Drug Testing: Widely Publicized West Virginia Bill to Test People on Public Assistance Dies

A bill by West Virginia Republican state Del. Craig Blair that would have mandated random drug testing of people who receive food stamps or unemployment benefits received nationwide publicity, but no respect in Charleston, where the measure is stalled in committee and won't even get a hearing. A last chance effort by Blair to force the bill to a House floor vote Tuesday was defeated 70-30 on a straight party line vote.

The bill, HB 3007, picked up a handful of cosponsors, but also attracted heated opposition from welfare rights, civil liberties, and children's advocacy groups. Opponents argued that requiring drug testing to receive government benefits was most likely unconstitutional, more likely to impact poor families negatively than not, and just downright cruel.

Blair argued that the state was facing "a crisis" of drug abuse among state aid recipients, but never produced evidence to back up his claim. But he has still achieved something: Instant notoriety. Blair, who is not publicity-shy, created his own NotWithMyTaxDollars.com web site to push the bill, and has gotten national media attention. He claims his web site has 50,000 hits now.

But he has also suffered the slings and arrows of outraged fellow legislators. Del. Sally Susman (D-Raleigh) hand delivered a letter to Blair calling his bill the "most ridiculous" of the session. House Judiciary Chairwoman Carrie Webster (D-Kanawha) said of Blair that "he has an idea, but he has no plan," as she explained that many bills never make it to committee agendas.

Blair and his drug testing bill are gone for this year. But similar efforts remain alive in a handful of other states.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

We need a stupidity test for government .

I sure hope this clowns political career is over.

West Virginia... The 'Test-Me' State

Jeezus Christ... everyone knows the correct response would be to end welfare... not add another $300 for each illegal drug test to the welfare tab!

The easiest way to catch drug addicted welfare recipients is to have people show proof of employment when they go to church, the soup kitchen, and especially liquor stores were drug addicted welfare recipients tend to congregate.

This isn't the same bozo that came up with the 'Snitch Act' a while back is he. No, that idiot was named sensenbrenner or something... probably just an inbred cousin.

When we give billions to AIG

When we give billions to AIG and Citigroup, and their executives don't get drug tested, how can we drug test people getting 150 or 200 dollars at most a week or two weeks?

This is one screwed up country we've found ourselves in. History will not be kind to the last 30 years, we really dropped the ball as a civilization.

In A Civilized Society...

We don't let our people starve to death. Even if they're drug abusers/prostitutes/unwed mothers or any other unsympathetic group. How do people like Blair get elected in the first place? I hate to think that there's a segment of the population he actually "represents."

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

You ignorant liberals make me sick!!! First of all, this is in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM part the Reagan induced, `War on Drugs`.
We can rehash the major cluster-f**k that happened in 1937 associated with marijuana.We can blame Reagan and his alcoholic, prescription-abusing socialite hypocritical wife for the ridiculous laws introduced along with the WOD, but the fact is that Craig Blair`s proposed bill is quite innovative. Let me be clear: I am a supporter of the legalization of marijuana. I feel it should be taxed and regulated along the same guidelines as alcohol. Those beliefs don`t stop me from seeing the beauty of this proposition.
I say, test every single person receiving ANY form of state assistance. Why should the hard working tax payers of this country continue to support shiftless deadbeats who, instead of seeking gainful employment and contribute to society, stand around high and/or drunk with their damn hands out?

re: drug testing for welefare recipients

I personally have never had, nor ever will, have a problem with drug abuse. But I think it seems like the is here is not whether or not any certain group or category uses drugs, but why are they using drugs in the first place. From friends I have heard that it calms your nerves and makes you forget about your problems. The problem may be that that person is most likely striken with poverty and even if they chose to work two jobs would not be able to adequately care for their family. How about fixing that problem. How about we stop telling our kids that if you strive to make good grade and graduate with a Master's you'll be sucessful in life; when the truth is that not everyone suceeds and not everyone will get what they deserve in life. How about we stop lockin up our fathers that are trying to make a living thr only way they know how. How about job training,sensitivity to people's needs... the list goes on and on. But I don't think drugs testing is the solution, for one it is very costly and they will come up with ways to evade the system.

Drug testing for welfare recipients

I honistly think that it should be legal to drug test. i am on welfare and i still would like to see that happin. i am looking at it like this other people give us their hard earned tax dollars to take care of the children and yourself, why should it be ok for somonme to take food out of anyones mouth to have a drug habbit. people who do that MAKE ME SICK so anyone who would appose to this like it said in the letter above you are guilty. they are in no means catigorizing people on wlefare we just want to know the money is going to what it is suppose too.

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