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Debate: Mandatory drug tests of welfare recipients

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Should welfare recipients be forced to take mandatory drug tests?

Background and context

Long a controversy in the United States, this debate centers around, on the proposition, the idea that welfare recipients should be subject to drug tests to ensure they are fitting to receive taxpayer money, and, on the opposition, the idea that this idea will only limit welfare for people in need, whether on drugs or not. And, the question of light drug use, or drug-use for medical or psychological comes into play as a potential "legitimate" use of drugs that could conflict with the need for welfare.

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Is random drug testing of welfare recipients constitutional?

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Yes

The fourth amendment says "unreasonable search and seizure" it is NOT unreasonable to search if someone is giving you something. For instance, if a bank was giving you a loan, it would be quite reasonable for them search your credit history. If tax payers are going to pay your income then it would seem quite reasonable that they know they are not paying to support someones drug or alcohol addicition, while their children starve.

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No

  • Mandatory drug testing violates the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and because mandatory drug testing is considered a search, it should be proven necessary for public safety before it is undertaken.[1]


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Is random drug testing of welfare recipients cost-effective?

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Yes

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No

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Would the practice stigmatize welfare recipients?

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Yes

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No

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Is urinalysis the most effective means of detecting drugs?

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Yes

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No

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Pro/con resources

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Yes


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No

See also

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