“According to a new study released by the World Health Organization, the U. S leads the world and takes the gold for the use of tobacco, pot, and cocaine, far outpacing other countries”(US Ranks #1). According to an article on alternet. org America abuses drugs worse than any other country. It is no secret that the United States’ economy is nearing an all time low. With the economy being nearly as bad as ever in the history of our country it is very concerning that our drug use is at an all time high.
If a large percentage of United States citizens do not have jobs, cannot afford food, clothes, shelter, and the government is providing money for these people, where is the money coming from to buy all of these drugs that are being used? With the use of drug testing on the welfare recipients this could provide a simple measure to eliminate countless United States tax payers dollars being given away just to be wasted on black market drugs, and other illegal substances.
The two main points of view on the welfare debate is the “republican” point of view stating that they have spent their whole lives achieving the amount of income they make which is partially taken away from them and given to welfare recipients that did not put out as much effort to become successful and they are unsure about how their hard earned money is being spent once it is distributed out to the welfare recipients.
One of the “democratic” points of view is if the lower class isn’t taken care of through welfare spending they might not have enough money to feed their children, transportation, or even a place to live. Welfare in the United States is a highly debated topic especially in todays rough economy. The New York Times released an article about welfare that shows a graph with details about the percentage of increase in welfare in every different state since 2007 and even includes statistics such as the unemployment rating and food stamps that are handed out to the citizens. Cash welfare assistance has been cut completely in 18 states to respond to rising unemployment and the extraordinary amount of funding needed to fund the welfare system during hard times. In contrast, the number of recipients of the food stamp program grew in all states” (State-by-State Welfare Assistance). This being said the government thought it would be helpful to cut the welfare assistance in 18 states because it would make it easier to see the true need for welfare.
However this did not help the government very much because even with the major cutbacks the main concern was that the need for food stamps went up in every state. Meaning that tax payers are ultimately going to have to pay more on taxes to make up for the need of welfare and food stamps. Therefore leading to the controversy over tax payers being upset for having to pay more taxes to make up for the people who need assistance in paying for their necessities and the tax payer’s main concern is they do not know what the welfare they are paying for is being used for.
Drugs in the United States are at an all time high. “In 2010, an estimated 22. 6 million Americans aged 12 and older or 8. 9 percent of the population has used an illicit drug or abused a psychoactive medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month. This is up from 8. 3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in the use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug” (DrugFacts: NationWide Trends). Drug use is not only illegal and a very dangerous thing to partake in, it is also a very expensive habit.
Two main concerns in the United States today is money and drugs which is very understandable considering drug use is at an all time high and money in today’s economy is almost the exact opposite and this is very upsetting to someone who pays taxes to help pay for necessities so they can have a better value of life, but in some cases this money is being used to pursue their drug addictions. Thus leading to the assumption that tax payers money is being given to people without jobs and without a way to support themselves for many different reasons and that the tax payers hard earned money is what is being spent on drugs.
A strong point in tax payer’s opinions is that if people are working hard to have the money and life they want for themselves, they would not be so quick to spend it on illegal drugs that could cost them their freedom or harm their bodies, but the people who are given money by the government that the tax payers pay for do not earn that money therefore they do not have that respect for it and would be more willing to purchase drugs which could have been the cause for them not having jobs in the first place.
Even with an undeniable populist appeal to drug testing when it comes anyone wanting to receive government benefits that come out of Americans tax dollars, there are several negatives to this claim. Such as it’s likely to be unconstitutional, and the stereotyping of people using the welfare program. Drug testing can be considered to be unconstitutional under the fourth amendment which is a ban on illegal search and seizure. “The state of Florida was sued on behalf of Luis Lebron, a Navy veteran and single father who is finishing college by The American Civil Liberties Union.
After meeting the criteria for receiving welfare benefits, but refused to submit to a drug test that would require him to purchase one when there is no reason to suspect he uses drugs. The American Civil Liberties Union attorney said that, ‘This is a great day for Florida and that the law is a reflection of ugly stereotypes that people who need a helping hand from the state are drug dealers. ’” (Catalanello). “Welfare recipients who failed the drug test for a first time were denied welfare for one year.
Not only are the welfare applicants being tested but also a bill also requiring people who receive unemployment benefits to be drug tested is planned in some states such as Ohio” (Cohen). These are common misperceptions when it comes to welfare today and understanding the statistics that, “one third of Americans or 103 million people are working at jobs that pay only twice is much as the poverty line which makes the welfare system more important than ever if it is being used correctly”(Frykholm). This information ties into my research by stating that America does have a drug abuse problem that is needed to be controlled.
Whether that solution is to cut the users funds to purchase drugs or make the consequences for that more severe. With this many drugs being consumed, there is no possible way to blame the money being spent on a certain group of people such many people do when thinking of the people using welfare. People who are working hard for their money are less likely to spend hard earned money on drug which makes the common belief that money that is not earned, but given as welfare that is being spent on drugs.
In conclusion the citizens of this country must understand that we have to start thinking about how we need to take drastic measures to assist our economic recovery and preventing the use of welfare money on drugs is apart of that. We have to start somewhere and drug testing people on welfare would allow us to know that the people who are working hard for money and are paying taxes for other people who are not as fortunate to have a better life but due to some of the welfare recipients abusing drugs they are all being labeled as lazy, druggies, or just not a benefit to society.