Monday, August 4, 2014

Mission Accomplished: New Law Keeps At Least 4 Potential Drug Users Off Public Benefits

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

A new law requiring drug screenings for applicants seeking public benefits has prevented at least 4 potential drug users from getting public assistance through the state's Tennessee Families First cash assistance program, The Tennessean reports. You can let out that sigh of relief.

The law passed in 2012, after Republican sponsors Sen. Stacey Campfield and then-Rep. Julia Hurley massaged the language enough to get it by the Constitution. The ACLU and others still argue it doesn't clear that bar.

The Tennessean reports that 812 people have applied for the public assistance program since the rules requiring a drug screening and, possibly, a drug test went into effect on July 1. Of those applicants, four refused to take the initial screening questionnaire, five passed drug tests after raising suspicion on the questionnaire, and one tested positive for drugs.

The daily has more, including the the screening questions asked of each applicant.

Note: Just to clarify, all we know about the four people who refused to take the screening is that they refused to take it. It could be because they feared they would fail a subsequent drug test. Or it could be that they opposed the screening on principle.

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