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Monday, June 9, 2014

Drug Testing Food Stamp Recipients Ruled Illegal

In March the State of Georgia passed a law that would have required drug testing when state workers had a “reasonable suspicion” a person was using drugs, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However, federal officials announced that Georgia cannot implement the law requiring drug testing for some food stamp applicants and recipients.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said its policy “prohibits states from mandating drug testing of (food stamp) applicants and recipients.”

Georgia is not alone; in fact legislators in many states have been trying to implement measures that would deny welfare to people who use illegal drugs. In some states they would like to require written tests that would help state organizations spot people who abuse drugs and other states are seeking to deny benefits to those with recent drug convictions.

A federal judge in Florida ruled that the state’s drug-test requirement was unconstitutional. Welfare applicants in Florida were required to submit to drug tests. Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando ruled that such requirement violated the protection against unreasonable searches.

So far, Georgia is the only state that has attempted to extend drug testing requirements to people seeking food stamps, according to the report.
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