Drug tests for welfare recipients could get new life

Plans to drug test some food stamp recipients in Georgia have been on hold since 2014, but a proposed federal law would allow the state to move forward on this initiative.

News Story (Georgia)

Joshua H. Silavent
Gainesville Times (GA)
February 18, 2016

Tags: Public Benefits

Organizations mentioned/involved: Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP)


Critics say the cost of drug testing outweighs the savings generated by detecting users and kicking them off assistance.

“It is disturbing to hear that this punitive proposal has raised its ugly head again,” said Wendy Glasbrenner, managing attorney for the Gainesville regional office of the Georgia Legal Services Program, a nonprofit law firm that provides free services to eligible low-income residents.

Tennessee, for example, reports that less than 100 of the 39,121 people who receive welfare benefits have tested positive for illicit drug use since July 2014.