Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kentucky Solons Ponder Drug Tests For Food Stamps, Welfare

A bipartisan group of legislators introduced a proposed law that would require all applicants for food stamps, welfare or medical assistance to submit to substance abuse testing.

"It's important that we make sure that people who are getting special assistance from the state aren't using those funds that they're getting to purchase and buy drugs instead of food and other things they need for their families," said Rep. Jim DeCesare.

After an initial drug test, applicants would be required to pass a new one every year.

Bowling Green grocery store cashier Janice Hood checks out a lot of people with food stamps and says she agrees with the bill.

"They're obviously hopped up or they're buying candy and potato chips with the food stamps that my tax dollars help pay for and like i said, if I've got to get drug tested for my job, I feel like folks should have to get drug tested for their benefits," said Ms. Hood. "I don't think it's fair for the public to have to pay for their habits."

Positive drug test results for Schedule 1, 2-5 Controlled Substances would be grounds for disqualification for public assistance. The results will not be given to police.

"There are no criminal punishments but they can lose their assistance if they do test positive," added Rep. DeCesare.
He says the money should be used for its intended purpose.

"We want them to use that money for the things they need to survive. Drugs are not needed to survive," said Rep. DeCesare.
If any applicant should refuse a drug test, they would be immediately ineligible for any kind of government assistance.

Similar bills have been introduced previously, but have not been approved by the legislature.

AN ACT relating to public assistance.
Amend KRS 205.200 to create a substance abuse screening program for adult recipients of public assistance, food stamps, and state medical assistance.


  1. They don't turn in positive drug tests to police. My question is what do they do if a single mom with 4 children comes in and tests positive for drugs. . . do you take away the food stamps and send her on home with her kids and no way to feed them? I'm guessing she uses part of her food stamps to feed her kids and sells part of them for drugs. I don't know what the answer is but I'm wondering how this will pan out.
    I've heard people say people on WIC should be drug tested and I've tried to explain to people that it probably would just cost money and not help save any tax dollars:
    I'm all for trying to prevent welfare fraud and I don't think its unfair to ask for a drug test I'm just wondering if it will work.

  2. This new drug testing for assistance is the most un-thought out heartless waste of time that I have ever seen. The real heart of the matter, however, is the children. The program exists, in part, to make sure Ky's children get enough food. Food stamps might be the only way kids of drug addicts get anything at all. Are we really going to take away milk and bread from toddlers because their mother or father failed a drug test? Do you truly think this will help people? Anyone who votes for this will never receive a vote from me.

    I have never heard of such nonsense! This will not help people “get off drugs”. If parents were motivated simply by the thought of a better life for their kids and could quit cold turkey, they already would have. Taking food away from the kids will raise stress levels and lower ability to cope with real life. How does that discourage drug use?

    I would also like to know how he is planning on paying for this? 600,000 people by 30.00 a test is 21,000,000 a yr and now he wants to amend the bill to pay for state funded rehabs for anyone that fails the tests? Looks like another big tax hike will be on the way too.

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  4. With an estimated 42% of the population getting some type of government assistance, it is time to have some unpleasant discussions.
    No one wants to hurt children but the reality is that is just knee-jerk worn out excuse. There is a solution; we just need a person with courage to find one that works. Most politicians don't do what is right because they are afraid of being called a racist or be accused of wanting to kill children.

  5. Yes I believe there should be mandatory drug testing for anyone receiving assistance. And these people should be made to find a job like the rest of us. There are plenty of jobs out there in the fast food industry. I am sick of seeing these people buying junk food and soft drinks with their food stamps. The people who truly qualify for food stamps should NOT be alowed to buy junk and soft drinks... this includes potato chips and candy. I work in a grocery store and this is rampant!!!! They should only be allowed to buy meat, vegetables, fruit, milk and bread. SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY HAS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS!!!! They eat better than I do and they drive their big SUV'S and I have to drive an 8 yr old car. This makes me sick to my stomach. I am sick and tired of paying for these lazy people to sit on their butts and not have to work. A lot of them sleep all day and then run in the store 10 minutes before closing time in their pajamas!!! And by the way they smell, you know they haven't bathed in days!!!! DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!