Should welfare recipients receive drug tests?

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Most people take drug tests before they're hired.

In Georgia, those on welfare could be forced to take those same tests before qualifying to buy meat and bread.

Recently a House Representative from Georgia introduced the legislation.

"If you're on welfare and your getting taxpayer funds to live, then you're obviously going to use that money for drugs, I would think," James Vanmeter said.

Georgia House Bill 772 requires anyone on food stamps to take drug tests in order to keep recieving benefits.

"I don't see a need for that," Dr. James Askew said.

Georgia State Representative Greg Morris introduced the bill this week. In the bill, if a food stamp recipient failed a drug test twice, they'd be ineligible for assistance for a year.

We hit the streets to find out what voters think.

"I don't agree with that. I think it's a form of discrimination and they have ulterior motives," Edna Zielmansk said.

"I agree totally. You're using my money to live on. It's only right that your using it to eat and not for drugs," Rob Jankus said.

"In that case, tell the Georgia legislator to take a drug test. If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander," Askew said.

In 2012, Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill that requires Georgians who receive cash assistance from the government to pass drug tests. It has yet to be enforced. Florida has a similar law that its state courts struck down for being unconstitutional.

The case could be looked into by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"In leadership you have responsibility. I can't ask someone to do something that I'm not doing myself," Representative Ernest Smith said.

State Representative Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) introduced a bill which would only allow food stamps to people who've passed a drug test. Do you agree with the proposal?

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