The Instigator
ashleymariet
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
DSMITH
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
DSMITH
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,881 times Debate No: 15270
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

ashleymariet

Con

There should NOT be drug testing for people on SSI. First things first, it is taking away their rights. Just because they do not make an adequate amount of money to support themselves and their children does not make them any less of an American then anybody else. It is degrading to them when people assume that they are guilty of drug use and forced to take these drug tests. People who argue that their tax dollars are going out to support someone's drug habit have no idea what they are talking about.

"The Fourth Amendment declares that ALL persons shall not be subject to unreasonable search and seizure and the courts recognized these laws as dangerous precedents to the government being allowed to run roughshod over our rights, and that these drug tests that singled out one segment of society for suspicion-less search of their bodily functions were not needed to further public safety. Hence, no public good was being served and therefore out goes the law."

Employer based random drug tests are illegal in some states because it is invading the civil rights of people. If random drug tests are not done to people who are interacting with the people in your community, then people who are seeking financial help should not have to do so either.
DSMITH

Pro

I am all for people who truly need welfare to get what they deserve. However, welfare money should not go to support drug habits. What many people don't realize is that criminals, who are on re-entry into society after serving their term in jail is automatically put on social services. Receive food stamps, housing and usually a monthly allowance!!! Statistics show that criminals have a huge recividism rate when put back into society. "The Substance-Abuse Treatment Scores, for both men and women, were a predictor of recidivism among the 2005-release cohort. Among males, 46% of offenders assessed with T-scores of 4 returned to prison with new sentences in the three years following their release. Among women with T-scores of 4, the rate was 37%." Why should we, as taxpayers pay for this??? We pay for them in jail and we pay for them when they get out of jail...it's a revolving door for many of these criminals. http://www.ct.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
ashleymariet

Con

It is understandable, especially reading those statistics that you do not want your money to go towards a drug habit. But how much of the percentage of people that are getting welfare, from jail? There are PLENTY of people that have never been in jail but have unfortunate circumstances and they are left to be punished because of the small percentage of welfare recipients that came out of jail? Again, it is unfair to assume that everybody is on welfare for their drug addiction just because of a small piece of them that really are.

With all of that aside, taxpayers who complain about their money being spent on illegal drugs will be in for a rude awakening when all of the welfare recipients are forced to take random drug tests. The amount of money spent on these drug tests would be astronomical. A drug test, on average, cost about $25 a piece. Imagine drug testing everyone that walked into that office and the trouble that it would bring because their rights are being disregarded.
DSMITH

Pro

My arguement is for drug testing, however, I am not saying that we should "drug test" every single person collecting welfare. Welfare pays for many different things including, unemployment, social services, housing assistance, food stamps and more. What is important here is that people don't become lifelong recipiants of these funds. People who use drugs usually have a problem working and functioning in society. WHY should these people with drug addictions live off of our money for life? It might seem like a large price to pay (drug testing) however, I still believe that random drug testing should be done for people who fail a written screening test which is an even better and less expensive indicator of drug use. I also believe that people who have gone to jail for drug related offenses and are on re-entry into society, should also be tested on a regular basis (randomly) if they are going to be collecting these services. I also believe that if a person has been collecting state/government services for an extended period of time they should be screened for drug abuse and tested. Statistically, 20% of the people on welfare, collect for over five years!!! In five years you surely can get an education and get a job or just get a job!
Debate Round No. 2
ashleymariet

Con

The thing is, who is to say that all of these people are doing drugs? Many people who have gone through the system may be able to trick the system and not only the people that have gone through the system but anybody who is looking to collect welfare. Anybody could easily limit their drug use and eventually cleanse themselves of any sign of drug use and collect it. After receiving it, they could start using again. None the less, no matter how many people you are drug testing and if it is pin pointed on a specific group of people, such as people that have been through jail, would cost more to drug test them then it cost to pay for their welfare. The federal government is paying for welfare, NOT the state government.

Another point to bring up is that this would be unfair to the children. The children of these people cannot help the fact that their parents may or may not be using drugs. So, if someone is released from jail or someone that has many children and are living in unfortunate circumstances are using drugs and fail the drug test. These children will be left with absolutely nothing and no way to receive the proper nutrition and help that they deserve. And if it may be true that some people would want drug tests to be happening to get the children out of the home of the drug abuser, the parents who are in desperate need of intervention would not apply for any of these programs, in fear that they would get in trouble. With that being said, you would have to drug test every man and women who had children in their homes. Otherwise it would be discrimination, just like it is if you only drug test the people who have had jail time.

In conclusion, no matter what way you look at it, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL to drug test welfare recipients without cause or reasonable suspicion.
DSMITH

Pro

The state does pay part of welfare and all of OUR tax dollars goes to pay for it too. Nonetheless, "Reasonable suspicion" is the KEY word there. There is no way that drug testing will cost more than their welfare. $25.00 is about a day's worth of food stamps. I am saying that these USERS should not collect. That will not deny their children...mother (or father) and children can still collect if the other parent is unable to because of their drug use. Stop using and Get a job that is the bottom line!
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Oddwad 1 year ago
Oddwad
I would just like to point out the hypocrisy in the assumption that welfare recipients would be drug tested because they are thought to be on drugs. You're making an assumption in attack of the thought that pro drug testing people assume such. It's not because all welfare receivers are thought to be on drugs, some just so happen to be, and those people don't deserve the help of welfare. That money could go to a different family instead.
You also said it was unfair to the children, but have you thought of the dangers of being raised in an environment with drugs.
Posted by hebi 2 years ago
hebi
Firstly, Pro says " People who use drugs usually have a problem working and functioning in society."
Firstly, this isn't sourced or even explained, so it's veracity is questionable at best. It may also be the case that Pro is conflating "use" with "abuse". Certainly it's easy to imagine that drug abusers have a hard time holding steady jobs, but this is not necessarily the case with all drug users. In fact, a nontrivial amount of workers in the United States use illicit drugs -- around 17%, as of 2006 (http://www.ria.buffalo.edu...).

Secondly, Pro goes on a tangent about recidivism in criminals: "Statistics show that criminals have a huge recividism [sic] rate when put back into society."
Hyperbole aside, this is a total red herring. It's hard to muddle past the cognitive dissonance here, but it seems that Pro is implying that people collecting welfare checks are criminals(???), and should be treated as guilty until proven innocent. Thus, the fourth amendment doesn't protect them because there exists some sort of probable cause (http://www.law.cornell.edu...). This is directly counter to United States' policy of "innocent until proven guilty".
Pro seems to think that someone failing a written screening test is evidence of drug use or abuse, when in fact it may be an indicator of poor education, lack of English language skills, or mental problems. It is not unreasonable to think that these same things might be an obstacle toward someone getting a job in the first place, hence the need for welfare. This is simply not a constitutional method of discovery. Thus, there is no "reasonable suspicion".

Whether or not it seems intuitively reasonable to hold welfare check collectors to the same drug free standards as many workers, there is simply no fair and reasonable way to screen for illicit drug use without stepping on the constitutional rights of innocent people.
Posted by MrBlues 3 years ago
MrBlues
In Florida I believe welfare recipients must pay for their drug test out of their welfare check.
Posted by i8JoMomma 3 years ago
i8JoMomma
your momma should be tested for drugs
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by IamZero 3 years ago
IamZero
ashleymarietDSMITHTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has won in my opinion...
Vote Placed by boredinclass 3 years ago
boredinclass
ashleymarietDSMITHTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: con should have carried that it is not constitutional all the way through the debate, that would have really won everything
Vote Placed by Scyrone 3 years ago
Scyrone
ashleymarietDSMITHTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Although Pro has more reliable sources and better conduct, I do not think this debate was truly won by anyone. Cons arguments were slightly reasonable, and the rebuttals weren't that good from either side. But before the debate I agreed with Con and Pro's arguments did not convince me, so I stayed with Con.
Vote Placed by reddj2 3 years ago
reddj2
ashleymarietDSMITHTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: pro made a better argument