Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Welfare Drug Tests in Florida Cost More Than It Saved, Didn’t Find Many Drug Users
One of the less-savory aspects of America is, compared to our first-world brethren, a tendency for puritanical moralism that serves little end and usually comes back to bite us in our often-oversized derrieres sooner or later.
Such is the case with a focus on cutting social services like food stamps and Medicaid when we are currently embroiled in new and expensive military conflicts all the time, and a distaste for welfare that feeds poor children while far less ire is directed at the corporate welfare queens at the top who use taxpayer funds to bail out bad business decisions. But every so often Americans want blood- or in the case of Florida, urine, when it was demanded that those who had been kicked in the nads by life enough to require welfare should be further humiliated by the state by being forced to submit to drug testing.
Opponents of the initiative pointed out that it would never save taxpayers as much as it would cost them, but people cared little- and despite being a violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search, the measure went ahead and not surprisingly, was about as much of a fail as it sounded on paper.
Before an injunction was issued forcing Florida to quit violating American citizens’ rights, the program ran from July through October. In that time, it cost taxpayers more than $45,000 in testing (a venture in which Gov. Rick Scott has a personal vested interest) and yielded only a 2.6% rate of positive tests in welfare recipients. Nearly all positives were for marijuana, and the rate of positive testing worked out to lower of that in the general population.
Interestingly, despite the failed welfare drug testing in Florida, Gov. Scott has backed another program that will increase business in- oh sorry, rates of- drug testing in the state, except among private employees this time.