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Court Strikes Down Mandatory Drug Testing For Florida Welfare


Gavel marijuana miami prosecutorArbitrary, mandatory drug testing is wrong, no matter when such a policy is applied. That includes mandatory drug testing for welfare applicants. Eleven states have passed some form of drug testing for welfare applicants. Florida was unique in that it didn’t have a suspicion based policy for drug testing applicants. Florida required all applicants, no matter what, to have to submit to drug testing. That policy was shot down yesterday by a federal appeals court. Per the New York Times:

A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down a 2011 Florida law requiring drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits even if they are not suspected of drug use, a measure pushed by Gov. Rick Scott in his first term in office.

The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that the law, one of the strictest in the country, was an unreasonable search because Florida officials had failed to show a “substantial need” to test all people who applied for welfare benefits. Applicants were required to submit to urine tests, a measure that Mr. Scott said would protect children of welfare applicants by ensuring that their parents were not buying and using drugs.

“The state has not demonstrated a more prevalent, unique or different drug problem among TANF applicants than in the general population,” the panel said in its unanimous decision, using an acronym for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

It will be interesting to see if this case gets challenged all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, and if so, how the Court rules. Will the Court rule that mandatory testing is OK? Will they say that suspicion based testing is OK, but not requiring each and every applicant to test? Or will they throw the entire concept out of the window? Only time will tell.


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Johnny Green


  1. Florida, where our GOP governor Scott was re-elected after he took the 5th 47+ times while on trial for medicare fraud.
    Maybe food stamp recipients good take the 5th instead of a drug test saying if it good enough for Gov Scott, it’s good for the rest of the population.

  2. The welfare system was cranked up in part to help families destroyed by Prohibition laws. The destruction was intentional:

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    The best thing we can do to reduce the welfare state is to end Prohibition.

    Pass on the Ehrlichman quote.

  3. Humans!
    I become more convinced every day that Earth is merely a prototype test facility for the universe…

  4. Jayzon Earthough on

    What the hell are you talking about dude? You might want to read my post again ALTHOUGH I doubt it will help any if you didn’t understand it the first, second or third time through, I was extremely clear in my comment. And where the hell did you get that I was a Christian, nosey or otherwise? As for being judgmental … well never mind, I obviously would be wasting my time.
    ***shakes my head sadly at the inability of some people to comprehend what they read*** round hole – square peg – there just isn’t a hammer big enough

  5. Stop judging people, you have no idea what other people’s lives are like. Mine your own biz. That’s what’s wrong with florida. Nosey fucking judgmental, better than thou, want to be Christians. Read the book again, you weren’t listening, God help you

  6. Vermont still drug tests people who are prescribed RX painkillers and this is Un-Consitutiional! Treating all pain patients like criminals must be stopped in Vermont!

    Exciting News from Cris Ericson,
    ‎Vermont Marijuana Party
    If you are a Vermonter, please join the
    Vermont Marijuana Party on Facebook at
    We are looking for about 10 Vermonters in
    about 30 Vermont Towns in at least 7 out of
    14 Vermont Counties to start a new Minor
    Political Party during 2015 so we can qualify
    to run candidates in 2016. The Statewide
    candidates for Governor, etc. must all be
    Vermonters with an 802 Vermont telephone
    area code. The candidates for President and
    Vice President of the United States of America
    which we will qualify to put on the Vermont
    Official Election Ballot in November 2016
    can be U.S. Citizens born in the U.S.A. from
    any State. http://tinyurl.com/vmp2016

  7. Jayzon Earthough on

    You would think that if the state would invest as much time and effort into reducing fraud in the welfare system they would not have a need to invest in across the board mandatory drug testing. Its like saying that if you put a Band-Aid on this scratch (drug use) it will prevent you from bleeding to death from that amputated arm (fraud). I live in a very low income area and am amazed at the number of expensive cars, big screen tv boxes on the curb on trash day and the bling, lord help those poor people. The next block over is public housing and they have better phones, cars and furniture than I can afford. At the same time, there are kids my son knows that don’t eat every day. That is fraud right there and someone smoking a joint has no effect on that type of fraud in any way. Most of the other drugs are out of your system in 72 hours and testing wont mean crap for those substances so it comes full circle back to cannabis users – typical.

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