Editorial Cartoon: Welfare Drug Test

Editorial Cartoon: Welfare Drug Testing Today’s editorial cartoon is inspired by the noise coming out around some states and even the federal government trying to put laws in place that would require anyone requesting government assistance first pass a drug test. (source).   I don’t believe those who don’t pass shouldn’t get benefits but rather have 90 days to enroll in a drug treatment program and then pass the test at completion and be subject to additional screenings. Yet, people are up in arms saying it violates the Fourth Amendment against unnecessary search and seizure.  The ACLU has been successful in halting Florida’s program using this same argument.  Personally I think the war on drugs is a complete failure, however much like my cartoon implies if I wanted to be hired by the government or a business I would have to be subjected to random drug testing.  In face, just yesterday I heard about a hospital that no longer will hire anyone that smokes or has even been using a smoking cessation treatment in the last 90 days.  And they plan to do hair tests.  Why are my rights as an employee somehow less than someone seeking government assistance? In response to the judge’s ruling in Florida the ACLU put out a statement saying in part: “Last month in federal court in Orlando, the Governor’s attorneys pushed the startling proposition that some Floridians – namely poor families asking for temporary government assistance – were not protected by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Judge Scriven rightfully tossed out that notion and the arguments made to support it. “Governor Scott is sadly confused about conservative principles.  No true conservative would defend a program that allows government to conduct intrusive, privacy-violating searches on people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing, but who are simply applicants for government services.

If  we put up TSA intrusive searches when flying in the name of safety, why aren’t we OK with someone having to pee in a cup to get some money?

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111 Responses to “Editorial Cartoon: Welfare Drug Test”

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  1. Lynn says:

    Okay here’s the thing. When you go for a job you are a private party “consenting” to a drug test in an effort to secure employment. No matter how much I approve of the tactic for welfare recipients – I do believe it is illegal to do so and violates our 4th ammendment right under the Constitution. So all and all I agree with you Bearman! 🙂 Oh and VOTE RON PAUL, please it’s our only hope for securing the freedoms granted us under the Constitution or what’s left of it.

    • Bearman says:

      I guess we disagree Lynn. I don’t find an issue with the request. If I was seeking employment from the government, I would be subjected to a drug screening. How is this any different?

      • Lynn says:

        Because you are “seeking” a job and thus it is an agreement between you and the employer. The people who are on Welfare never consented to a drug test. That’s the difference. In fact we agree they ought to be tested but it’s simply not legal under our Constitution. I love this subject in debate.

        • Lynn says:

          oh and for the record Ron Paul will let the states decided what is legal in their state- not the Federal Govt. It’s not in the politician’s best interest to go against the citizens of his states since he will be voted out if he does otherwise. Jus’ sayin.

        • G says:

          But they did choose to apply for welfare benefits. If you choose to apply for something, you have to abide by the rules and regulations put forth.

          If you don’t like it, don’t apply for it.

          • Lynn says:

            G., What rule are you talking about? The “rule” is that it’s unconstitutional and that has been determined by our courts. If you want to change that you must change the Constitution- again. 🙁 It doesn’t matter if we like it personally, it’s the law. What’s next? They gonna make you piss test for a drivers license, social security recipients, retirees? Don’t shoot me, I didn’t make that call, your courts did. 🙂

          • Bearman says:

            Actually the courts in Florida haven’t determined the constitutionality yet but did out a hold while they were deliberating. Could be that it is perfectly legal depending on how it is done. I don’t think submitting to a drug test is any worse than airport pay downs which seemingly ate constitutional

          • Friggin Loon says:

            Hmm, I see Lynn is vying for commenter of 2012 🙄 LOL

          • Bearman says:

            She fell off in 2011 so she is making up for lost time.

          • Lynn says:

            Re Bearman “I don’t think submitting to a drug test is any worse than airport pat downs which seemingly are constitutional” Only due to the (Un)Patriot Act which in my mind should be repealed. That’s like saying: Getting robbed is no worse than getting beat up.

          • Lynn says:

            @ Loon Excuuuuuse me but I’m trying to have a conversation here. Besides didn’t want you guys to forget about me. 🙂

          • Bearman says:

            Lynn…I’d pick robbery unless it is a lot of money or I’d pick getting beat up…if only by my nieces.

          • Friggin Loon says:

            Blahahaha Lynn, all we need is Cat God Frank back and we will have a full on brawl 🙄

          • Rocky says:

            Hell ya
            If you don’t like the rules .. go get a f-en job

  2. Craig L says:

    Don’t you realize you have no rights under any of the Amendments in the ‘Bill of Rights’ as an employee?

    Try expressing your First Amendment Freedom of Speech when someone on your company’s Board of Directors is running for Mayor of Los Angeles… (side note, the company was in the neighboring but independent city of Pasadena).

    And the “random” drug testing? In 20+ years at employers with such policies, I’ve never seen them administered randomly. (And, for the record, I have never been tested. I am so obnoxiously clean.)

    Also, as for substances, I recall another Health-Conscious Company I worked for had an absolute NO SMOKING rule in its 10-story headquarters building, so nicotine addicts had to take ‘smoke breaks’ on the sidewalk out front. The smokers in my department included 3 of the 4 supervisors, and it was soon realized that a lot of department ‘business’ was done in that smoke-filled room, as well as the other smokers getting bigger raises because they were the first to know what was going on (and I’m sure the extra time ‘hanging out’ with the supes didn’t hurt.

    For all that the ‘Job Creators’ complain about restrictions an regulations on them, they still have so much control over the lives of their employees (although, from my experience, much of that comes, not from the top, but from Middle Management).

    And trust me, RON PAUL will never lift a finger to make the workplace better. In his Glibertarian Utopia, the bosses will have the absolute right to control the lives of their employees. After all, pre-Civil War Slavery was a States Rights issue.

    IMO, any drug testing for welfare recipients should require the state to foot the bill for any resulting drug treatment. But MO doesn’t count for much.

    • Bearman says:

      Is that example about the LA mayor a personal one or was their some news story about it. Love to see more details on that.

      I too have never been chosen for the “random” drug testing but I have been chosen plenty of times for the “random” additional pat down by airport security.

      I heard the same about golfers versus non golfers in some companies. Management liked to golf and you learned alot of what was going on and got inside scoop on promotions if you were a golfer too.

      Full agreement on state footing the bill for drug treatment. Treatment costs a lot less than incarceration.

    • Lynn says:

      I agree with your comment except for the flippant Ron Paul remark.

  3. Scholar Mel says:

    Free money!? Peeing in a cup!? Peeing in a cup to get free money!? I’m all in. What do I have to lose? 🙂

    (Sorry to downgrade your post with my cruddy comment. It was seriously well thought out.)

  4. Comedy Plus says:

    I’m all for it myself. It won’t ever happen, but I’m for it. I’ve watched too many welfare recipients use those tax dollars given to them for things not intended. They sure weren’t taking proper care of their kids. Government sucks for the most part and we’re letting those crooks get away with whatever they want to do too.

    Have a terrific day Bearman. 🙂

    • Bearman says:

      To befair Jan Florida tithe number who failed during the testing was less than 5%. I don’t think we should paint everyone on assistance with the same stroke.

  5. MJ says:

    Touchy subject. I could actually care less either way, I do think it’s an invasion of privacy though. No need to preach the other view, it will not change my perspective.

  6. Tony McGurk says:

    I think it’s a good idea. If people are getting supported by taxpayers while unemployed I don’t think they have the right to be wasting that money on drugs. Here in Australia we hear people complaining that it’s so hard to survive on welfare but how many of these same ones waste their payment on smoking, heavy drinking, drugs & gambling. If money is that tight for them then put the essentials 1st. Plus the fact that drugs are illegal anyway. I get sick of hearing of such ones bleating about their rights, especially those who don’t want to work & make no effort to look for work.

  7. Miss R says:

    I believe it dies violate the constitutional right of search and seizure. and have been the subject of lots of random drug tests; while working for in television. Yep. don’t do drugs or drink while designing that website or producing a commercial. We used to joke, in the Creative Services department, that they should GIVE us drugs -grin-.
    Funny thing is that I had been clean and sober for 10 years at this point in life. The testing truly was random.
    BTW they took hair samples, not urine. To go back 6 months. For private employers to intrude on their employees free time -hair samples test back to 6 months- is crap.

    Now… welfare recipients. Hmmmm tough call and as you said Bearman touchy subject. I don’t want my tax money going towards some crack mom buying more crack. On the other hand it is a demeaning and depressing experience; especially to those people on welfare who do not have a substance abuse problem.

    There you have it! No clear answer.

    • Lynn says:

      “I don’t want my tax money going towards some crack mom buying more crack.” Me either Miss R., and thank you an intelligent comment on this controversial post. Thanks also to Bearman for starting a street-fight amongst bloggers. Guess I gotta go glove up. 🙂

      • Bearman says:

        Congratulations first on your sobriety miiss R. While I am not sure if it is a violation of rights my irritation stems from the fact that if it truly is then once again we have different rules for the private sector.

  8. bschooled says:

    At the risk of sounding non-sarcastic in nature, I love how you are able to entertain yet still draw attention to important issues. Strangely enough, I find that I almost always agree with your views–except for the ones relating to political figures mostly because I’m ignorant when it comes to that stuff–but even if I didn’t, I like how you state your point of view and then leave it open for discussion.

  9. Friggin Loon says:

    How’s about RBT (random breath tests) are they unconstitutional? A rather tipsy loon wants to know …

  10. nursemyra says:

    I don’t think people should be drug tested to receive welfare

    • Bearman says:

      What about to get a job?

      • I have seen this argument of if you can be tested for a job, then the welfare applicants should be as well. NOBODY should be tested. Testing should only be considered if there is an impairment of being able to do your job otherwise it’s nobody’s damn business. Even then it basically comes down to you can be tested or leave (works well in an at-will employment state like here in OH.)

        Some people here are saying they have no problem with it at their job or in applying for a job. While I disagree, they have the right to that opinion. What really irritates me is people who have a problem with it and then turn around and want to inflict it on others in some kind of petty retribution attempt.

        As to the TSA, they should never have existed.

  11. nursemyra says:

    Sorry about the ad at the start of this, but I still think this is a great song and pertinent to this discussion.

    especially around the 3 to 4 minute mark.

  12. G says:

    Sorry about that(for some reason the reply button vanished off of everyone’s follow up comments to mine). Force of habit left over from the chat rooms.

    Best way I know to push someone’s buttons in order to get them to say what they truly feel.

    Again, I don’t have a problem with people taking a drug test to get benefits. And it seems to me that if you don’t actually live in the country, then you really don’t have a right to complain about how it’s run, now do you?

    I also have no problem showing I.D. to vote, having done so in my state since the late 90’s.

    • Bearman says:

      Agree on the voting thing too. Even if it isn’t a state ID at least two other forms of Identification.

      • Lynn says:

        Agree! Btw, the comment below belongs above.

      • Often, though, that voter ID thing is a tool intended to disenfranchise or suppress certain voters that may not vote for conservatives– like the poor, minorities and college students. The voter ID laws are intended to deal with the virtually non-existent threat of voter fraud, but in reality, punish those that have limited means to gain access to these ID cards. On the surface, the ID cards may seem like a good idea, but I believe there is a layer of deception wrapped up in it that people may not realize is there.

        With regard to the drug testing, these laws cater to a stereotype of people on government assistance.

        • Bearman says:

          Agree with you Jerry and that is why I say State ID or two forms of alternative ID. Cable Bill, Electric Bill, Phone bill. I don’t know a single college student who doesn’t have at least a school ID. States like Indiana offer a free voter ID card so again that shouldn’t be an issue.

          Where the issue comes in truly is when poll workers ask for ID of certain select groups and not others.

    • Lynn says:

      You don’t have a right to complain unless you are a U.S. citizen? Seems like that right would be global.

  13. Bo Lumpkin says:

    If they aren’t on drugs it shouldn’t matter. If they are on drugs then honest working people shouldn’t be required to support them. Welfare is not an entitlement. It should be a temporary act of charity but to many it has become a way of life.
    Now I am goin’ to quit bein’ serious and go back to tryin’ to be funny.

  14. George says:

    I think it’s high time that the gov started reugalting the dispensin of welfare money better. If I gotta take a drug test in order to get a chance to EARN money, then welfare recipients need to do the same thing in order to get FREE money.

    Or if they wanna do it up even better, save the drug tests for the welfare peeps ONLY and leave y’all working folks alone so you can pass the dutchie from the left hand side. 🙂

  15. I wonder what would turn up if someone gave your green-locked avatar a hair test, Bearman?!

  16. Deb says:

    I think if you’re looking for government assistance than all should have to pee in the cup to test for drugs. Why should the working class have to contribute to the funding so someone can get a check to buy drugs. If they pass, fine…If not…No.

  17. MVV says:

    The ole W2 vs 1099 and Private vs Public Employee – yes the Private company is a little dictatorship and as a W2 slave you are owned under it’s roof and you must comply to stay – you can be a 1099 self employed in your own buisness and your own way , you can (but do not have to) have people take drug tests to work for you but you do not have to drug test yourself. Thats liberty that you don’t have working for someone else, now Public employees are paid for by the private taxpayers we should be able to test any public official we want, they (Public Official) should not have dictatorial powers over us to do the same. hence you only have “Freedom” when you work for yourself..

    • Bearman says:

      I don’t have enough talent, luck or ambition to work for myself so I guess I am stuck working for the man cuz I like a steady paycheck.

  18. lisleman says:

    wow I browsed over to catch a laugh. Serious constitutional legal debate going on by (I think) non-lawyers. I’m not a lawyer but do know a few. I’m not saying you need to be a lawyer to study law but there is enough to make a life long study of it. I have not really formed an opinion but do believe when the word welfare gets tossed into the question many are quick to decide because they hate welfare. So it would be more honest if you first stated your position of general welfare first. I believe welfare is a requirement of society but also believe it doesn’t work well and is misused. Also the state vs. federal debate that seems to be pulled into this appears ironic to me. I say that because many on the right use Europe as an example of what terrible thing we could become but yet if the states all ran independently it would be like Europe and their EU collection of countries.

    • Bearman says:

      I think you and I are aligned in our belief of welfare. I think it is necessary in our society but there are holes that need to be filled. I am not one of those who looks to abolish welfare.

      The government wants the states to decide unless politically it is not in their best interest. California as a state allows medical marijuana but because of federal laws, you can still not be hired if you have it in your system.

  19. jynksie says:

    Entitlement programs are not guaranteed under the constitution. They are a construct of “societal values” to help those in need. If we stipulate rules such as drug testing to qualify, I’m sorry, but thats perfectly legal and allowable. I don’t believe any entitlement program should be given to any person without said person giving back to it in some fashion, even if its through volunteering to other needed services they could provide.

    What the federal govt. should do is adopt the New Hampshire welfare system nationally. You are required to work a minimum of 20 hrs per week in a job the state finds for you and welfare will cover the difference. The state uses the savings from paying “partial benefits” for retraining. That retraining lasts up to two years depending on the skill being learned and then once you have secured employment w/ the help of the state, you are off welfare. Welfare recipients are rescreened every two years, you can’t be on it beyond the two year period unless you have a health exception [there are a few other exceptions, but unsure of what they are]. The state has the lowest poverty rate in the nation and highest median income, so something is working right! NH has no income or sales tax to fund “entitlement programs” the way “nanny states” do [cough -Massachusetts]. You don’t get entitlement programs in NH in full, you have to do some of the work yourself if proven able.

    • Bearman says:

      I like that system. Knowing some single mothers who found it difficult to both work full time and pay for child support I think this would be a great idea to have other people receiving benefits volunteer at community centers etc.

  20. Nate Fakes says:

    I will keep this short and to the point (like drug needle point): DRUG TEST!

  21. Quite frankly, I think either is a violation.

  22. Binky says:

    So long as they don’t check for chocolate, I think it’s fine. Especially if they offered some sort of rehab program for those who fail.

  23. MC/Curtis says:

    It’s all so messed up I don’t know what my comment is.
    I guess everyone still has the booze option all around.

  24. Jenn says:

    I suppose I’m a bit out of the loop with the reference but it sounds interesting and I’ll definitely read up on it. I can see how this double standard applies to other things than welfare

  25. Bo Lumpkin says:

    It’s almost fishin’ season. Could you send me one of them cans of worms you are constantly openin’ up. 🙂

  26. planetross says:

    If rich people on drugs can’t get money from the Government either, I’d be in favor of that. Military contractors, failed businesses, banks, …
    These people should be tested too!

    note: giving money to countries to curtail the drug trafficking business: Columbia, Afghanistan, …
    They should be tested too!

    double note: I actually agree with you. I’d vote for this, except people in need don’t have 10 or 30 days to complete a rehab program to feed their babies, but maybe their addiction. I don’t know what the requirements are for welfare are in Canada anymore … actually I’ve never known what they are: and I’m glad.

  27. I for one think it is a great idea to test before handing out government (our) money. I worked with an attorney for 3 years and did guardian ad litem work along with many other social cases. We went to houses that were in such disrepair and nasty, only to find they had an Escalade outside in their driveway. People are abusing the system and using it to stay out of work. While on one hand many more will be seeking work if they can’t pass a drug test for their welfare check, we can’t let the current cycle continue. I also knew illegals in South Florida that were getting money how does that happen.

    I do agree that they should be able to enroll in a program and get clean within 90 days as you suggested. Sorry this subject gets me kinda heated.

  28. Jande says:

    1. all people are taxpayers. Give them welfare and part of that money pays the taxes on what they purchase with that money. (just sayin’)

    2. I do not fly in airplanes. I prefer to keep my privacy and dignity as intact as possible in this invasive era.

    3. No one should have the right to invade the privacy of others, unless they have been formally charged with a crime. Committing a crime places one outside the law but not outside being treated with compassion and dignity. The majority of people who ask for financial aid are not criminals. They are people in need.

    4. Most welfare recipients are trapped in dynamics that keep them in a constant state of poverty. That is not their fault. It’s a failure of society. It is the responsibility of society as a whole to help them learn to live better.

    5. I’m going to stop now because it’s a subject that gets me steamed. Blame and humiliate the victims and bail out the soulless corporations. Oh, yeah.

    • Bearman says:

      I’ll blame the soulless corporations when their time is due as well.

      We allow invasion all the time in return for things we want. Want to surf the web…guess what, someone is tracking you, whether a scammer, advertiser, government or some creepy guy in his underwear.

    • “Most welfare recipients are trapped in dynamics that keep them in a constant state of poverty. That is not their fault. It’s a failure of society. It is the responsibility of society as a whole to help them learn to live better.”

      So it’s our fault they didn’t pay attention in school and get good grades to better themselves. We should just say aww poor you we will give you a hand out cause your to stupid to take care of yourself.

      That being said YES there are people who truly need the help or have come into bad situations, But these lifetime welfare recipients make me sick. They don’t pay taxes either.

      • Bearman says:

        If you grow up in an environment that doesn’t put importance on school or grades sometimes it is hard to realize its importance to you until it is too late.

      • Jande says:

        The home environment can pass down(over generations) dysfunctional dynamics that prevent people from being able to concentrate in school. It may make them miss a lot of school, prevent them from getting homework done, etc.

        I’m not blaming any individuals. I’m saying that the systems Society as a whole has set up still leave a lot of people broken.

        Have you ever felt despair? Have you ever had to wear clothes to school that everyone laughed at. Were you ever starved for a bit of love and affection, or for acknowledgement? Did you grow up fearing members of your own family? Were you enslaved or sexually abused? Were you taught to fear the law for no reason but they were the law? Were you threatened with your life if you told anyone –anyone– the truth?

        There are children even today who live lives of despair. And adult survivors of that kind of dysfunction. Who will help them, if they are blamed for a situation they didn’t create and don’t know where to start to climb out of the hole?

        If you were lucky to be born into the good life, then bless you. But please have compassion for those that weren’t.

        • Bearman says:

          Nicely said but “Have you ever had to wear clothes to school that everyone laughed at.” did remind me of kids making fun of me because I didn’t have name brand shoes. We called them “Buddies”

          • Jande says:

            You called them “Buddies” so they would be “name”-brands?

          • TEDeBEAR says:

            LOL!!! Did you just say buddies!!! I haven’t heard that in ages. Do you remember the song with it? I think it started off like, ” Buddies they cost a dollar 99….” that’s all I got. ……. Ok sorry you may resume your serious drug test debate.

  29. How else are suppose to pass the time while we are un-employed. Great expressions.

  30. Mark Stokes says:

    I love this cartoon. Really gives a good look at the attitude involved.

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