Here’s a graphic circulating around Facebook AGAIN. I’m sick of it, and I think it is stupid:
Short answer: No, and fuck the people who made this graphic.
Long answer: Let’s learn from what happened in Florida.
Gov. Voldemort Rick Scott (who, not coincidentally, has a financial interest in a drug testing facility; he just transferred legal ownership of it to his WIFE) decided to drug test welfare recipients. This cost taxpayers millions of dollars and lined his wallet, and they found that only 2% of all welfare recipients tested actually tested positive for drugs. Of that 2%, ALL of them had family members who were eligible for welfare, so NO welfare money was saved by attempting to deny it to people on drugs. (I’ll also note that I heard nothing about getting people who tested positive into a rehab, or any concern for innocent minor children who rely on welfare to, you know, not starve.)
Now considering that data exists that has found that 5% of Americans use illegal drugs (that’s the LOWEST percentage I have found; other data puts it at 22 million people, or 9% of the population), that means that, according to the findings in Florida where only 2% of the tested population tested positive, people on welfare are LESS LIKELY to use illegal drugs. In fact, people on welfare are anywhere from 3% to 7% LESS LIKELY to be using illegal drugs than the general population as a whole.
Also, let’s not pretend that there are not “false positives” when drug testing, because there are. Your legal doctor-prescribed medications can show up as opiates or other “illegal” drugs. You can eat a poppyseed bagel and have a false positive. If there is a possibility that a test could be WRONG and deny a family some needed assistance so they can EAT, there is something gravely wrong with the idea.
Also, just as an aside, if you think that people on food assistance are rolling in free Government Cheese Bucks, consider that the average allotment comes out to about a dollar and change per meal. What can you buy to eat for less than two bucks a meal? Think on that. Now imagine doing that forever. Until you are denied benefits, of course.