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This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Drug Tests & Welfare...

Okay, so I've been looking for a good topic to start this blog off with, but simply couldn't pick one. So I figure this one is good as any as it keeps coming up in my online communities.

So, here's the question - Should we start drug testing Welfare and Food Stamp applicants?  My short answer - NO. Now, I've been called everything from a "crack head addict" to a "stupid liberal waste of life" and just about everything in between because of that view. But I think what people don't care to hear are the reasons I have that opinion. Believe it or not, there are reasons for people to make up their mind about things beyond simply wanting to be the disliked minority.

I honestly have a hard time understanding why anyone things drug tests would be a good idea in this situation. Now, sure, on paper it sounds great. If people can afford illegal drugs why can't they afford food? Right? Well, unfortunately, like everything else in the world it's simply not that black and white.

For one, drug tests are very expensive to do. Even if each test only did minimal testing like the ones you buy in the drug store, you're looking at a cost of $15 to $45 EACH. Now, multiply that by the MILLIONS of applicants each year. Where is that money supposed to come from? Higher taxes? Isn't the point of doing the tests, to LOWER tax money used for the welfare system? So how is adding MILLIONS of dollars to the bill going to help anything?

Secondly, are we going to test at the time of application and then let them go? Or are we going to do multiple tests when it comes time to re-certify or are we just going to do a single test and then stop caring if they use? Again - $$$!!!  I hear dollar signs!

Third, I know more than my fair share of drug addicts and users. NONE of them can't pass a test if they need to. So unless we are going to do hair tests (which test for past usage) or blood test (which is still easily falsified) there is simply no point because those who need to be stopped from being awarded benefits are simply going to find a way around it anyways.   Okay, so now, make those dollar signs completely pointless!

Finally, lets talk about the few who do fail their tests. If they are applying for welfare - guess what, they are low income. Sure, that means they should put what little money they have in to food and utilities over drugs, but obviously good choices aren't their forte. Lets take a low ball guesstimate that 50% of them have children... That's still, at the very least, THOUSANDS of children who will be forced to go without food or with less food.

But why not simply remove the children from those who fail the test? Wow, do I need to go in to what a strain that would cause on the system? There are already not enough foster homes for the kids that are out there. And one in SIX foster parents is abusive. So lets take children, who many times have at least one loving decent parent, away from homes which are otherwise loving and caring and place them in foster homes where they are little more than a paycheck, simply because mom smokes pot to calm her nerves after work...

I understand there is a HUGE amount of money going in to the welfare system and I understand more than anyone that WAY to many abuse it. But I also understand there are those who actually do need the help. Does the welfare system need to be altered? YES. But this isn't how! Rather than forcing drug tests and costing tax payers HUGE, no make that MASSIVE, amounts of money, why not look for alternative changes which can be made? There are cost effective alternatives. Of course there other options out there. Options no one wants to talk about because they would take actual work to get started and making them work...  Oh, and then there is the fact that it's simply easy to hate the "lower" members of society. Lets face it, if you make a few million a year and want to put a little powder up your nose so you can work all night, you're a joke, but you can still bill 9 grand to show at a party. But if you're blue collar or no collar and smoke a joint after work, you're the scum of the earth and not worth the time it would take to start the programs that could help you get out of the "poor house" and out of the system in the first place.

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