This Video Pretty Much Summarizes Why Drug Testing For Welfare Is a Joke

February 16th 2015

ATTN: Staff

ATTN: has released a new video about the efficacy of drug testing people on welfare and the results may surprise you.


Despite conventional wisdom that portrays needy individuals as drug dependent, 2011 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) found that only 3.6 percent of welfare recipients suffer from drug abuse or addiction. Similarly, out of 16,107 people who applied for public benefits in Tennessee in 2014, just 37 have tested positive for illegal drug use. 

Nevertheless, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker still wants to drug test public assistance recipients in his state, which we analyzed here

As Harold Pollack, a professor and co-director of the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago, wrote for the Washington Post:  

Much of the conversation about drug testing of welfare recipients reflects nasty stereotypes with flimsy empirical validity. It strains credulity to believe that we’d demand hair or urine samples from a more influential set seeking public help. It’s tough to be a single mom living on a few hundred dollars a month, Medicaid and food stamps. These women deserve better than they are getting.

You can learn more about drug testing here