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USDA Blocks Georgia From Implementing Food Stamp Drug Testing Law


drug test testing welfareBy Phillip Smith

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has told the state of Georgia that its new law requiring some food stamp recipients to undergo drug testing violates federal policy. The state cannot implement the law, federal officials said Tuesday.

The Georgia law, passed in March and signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal (R), would require food stamp recipients to undergo drug testing if state workers have “a reasonable suspicion” that they are using drugs. The “reasonable suspicion” language, common in a new generation of proposed bills aimed at drug testing public benefits recipients, is designed to get around federal prohibitions against random, suspicionless drug testing, which the federal courts interpret as violating the unwarranted search provisions of the Fourth Amendment.

But while Georgia was able to get around the Fourth Amendment concerns, the new law still runs afoul of USDA policy. That policy “prohibits states from mandating drug testing of (food stamp) applicants and recipients,” wrote Robin Bailey, regional administrator of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, in a letter to Georgia officials.

While a number of states have passed “reasonable suspicion” (or the equivalent) public benefits drug testing laws, Georgia is the only one to have passed a law that includes food stamp recipients. If state legislators elsewhere are paying attention, it should also be the last to do so.

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Johnny Green


  1. Fritz remember shit happens and it could happen to you or someone you love. I have never gone a week with out employment. Untill I turned 45. Ps I’ve been working since 16. But at 45 it took a whole to find work. Did not get ebt or anything just unemployment. Anyhow shit happens and it could happen to you. On the other hand career assistance people get a job if your physically able.

  2. Read the 2nd Amendment. It talks about maintaining a ready militia in the event that the government gets uppity… Of course, it was written back when the *only* weapons of war were muskets and cannons, back when we were being taxed without a vote or representation in the government we broke away from. Remember why we stopped being colonists and started being Americans? Little thing we called the Revolutionary War? Remember the cannons and muskets???

    Now, we have 50 caliber sniper rifles that can take down aircraft from two miles. We have F-22 fighter jets that can deliver a payload sufficient to level Rhode Island without refueling. Chemical weapons. Biological weapons. Tanks. Aircraft carriers. Nuclear subs.

    Do you really believe you, personally, are entitled to ALL that? Because those are the things you would need in order to maintain a “ready militia” that could serve as a counterweight to the military power of the United States government. That’s why I laughed at those silly people who suggested “2nd Amendment” solutions during/after the 2012 election — they would have been obliterated, had they escalated their talk into action. No question. So really, how long are you going to stick to this crackpot notion that the 2nd Amendment is this magic thing that allows you to own any gun that you, personally, deem worthy of ownership?

    Guns are a reality of our nation. That’s just a fact. They’re not going away (we’re not as ethically or rationally minded as Australia). So at the very least, we should start treating guns with the same considerations we give to CARS. You need a license to drive (and you only get one after demonstrating the ability to operate a car, safely). You must register your car with the state. You need insurance in case you hurt someone. Most people take a driver safety class in high school. And nobody questions the necessity of ANY of these things, because cars are dangerous in the wrong hands! It is simple, common sense to regulate dangerous things, like cars and guns.

    So for you to say the Georgia bill allowing guns into bars that serve alcohol is perfectly Ok — that’s the equivalent of you supporting drunk driving. Common sense. Get some.

  3. It is a testament to your strong character that you were able to pick yourself up after a tragedy like this and still go on. God bless you.

  4. Life Happens on

    Bad idea Fritz, Life happens, you might find yourself needing one of the government services you mentions. I was in a fatal car wreck that was not my fault, Was in a coma , lost my great job, woke to find my family dead and my home foreclosed on by the bank. With no living family or relatives ” I was adopted” found myself up the creek without a paddle. If not for section 8 housing and food stamps and would have ended up homeless. I am employed again with a decent job. You must have a safety net to feel this way

  5. Georgiacrackerupsidethehead on

    Because alcohol makes people act badly, guns , alcohol, shootings. Weed has never killed anyone, so you called this post hypocritical is hitting below the belt. Guns have no place in a place thats serves alcohol. The constitution has been changed so far from what our forefathers meant for it to stand for. I not for taking anyones rights away, but guns in bars beyond moronic, you could not be that ignorant, or maybe you could be . Trying to reach a idiot is a futile action, I am a fool for even trying

  6. Simple solution=eliminate all EBT cards, SNAP cards, and Section 8 housing. Problem solved.

  7. What is “reasonable suspicion”? My guess is that in Georgia it’s if you happen to be black or speak with a Spanish accent.

  8. Why shouldn’t guns be allowed every where? The second amendment guarantees that law. You want your freedoms for weed, yet you would take away others rights? Isn’t that a little hypocritical?

  9. GeorgiaCrackerupside the head on

    Good for the USDA Nathan has done some good things but this is on his epic fail list along with passing a liberal
    gun possession law that allows guns in bars and churches.

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