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Merits and Demerits of Drug Testing Employees and Welfare Recipients


Date Posted: 11/6/2012 4:52:49 PM

Posted By: Robinoxd  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 45

Lorelei condemns Governor Rick Scott and his administration for passing a law that requires all poor people lining up for welfare to first pass a drug test. According to Lorelei, this is a retrogressive and inhuman law. It goes against the American constitution and kills the human spirit of caring for each other. Even though, the American Constitution does not expressly outlaw drug tests, it maintains that they are part of ‘searches’ and must, therefore, be conducted within parameters of reasonableness. The author cites the data from the subsequent survey showing that only two percent turned positive to drug abuse to infer that welfare recipients are not drug abusers.

The author indicates that most welfare recipients are white mothers from suburbs running from dysfunctional marriages and actively looking for employment for approximately two years. Furthermore, Lorelei states that the amount allocated to the recipients is barely enough. Calculations show that the amount allocated is a mere dollar and change for each meal. Is this supposed to sustain the welfare recipients and grant them all their needs? In addition, the money allocated is only directed for food assistance. This means that it should not be utilized for other necessities such as diapers, toilet paper, tampons, medicines or other basic needs apart from food. To make matters worse, Lorelei circumstantially argues that the imposed drug test is a scam generated by Governor Rick Scott. According to Lorelei, Scott owns a drug testing facility and is, therefore, using the law to line his pockets. This argument may be unfounded but still shows that the people in power may use unnecessary, yet seemingly noble techniques to line their pockets.
The author even finds humor in members of the public who condemn welfare recipients when they buy ‘unnecessary’ foodstuffs such as birthday cakes, soda pops

and other junk foods. The judgment passed by some members of the public is that the poor should not eat junk or waste their precious tax dollars on fast foods. Lorelei purports that the stigma and judgment on welfare recipients is propagated through the out-dated Reagan administration myth that stereotypically classified welfare recipients as people of color out to cheat the system and avoid working for a living. According to this baseless stereotype, most welfare recipients are people of color who avoid work and spend most of their time getting high on drugs. This is a myth that demonstrates high levels of racism and mistrust. In contrast, Lorelei claims that the data collected from the department of social welfare indicates that most recipients are actually white women, who come from suburbs and actively participate in job searching.

Despite providing a good argument for the recipients of welfare, Lorelei fails to capture accurate data regarding welfare. The drug testing exercise conducted in Florida was chaotic. For instance, in Tallahassee, some patients were required to provide urine samples through catheters. There is a widespread shortage of drug testing facilities in the region. The American Civil Liberties Union has gone to court and filed a petition against Governor Rick Scott’s demand for drug testing of welfare recipients.

Kathleen cites the lack of medical and drug testing facilities as a major hindrance to the collection of accurate information. For instance, Monroe County is cited as having had no drug testing facility and thus forcing welfare recipients to travel for more than a hundred miles to Miami for the tests. In addition, some unrelated records bearing personal information such as social security numbers was found to have been misplaced thus destroying the credibility of the entire exercise.

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