All the US citizens who are about to get welfare benefits from the government need to pass a drug test from this year. At least 30 state legislatures have considered bills that would require people to pass a drug test alone this year to become eligible to receive welfare benefits. Some other states like New Mexico, Maine and Kentucky have proposed extending this law for collecting unemployment, medicaid and food stamps.
At the federal level, the Drug Free Families Act, has been introduced which would require all the 50 states to drug test all applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance for needy Families program. This proposed legislation seems to have inspired that states to take matters in to their own hands.
In Florida, people who pass are reimbursed, and applicants who fail the test are denied benefits for a year unless they enroll in a treatment program and do not test positive for the next six months. If they fail the test for the second time they will become ineligible for all the welfare benefits for the next three years.
Similarly in Indiana, drugs tests have been made mandatory for the unemployed people who are participating in the state sponsored job training. The candidates who test positive will become ineligible for job training for the next 90 days. Failing the test for the next time increases his ineligibility to one year.
The proposal of conducting drug tests for the applicants of welfare programs was made basing on the study which showed that people on welfare are higher users of drugs when compared to people not on welfare. Hence, these tests are found to be one of the helpful ways to reduce the drug abuse among weaker sections.