If you haven't already gotten into a debate with family or friends about this topic of drug testing for welfare benefits, you probably will soon and it will bring up many questions in your mind. But, lets first talk about what the point of this assistance is for people.
Financial assistance is something that is meant to help people back on their feet, but many people assume it is for lazy people who really don't try. The current system has helped lead many of us in this direction for good reason. At one point my mother was on welfare and that government assistance for my brothers and my mother until she landed her full time job helped us out immeasurably.
It is easy to forget with all the disdain for the current welfare system, that it indeed can POSITIVELY effect the economy by "assisting" people in a time of need. Unfortunately, many people look at public assistance in a more "Ol' Dirty Bastard" type of way. He was of course the infamous member and rapper of the Wu-Tang clan who showed up to get his food stamps in a limo!
Lets focus on making welfare a system to help rehabilitate people back into the workforce to improve our struggling economy. The new system recently installed by the state of Florida is meant to clean up the broken and abused system by instituting a drug testing policy. Many people are very quick to question this system for more than just a civil liberties perspective though.The current reason this program has been stopped atleast temporarily is because some people believe it is just another way for the government to shake us down and take away rights and freedom.
My response to these people is, "You're Wrong!"Getting this "free" money is way too easy and any impediments that have value can and should be instituted. If these people were to get jobs, many of them would ask for drug tests, so get used to it people. The take home point is that if you want "free" money, go elsewhere and good luck. Those civil liberties you care so much about are lessened the day that you need to ask for money from your government.Now you do things on their terms, just as most people do so for their employers.
There is also an argument that these drugs tests can easily be beat. They can be beat, but to think it won't make a difference is foolish. There will be a small amout of people that manage to beat the test, but the vast majority, and especially the hardcore addicts, will fail. I don't think a drug like marijuana should be placed on the severity of harder drugs such as coke or heroin, which are known to lead to far more serious issues within society.
So in that sense we need to decide a different level of penalty for assistance reciptents that fail. Having tests will also make people avoid using drugs because of the possibility of failing the tests. Again, this will probably be moreso for lighter dug users as opposed to the harder dugs. Less people on drugs will put society in a better position to be productive.
How these programs will be funded is another valid question worth deliving into. When I say programs, I mean both the drug testing program and also putting people who fail the test into a rehab center if it is found necessary. In terms of both programs we need to look at it and the people involved as investments in our future. By putting in the necessary time and funding the end result will be a nation of people who are in a position to help society and the economy. That in my mind is what public assistance is all about, not "free money."
Where there is a will, there is way. If we really want to institue something there is always a way. At the very least I do not think people should have the opportunity to use our tax money for drugs. If they want to use drugs they can get job and be productive at the very least!
The ideas brought forth in this article are new ideas that honestly need to be refined much further, the current system in Florida will help us refine our strategies and hopefully we can can one day get this implemented throughout the nation. Instead of just writing off this idea that it won't work, instead lets give it a try and put the work so it can help us in the future.
The current welfare system is an atrcoity, being nothing more than a free handout system that does not properly "assist" the people in getting back to being a productive members of society. Things in life need to be earned, we are sending the wrong message by simply handing things out to people. It is time to get together on this issue make all of our lives better.
Read about > substance abuse and the affect it has on our health