CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Want government assistance? Just say no to drugs.
Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.
The effort comes as more Americans turn to these safety nets to ride out the recession. Poverty and civil liberties advocates fear the strategy could backfire, discouraging some people from seeking financial aid and making already desperate situations worse.
Evidently, too hard for some:
"It's an example of where you could cut costs at the expense of a segment of society that's least able to defend themselves," said Frank Crabtree, executive director of the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
And then there's this--and don't ask me why this hasn't been in effect long before now:
Drug testing is not the only restriction envisioned for people receiving public assistance: a bill in the Tennessee Legislature would cap lottery winnings for recipients at $600.
Don't hold your breath. Buy a ticket instead.
States consider drug tests for welfare recipients