Welfare Drug Testing Now the Law in Tennessee

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Mandatory drug testing for welfare applicants is now officially the law in Tennessee. The law,Urine Sample passed in 2012, gives the state permission to screen applicants of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The new law would have applicants answer a series of questions, one of which would ask about drug use. If a person answers “yes”, the applicant would be required to take a drug test. The applicant will be restricted from receiving benefits if they fail a second test six months later.

Although Tennessee’s drug testing plan isn’t as restrictive as Florida’s, it may still be challenged since Florida’s drug testing plan was deemed unconstitutional.

“The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied,”Judge Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando wrote when ruling on Florida’s testing program.

Florida Gov. Scott responded strongly to Scriven’s decision striking down the law he championed.

“Any illegal drug use in a family is harmful and even abusive to a child,” he said in a statement. “We should have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use in families — especially those families who struggle to make ends meet and need welfare assistance to provide for their children.”

Now it appears as though the ACLU is preparing a challenge to Tennessee’s drug testing program.

According to the Times Free Press, the ACLU-Tennessee says the law “raises serious constitutional concerns” and had urged Gov. Bill Haslam to veto it two years ago, calling it vague, singling out a particular group for differential treatment and allowing “an intrusive search without probable cause.”

“This law singles out limited-income people and requires them to submit to humiliating and intrusive searches of their bodily fluids because they need temporary help making ends meet,” ACLU-Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg said in a statement.


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12 Comment

  1. As long as this law is applied evenly across racial lines I have no problem with it.

  2. Do we request Drug testing to the people who live in the countries who we "help" and give billions of dollars to but we have a problem in helping our own. How much is this costing

  3. I’m sorry but there isn’t anything wrong with this. Those who on welfare have no business sitting on there asses getting high. Instead of bitching about this we need to clean up our act, and be more responsible.

  4. Same here, I don't see the problem. If you test negative, no problem, you get aid. If you test positive the 1st time, then a 2nd, you're restricted from receiving aid. seems like an incentive to get clean and stay clean, and that's a positive move for the recipient and the recipient's kids.

  5. How much money did Rick Scott steal from Medicade? He should be tested.

  6. In Florida they spent hundred of thousands of taxpayer dollars on this nonsense only to find a handful of people positive. Its ridiculous in its premise even on the surface. Are they drug testing our senators and congress people. Their salaries are publicly funded. Knock it off. Just another attempt at harming those already economically margainilized.

  7. Well put. I want to have tested the possibility of having the 1% pay their fair share of taxes. By having them pay, some of the wealth will go to others who need welfare.

  8. They random drug test everyone in the military, if it is good enough for them, why not everyone else? They are receiving taxpayer money too after all. Or you could ban drug testing in the Military then on the same grounds.

  9. I don’t see a problem with it, after all, people that work are paying for welfare therefore I would not want to pay for those that are not using the money wisely to take care of their children instead it goes up their nose, in their arms etc., or they sell their food stamps to purchase drugs, keep it across the board and there will be no problems. It is really time we done something about drug use among people on welfare.

  10. No problem. If they can afford drugs they don’t need my help neither can they find all open jobs if they test dirty.

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