Costly Drug-Testing Program for Welfare Recipients Sets New Record by Catching Literally Zero Drug Users

Jun 22 2016

Costly Drug-Testing Program for Welfare Recipients Sets New Record by Catching Literally Zero Drug Users

                                                                                                                                                June 22nd, 2016

In their ceaseless quest to shame and demonize poor people who receive government assistance, Republican lawmakers continue to launch drug-testing programs for welfare (TANF) and food stamp applicants. That they’ve all been monumental failures by every possible measure of public policy—they’re costly, they’re unconstitutional, they fail to catch a substantial number of drug users—has not deterred GOP lawmakers from working to make applying for help just that much more difficult and demeaning.

Multiple states have seen fit to blow a bunch of money in this manner: Tennessee found 65 people who used drugs after screening 40,000 applicants for cash aid. Missouri might end up spending $1.35 million on a program that found 48 people who tested positive for drugs, according to Think Progress. Utah found a whole 29. Kansas, 11.

But Michigan may just have hit a special milestone in failure by running a pilot drug-testing program that hasn’t found a single person on drugs. Green-lit by Gov. Rick Snyder—a recipient of large sums of government money whose poor life choices led to his constituents being poisoned by their water—the program screened 303 welfare recipients and applicants for drugs and failed to turn up a single positive drug test, reports The Guardian. 

Any bets on whether a zero success rate will dissuade the state from instituting the law?