s why I make sure I’m clean so I can pick up that check and feed them. Why are the people whose living we’re paying for any different than me?

June 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm
(27) oneeye says:

It only takes 28 days to clean your system of marijuana, less for most other drugs. If a parent isn’t willing to stay clean for that short amt. of time then they aren’t much of a parent.

June 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm
(28) Amanda says:

I just want to say that the only reason why people are leaving negative comments on here is because the are probably drug users themselves. Grow up get a job and take care of your kids yourselves and quit depending on the welfare system! Maybe if you weren’t buying marajuana you could buy a meal for your kids. Get a life and quit whining about about taking a drug test America is tired of paying for your habits!!!

June 8, 2011 at 7:30 am
(29) A Citizen says:

This should have been implemented years ago. Those of us that work have to drug test for most companies and still have random drug test while employed. I have to drug test to get my paycheck, welfare should have to drug test for there money. I do know people that are on state assistance that do not work and do use the money for drugs or other things that do not support the children’s basic needs. I do not think that there should be another adult that can pass the test and receive their money for their children. It is the responsibility of the child’s parent to be clean and sober so they are there to support the child in every way. If the parent(s) can not pass the drug test than there should be no money.

June 8, 2011 at 11:52 am
(30) Sandi says:

Drug testing for welfare benifits should have began a long time ago! Too many people have been miss-using the system far to long. If a person or family truely needs assistance they will not hesitate to comply with this testing! I for one, am thrilled that this is happening!

June 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm
(31) Bubba says:

Look, this is simple. If you want to take MY money… This is what you need to do. You have the right to refuse MY money.

June 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm
(32) It's About Time says:

It’s simple…you’re getting government money FREE. If you want a check because you’re too lazy to get off your butt and find a job (and believe me there are LOTS of jobs out there, you just have to take them), then you can subject to a mandatory drug test. There should be a 6-month limit on welfare recipients. Another suggestion would be to have a mandatory clean-up (city parks, graffiti, etc.). If you show up to “work”, then you get your check. There are too many people in this country who collect a free ride while tax-paying citizens work their butts off! You want to do drugs, do it on your own dime. The rest of the nation needs to follow suit…and FAST!

June 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm
(33) Troy mackay says:

I think this should have been used a long time ago. I have to be test to get a job so i can pay my taxs. And i also have a CDL class A drivers license and have a lowwer DUI or DWI then most drives and it is held to me when i am driven my owne car. This is not right but its not a big dill to me and should not be if you dont use drugs. So yes they should be tested to get walfare and if they dont pass then cps should be call right then and now. And then my taxs can go to feed and home them and not the drug using mom and or dad.

June 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm
(34) Liberal Lacey says:

When you receive financial aid for school, you must maintain a certain GPA to keep your aid; if you have bad grades the money should (and does) go to someone else I believe this same concept should apply for welfare. I am all for universal health care, but as a tax payer who ultimately helps the cycle to pay for the medical for others, my money should be respected. Drug testing to keep welfare should be a must. If you are on medical marijuana, obviously your doctor and the government will be aware of this, so you wouldn’t be chastised for testing positive on it.

There would not be this bill in the first place if it had no grounds behind it. I grew up in an area where many people abused their welfare, and claimed they were poor. However, they could always afford drugs leaving their children hungry, or worse, addicted (if they were pregnant and using). As a self-proclaimed liberal and Obama supporter (who was on welfare himself and supports this bill even so), I say Yay to this,

June 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm
(35) lil says:

Im soooo glad to hear this has passed i hope California starts this also. Some of these ppl need to stop being so dam lazy n get a job and BTW walking in and asking for an app doesnt count as Really looking for a job.. Im so tired of ppl thing they can cheat the system.. It is so sad how ladies know not to go in on the 1st of the month to get a mani or pedicure because all the welfare ladies recieved there checks n now want there nails done… SO YES I AGREE WITH THIS

June 9, 2011 at 10:51 am
(36) Tru says:

@ Dizzy

Not sure what your ‘LOL OWNED’ comment is referencing. But if you are referring welfare recipients not getting their check because they do drugs. That, my friend, is unconstitutional.

People that don’t work or lack the desire for a job should be treated with the same respect and privacy as those that do. If you want work that’s fine. I do not care if you smoke marijuana. You shouldn’t worry about if I do or not.

We need to focus on what makes America a great nation, it is our wiliness to adapt and freedom and fairness to all, regardless if we choose to be employed or not.

Take a moment and reflect on that before you post such obviously rude comments in an attempt to find humor in other people’s misfortune.

June 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm
(37) Talons says:

@TRU

I dont care if you do drugs…. as long as you arent asking me to pay for them

I dont care if you dont want to work………….as long as you dont expect me to feed you.

If it is unconstitutional to drug test those who collect a government “paycheck” then it is unconstitutional to test those of us that collect a real paycheck. Show me ANYWHERE that says if you get government help you have the right to do anything you want with the money.

As for those that fail with kids, dont let someone else claim them, put the kids in CPS care until the parents are capable of understanding that the kids come FIRST, and the parents drug habits are NOT in the kids best interest.

June 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm
(38) Robert F Chase says:

If you are opposed to drug testing to get public assistance than you most certainly have something to hide. You can also be assured that if your children get public assistance than those opposed are also using their children’s money for their personal use. I know as I watch a mother taking her children’s money and in return give them “nothing”. This public assistance and Social Security is being robbed by drug addicts, drunks, as well as those that are not legally entitled to these programs. I think the laws should be even tougher in every state

June 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm
(39) jason says:

Best idea ever. and why do illeagals get assistance something should be done about that also.

June 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(40) Cheryl Armstrong says:

If you are going to test people for drugs, will you offer them treatment when they test positive? There is a lot of blame here. But I have always been taught that drug abuse is a disease. Are we blaming drug addicts fir being I’ll. If so how does this help anyone. I think laws like this will increase the number of desperate drug addicts in the streets. You know the ones pulling all the wire out of the street lamps. And more children in foster care. Addicts are people who need help, not judgment.

June 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm
(41) wakedafukup says:

what a sad society we live in.

you guys really think that people doing drugs on welfare is our problem?

without drugs and and lower class welfare there would be no upper class welfare (po po, teachers, healthcare, etc)

June 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(42) Den says:

I understand Mr. Scotts point, “The state government should not subsidize drug addiction.” Given that statement, then alcohol addiction should not be subsidized by the government either. What,I ask you Mr. Scott, makes one addiction warrant no benefits and the other acceptable for benefits? The recipient is also responsible for the cost of such testing, and if clean, they are reimbursed. Prospective employers PAY for potential employees testing, why not the state?

June 15, 2011 at 8:15 am
(43) Adam says:

Those not taking drugs who apply for assistance won’t mind taking the test. Those that are on drugs will mind. This tells you something. I took a drug test to get my source of income they should take one to get theirs. I’ll add I was a heavy pot smoker when I applied for the job I have now I just quit with a enough time for it to get out of my system before I applied and haven’t gone back to it since and that was 10 years ago. I was forced to have to choose to alter my lifestyle if at least for just a week and my life has been better from it ever since. I could have gone back to smoking dope but I felt good and have become successful so I haven’t. Just like a source of income you have to work for if you want to use any kind of drugs you may not get the job.

June 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm
(44) Tim Stevens says:

Here are some of the arguments I’ve heard against the drug testing…..

1) The kids of parents on drugs would suffer. – - Well, there’s your motivation for getting off drugs. Which do you love better? It wouldn’t be the “tax payers” punishing your kids if you fail. It would be “YOU”, the parent.

2) It’s an invasion of privacy. – - – Tough! If you’re that sensitive about your privacy, don’t apply for unemployment. You sure don’t mind them knowing that you don’t have a job. Isn’t a thing like that private?

3) Drugs are a disease. – - – And giving people money to make their disease worse does not help them. In fact, one great way to “cure” this disease is to take away the root of the problem. In this case, making it as easy as possible for people to continue their disease.

The fact of the matter is, the only people who are against the drug tests are either people on drugs and welfare, or liberals who want to keep them there to get their votes come election time. Period. I would gladly have our tax dollars go to fund the drug testing of these people. I work for a bank and I see the type of people who come in with government checks all the time. When they tell me what their plans are for the weekend, like going to Vegas, it irritates me to think about my plans for the weekend,…… going to my second job.

June 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm
(45) Kat says:

Go figure….what a wonderful new law !!!! Its about time for someone to realize what these “druggies” cost the hard working class. If you are stupid enough to use drugs in the first place………Unconstituional ??? What rights does an illegal drug user/pusher have ? Shouldnt have any at all. Maybe now people who really really need help can get it. I see the Fla state recuping monies. YAY

June 21, 2011 at 1:06 am
(46) Rob says:

Heres an idea. Why dont we just use the magnetic strip on the back of welfare recipiants drivers licens and or state issued id’s and make it to where if you are so broke that you cant afford to provide for you family then you cant gamble, play the lottery, buy cigs, or spirits of any kind. If you cant afford to survive without assistance then why should you be allowed to blow my money of your addictions. If the government can restrict my income and tell me to pay up to %30 of my income to support “the less fortunate” then they can tell the recipiants how they CANT spend their money…its win win. you can drink and smoke when you get off of welfare.

June 21, 2011 at 4:23 am
(47) ButterCookie says:

Yes Yes Yes… Pass this everywhere!! The legislators should not worry about being politically correct and get this done already! And how in the world is this an invasion of ‘privacy?’ When you apply for PUBLIC assistance which includes PUBLIC housing, PUBLIC transportation, PUBLIC childcare, and PUBLIC benefits, you gave up your ‘rights’ to privacy….

Employers screen employees all the time…no one states that this is unconstitutional….if welfare recipients get ‘offended’ by mandatory drug testing, then they are not ready to gain employment anyway….are they going to tell the potential employer that their privacy has been violated?

And someone asked, “What do we do about the children?”

Award the State custody. Point Blank. If you cannot financially support your children and then cannot or will not pass mandatory screening to receive assistance, then why do you have custody of the children in the first place?

Not only should drug testing of welfare recipients be mandatory, but temporary sterilization (while receiving assistance) should be also

June 26, 2011 at 12:00 am
(48) Steve says:

Wow you folks have lost it drug test for cigs to deny for SS that folks paid their whole life for? Drug test to drive your car, drug test to be able to keep your children or have the state take them into foster care etc??

I never have received assistance in my 40 years of paying taxes but I can tell you this you want to test me for cigs in weed or what ever to receive my SS check that I earned and paid for cuz you don’t like smokers your off your rocker and ill gladly DIE with many others taking you fools out!!

Folks who apply for assistance who are on dope well I cant say much about that but the far left here who thinks they can take it to the next level invading tax payers rights who bust their a$$ and pays taxes to rob them of their rights and money can F* off cuz only thing your going to find on that road you speak of going down is death in a civil war!!

July 7, 2011 at 1:25 am
(49) ashley says:

Hey people. Sheep…wake up! It is illegal unconstitutional for you to be tested for a job for one. Two most people who are on TANF (which is food assistance) DO work. Three, society is so messed up that we have to keep adding a bad stigma to something that already has a bad wrap. Four, people pay less then 100 a year(assuming40k) in taxes that actually goes to social programs such as TANF. Five, you are paying into S.S and the government gives you an IOU that you will never see, they misuse this whichever way they see fit. You people make me sick. The real problem is NOT people on assistance but crooked politicians who will continue to RAPE the system themselves.

July 7, 2011 at 7:31 am
(50) Jojo says:

Is it true that Mr. Scott is the owner of the company that has been chosen for the imposed drug testing ? How convenient – sounds like another Cheney / Haliburton scam.
You forget that People DIE from Alcohol and Perscription drugsplease tell me the last time you heard of someone dying from cannabis?
Doctors prescribe heavy pain meds for my joint disease AVN turning my joints into chalk. After 8 years of their attempts to help the pills have given my stomach and digestive system new problems. I have the right to decide what ” poison ” I put in my body. You people that are not educated about the differences between natural and chemical need to get real. In a country where mothers that throw their baby in a swamp and walk free – not guilty – no wonder why all the ignorance in this country. Makes me sick to watch what is happening in this country.

July 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm
(51) Kate says:

I’m hoping that the net result will be that thousands of undesirables will move out of the state.

July 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm
(52) Bob says:

If you don’t do drugs then you have nothing to hide. The only people complaining about this are those that are on it for the free ride. Don’t do drugs and you won’t have an issue.

July 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(53) Larry Tye says:

I am a 32 year old man with a wife and 3 Kids. I am also self employed, I am a subcontractor and am currently under contract with Anderson Trucking Service. As an independent contractor I am required for random drug screens, not by the company I work for but by the goverment and the department of transportation. I don’t do drugs so it dosent’ matter to me. That being said I think that all that recieve any type of funds from the goverment should have to under go the same type of treatment. (random drug screens). I am so glad florida finally done this now I hope Kentucky is next. I know of a lot of families this is going to take assistance from and I can’t wait. For the ones that say that this is punishing the children, what about my children if I fail a drug screen, my kids suffer so I think that they should care enough about their kids to quit. If not oh well.

July 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm
(54) Dave says:

I was just thinking today when i overheard someone say they where going to try and get on welfare and unemployment it made me a bit upset knowing that a percentage of the money they got from government assistance would go towards there drug abuse. I think its a great idea to drug test those who would be apply for various EMERGENCY AID if a person can afford to get there drugs then they dont need AID. Instead there drug money should go towards there food or bills. In the end this effort would save the states money as less people would be approved due to substance abuse.

And for those who think it will harm the kids i think having a parent who is on drugs is just as bad and having the children removed to a more responsible parent would be better for them.

July 18, 2011 at 1:41 am
(55) missy says:

@Tru

I as a taxpayer could care less if you smoke marijuana or participate in any type of illegal drug use. I could care less if you lack the ambition or drive to seek employment.

I do however care if you use my hard earned money to support you.

We are a nation that has rights and freedoms. If you feel your rights of privacy are violated by having to submit to drug screening to receive welfare benefits, then you have the freedom set up by this great nation to not apply. No one is forcing you to stand with your hand out. So by all means, continue smoking whatever you. pleas. But if I must submit to drug screening to continue my employment to PAY for welfare benefits then you should submit to drug testing to RECEIVE those benefits!

July 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm
(56) Tina says:

All I have to say is that I had to take a drug test before I got my job that gives me my paycheck for WORKING. If anything I’m the one who needs a puff every now and then after a long, stressful day but I can’t. So to those who are crying over having to take a drug test to receive FREE money suck it up the same way WORKING people have to.

July 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm
(57) LeeAnn says:

When I started a new job 2 months ago, I was drug tested. If I failed, I would have been denied a job which means I would not be getting any money coming in. Why should welfare recepients be any different? Invasion of privacy? Of course Not! I don’t do drugs so I didn’t mind being tested. It’s probably those who do drugs that are complaning.

July 20, 2011 at 11:43 am
(58) NorthernCaliRealist says:

YES! Let California follow suit. I know many people who get government assistance and do nothing but sit on their asses, drinking, smoking pot, growing pot, popping pills, etc. I too have a REAL job, working for local government and I had to get drug tested to get this job. WAY TO GO FL.

July 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm
(59) Bernie says:

you know what? I say ‘Yes’! It ‘s about time there was some kind of regulation on the financial indulgence of welfare. I worked for 38 years without unemployment, foodstamps, or financial assistance. When i found myself disabled and no longer able to work, exposure to my surroundings was more of an education than i really wanted. There are SO MANY people, of all ages, who do not work who are healthy and perfectly capable. A lot of these people abuse drugs and alcohol. The spend all of their money on drugs and then jones for the money for gas, food, etc. i amaware of several girls who keep having babies to get more money coming in. they do drugs. they drink. their babies are taken care of since everything they need gets provided one way or another. one girl has been going to school for a number of years, never completes a grade, and still gets the bennies that go with it because she has “babies”. her car broke down. it got fixed at no cost to her. she takes her kid’s meds. there are also other stories. my exposure has been very eye opening. to think i wore my knees out by trodding on cement floors for all those years to pay taxes and this goes on right under my nose. I think the ones who dispute the use of drug screening are the ones most likely using. even people in political circles. compassion for a drug addict should only be given when they are seeking recovery, not when they are using. and I certainly don’t want to be the one paying for their addiction. So pee away! Nothing to hid,,,nothing to worry.

July 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm
(60) Becky says:

I think that all the states should get this law. Why should testing those receiving benefits get mad. I look at it this way, if you do not have a job and you are receiving tax payers money then YES you need to be drug tested. Tax payers are not working their butts off to keep up a drug addict. If you have a job…do what you want with your money you earned it fairly.

July 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm
(61) Sumter Chick says:

I agree wholeheartly with the decision to drug test individuals applying for welfare assistance. There are many people out there who really need it and there are some taking advantage of the free money using it for the wrong purpose (drugs being only one of the examples). If the person is not on drugs, then they shouldn’t have anything to worry about. I think every state should do this. I AM ALL FOR IT.

August 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm
(62) Deb says:

How is it possibly wrong to test workers for drug testing but not test people who DON’T work and the taxpayers are supporting? OF COURSE they should be drug tested. This is completely a no brainer.
Taxpayers should NOT be carrying the burden of these people. Almost all companies these days do drug testing so the easy escape is just don’t work and go on welfare so you never have to be tested? Ridiculous! Anybody against this is either one of the lazy drug addicted welfare recipients not wanting their free ride to end – or else a complete moron.

August 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm
(63) KP says:

if you are opposed to the drug testing, then you are doing drugs. Period.

August 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm
(64) Heather says:

It is not wrong to want to test for drugs to recieve money. It is not that anyone hurts anyone else while they are high on weed, it is we do not want to pay someone (money intended for bills and food) to go buy the drugs. I work hard for my money and the taxes taken out will not be for drug money! This needs to be nation wide! I do not care if someone smokes weeds as long as it is not around their childern. Welfare is meant to help those in need get back on their feed, not to go get high!

August 10, 2011 at 8:34 am
(65) JOE says:

IVE WORKED IN INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE SINCE 1985 IN FLA. IVE SEEN THE CHANGE SINCE DRUG FREE WORK LAWS CAME OUT. IN THE LAST 12 YEAR . I HAVE SEEN AND WITNESSED FULLY FUNCTIONAL POT HEADS TURN INTO PRESCRIPTION PILL POPPING ZOMBIES THAT ARE USELESS!

August 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm
(66) Kainlyn says:

“unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction”?? i think it’s unfair for taxpayer to have to support someone who chooses to pay for their drug of choice rather than food. There are people out there receiving food stamps who would rather spend their money on drugs. cut them off of food stamps? they will probably die. someone who chooses a high over survival? well that is just survival of the fittest isn’t it? i don’t want to support people who are trying to kill themselves. there are so many people out there who try their best and need assistance. i will help them.

August 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm
(67) lazzy says:

This is a really stupid idea. Do you people not realize how this will end up? 1: you will have a lot of people on the streets. 2: People will start to steal ( if they already did even more). 3: what the heck makes you think the gov. would put the money into any better use?

Sorry, but i would rather have some of the tax money going to keep the trash off the street then let the gov. take my money and put it into something even dumber.

August 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm
(68) Mindi says:

Thumbs up! Another Govenor taking on the government! Hope the testers have to leave the specimen with someone watching to prevent the welfare recipients from having their kids to do their dirty work then it becomes moot point. I know someone who personally has her kids do her dirty work. Shameful

August 11, 2011 at 8:59 am
(69) Cape Canaveral Gal says:

FYI – ACCORDING TO BULLETINS CIRCULATING AMONGST AGENCIES WHO SERVICE THE HOMELESS AND POOR, THE CLIENTS MUST PAY

UP FRONT FOR THE DRUG TEST AND WAIT FOR REIMBURSEMENT

IF THEY PASS THE DRUG TEST!!!!!

August 12, 2011 at 6:40 am
(70) Tim says:

If you’re subject to a drug test for a job then you should be subject to a drug test to receive welfare benefits. There seems to be some concensous here that marijuana isn’t that bad. That argument is irrelevant. If it’s illegal, then you should not receive welfare benefits. I’m for this law. The choice is yours to make.

August 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm
(71) Rico says:

Duuuude! are you cereal. Get off my wagon. drugs havent afected me 1 bite.

August 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm
(72) Sil says:

Don’t know if this was touched on or not but there was a doctor that made comments about how she felt it was unjust because of their needs. This country has needs to and one of them is to get back on track with being responsible with the tax payers money. I know people who abuse the system. They CAN work and don’t see why they should if they can get “free” money. And guess what else, there are people that buy the food stamps these recipients get and then they use THAT money for drugs. The system is corrupt and unjust. I have no problem helping those that NEED the help but if you take drugs, and yes that includes harmless old marijuana, you should NOT receive these so called FREE benefits. Get of your lazy asses and get a job. The testing should be law and it’s about time they started taking action.

August 17, 2011 at 2:46 am
(73) Floyd says:

“You need a drug test to get a job, so you should need one to get your government assistance.” What a specious argument. A and B are not like terms and so one qualifier does not equate to the other. This reasoning implies that A and B are actually A and A. The two scenarios are significantly different.

Luckily, you can pass a drug test and thus qualify for a specific job that requires it. Some people are much less functional. There’s reasons for that, and punishing people for showing the symptoms of their tragic life events is a nutkick to someone who is already down. Get them into therapy/rehab/etc. Get those that are able to step out of their circumstances the means to do so. I’d rather see $1000 tax dollars buy someone who can/will work a car to get them to their job and off welfare. So many people could do so much better if they only had a running vehicle. That’s just one example of a possible barrier to working.

This legislation is certainly not drafted and supported by people who have ever experienced this degree of hardship, now is it? Why not require legislators who squander their government pay checks on drugs to repay the money spent on drugs to the taxpayers? Its exactly the same notion, no? “I don’t want my tax money to be used for paying drug dealers either”. Make politicians pay back their binge money too. Does the good Governor get drug tested? I somehow think not. How about that legislation? Stop paying for junkie government employees!

Making people pay for their own drug tests is also the height of callousness from the supposedly “compassionate”. Live the life first, then make the rule.

August 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm
(74) indiana jones says:

indiana has it right…don’t give money…one card…money goes on…can only buy food..nothing else works..if a drugy gives you drugs for a card that can only buy food…well some family getting full at the dinner table..

September 1, 2011 at 7:38 am
(75) HELLO says:

There are all kinds of ways around using the food stamps just for food I have seen it to many times. I have to be drug tested for my job which is how I feed my family so what is the difference and how is that an invasion of their rights. What is the difference between them and me?

September 13, 2011 at 12:12 am
(76) BG says:

Yes, absolutely, drug test all welfare recipients. It’s perfectly legal to drug test prospective and current employees, so I think this would hold-up in court also. Also, the courts and liberals have gotten to be so anti-smoking now, even allowing employers to ban smoking for their employees in many states. What’s good for employees is good for welfare recipients. Let’s ban smoking for welfare recipients too. We can test for nicotine while we’re doing the drug tests. What’s really great about this idea is that it’s going to drive the libs crazy! Yeeeeesssssss!

October 16, 2011 at 9:13 am
(77) DMT says:

I am glad to see FINALLY, I mean FINALLY this is happening. Being on this program is a privilege and A LOT of people are making it a LIFETIME INCOME! They never get off of it nor do they ever want too. Also it is a vicious cycle from generation to generation. More kids they have there Monthly check increase; which in turn means US TAXPAYERS have to hand out.

If I have to had to take a Drug Test for a Job, why should they?

October 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm
(78) Edwin says:

Up with hope, down with dope. Let’s not only test people on welfare for drugs, let’s test students in high school, community colleges, four year universities, and technical schools for illegal substances.

February 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm
(79) Bob says:

I see nothing wrong with this at all, in fact I praise Gov. Scott for taking a stand.
It isn’t unconstitutional for business’s to drug test, so why is it here?
These people recieve benifits from tax paying hard working people.
We have a right to not give it to the drug users.
Stick it, Democrats who are against this. Wake the hell up.

March 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm
(80) Glenn says:

Are taxpayers really happy about spending more on welfare recipients, because thats what is happening? Most recipients aren’t users and the taxpayer is paying for all those tests that come back clean. Surely that money would be better spent on schools or roads or hospitals.

July 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm
(81) Vickie says:

This should have been done long ago. First thing America is too easy on drug users and sellers that is where it got out of control in the legal system. They can give any excuse they can why it is their right to got welfare and be a drugie but none will hold up. Do you really think the money is going for food and well being for the kids while they are on drugs? get out in the real world, they are not and the kids are suffering because it is being used for drugs and food stamps are easy to sell. If they are on drugs they should not be parenting anyways and families need to step in and care for them like the old days. It will be conducted just like any other drug testing if you are on prescription medication that will marked on the records.. so that can not be an excuse. We have given way too many freebies in this country which has made lazy Americans that can not survive or learn to fend for themselves. Other countries are laughing at us because we just breed people learning as a career of living on the system. This way there will be money to help who really deserves it.

August 10, 2012 at 11:36 am
(82) mike t says:

WHATS THE PROBLIM DRUG ABUSE IS ILLEGAL,IF YOU DONT HAVE A PERSCRIPTION TAKE THE TEST OR GO TO REHAB .

August 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm
(83) csrcanada says:

totally agree with this. they should start doing this in canada. i remember hearing a guy and said once i get my welfare cheque im going to the strip club. drug test for welfare

September 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm
(84) Teresa says:

I think every member of Congress should have to take (and pass) a drug test before they are allowed to hold a seat in Congress. Not just Congress either. Look at what Mayor Barry (sp?) of Washington, DC got by with for so long. This dude was an addict.

April 7, 2013 at 7:17 am
(85) Bea says:

I am so glad to see that someone finally said something about ciggerettes. My neighbors supports her 39 year old boyfriend who just doesn’t feel like working. She chain smokes and then asks me if she can borrow money. She has trouble paying her rent every single month. Yet nothing ever changes. I am so sick of breaking my back to support these people. I wish they would do something to help themselves. She also brags about how she always wanted to be a mom because she can do so much better then her mother did. She then turns around and screams at them at the top of her lungs. These poor kids don’t even have a yard to play in. What is wrong with these people?

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