The idea of drug testing in order for an individual to receive food stamp benefits has been played around between politicians and online discussion groups. There are several people who believe that drug testing should be mandatory in order for an individual to receive any type of government benefits including food stamps. Others believe that the drug testing has nothing to do with food stamp benefits and should be kept as a separate issue. The real debate comes down to the questions related to drug testing for food stamps and how drug testing would benefit the food stamp program.
Drug testing is related to food stamp benefits through employment. Ideally, the individuals who apply for food stamps or are made beneficiaries of the food stamp program will fall below a certain income level. This income level is determined on employment. For certain beneficiaries, such as seniors, the employment factor is not as big of an issue due to their age. However, for an individual who is applying for food stamp benefits based on lack of employment the drug testing issue becomes relevant. If an individual is found to be on drugs this may be what is prohibiting them from finding a job, which leads them to applying for the food stamp benefit to begin with.
The truth is, the main reason drug testing is being brought up in relation to food stamp benefits is due to the employment factor. However there are other connections between drug testing and food stamp benefits. One of those connections is due to the high number of fraudulent cases that are being pursued by law enforcement. Of the vast number of fraudulent food stamp cases, law enforcement is finding that a vast majority of this increasing number of cases is due to drug use. In fact, in lower income areas law enforcement is finding that food stamps are being sold and bartered for various drugs. The thought is that if drug testing is made mandatory in order to receive food stamp benefits, the fraudulent use of food stamps for drug purchases would decrease.
There are some states that have already implemented drug testing as part of an overall welfare program. This includes food stamp benefits as well as certain government benefit programs and other welfare programs. Florida, Texas and other states have already started implementing various drug testing programs. These drug testing programs have led to drug arrests, violations of parole and probation and in more positive cases the ability to help an individual receive rehabilitation assistance in order to get off of drugs.
The concept of drug testing for food stamps is not a new one. There are several debates surrounding it including several individuals believing that the drug testing is a form of profiling. Others have stated that the drug testing is unfair to food stamp beneficiaries in low income areas or to individuals who may not be able to participate I n a rehabilitation program and are addicted to certain medications.
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