Georgia Governor Signs Law to Drug Test Some Welfare Recipients

David Beasley, Reuters, April 29, 2014

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation on Tuesday requiring some applicants for food stamps and welfare benefits to undergo a drug test.

Under the bill, testing could be required if authorities have a “reasonable suspicion” of drug use. A person failing the test would temporarily lose benefits, although their children could receive assistance through another adult.


Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, called the legislation “shameful” and said it violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

She also argued that state employees are not adequately trained to detect signs of possible drug use.

“It’s a badly flawed bill,” she said. “It will be challenged.”


A federal judge late last year struck down a Florida bill requiring drug screening for welfare recipients, ruling it violated the constitutional prohibition of unreasonable searches.


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  • [Guest]

    Sadly, Seagraves is right.

    • She’s right about what? That state employees are not adequately trained to detect drug use? State employees are probably on drugs themselves.

      • jane johnson

        They should be tested, as well.

      • Urbane Neanderthal

        She’s right that mindless drone AA bureaucrats should not be charged with deciding who pees in a cup or any other matter involving “reasonable suspicion” it sets a terrible precedent.

        The proper solution is for government to get out of the forced charity business all together.

        • [Guest]


      • [Guest]

        She’s right in more ways than one, but in this way most particularly:

        >>>it violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches

        How many times and in how many ways are we going to sell our liberties in futile hopes of protecting ourselves from the lowest elements? Enough already.

        • JDInSanD

          Giving welfare to able bodied people with a home, car, cable tv, internet and cell phone is unreasonable taxation.

        • I’m missing your point. I don’t see how requiring welfare recipients to prove they aren’t on drugs is a violation of the Constitution. Now, you seem to be suggesting that there shouldn’t be any welfare, and I agree strongly with that idea, but there is no contradiction between thinking there should be no welfare and thinking that, if there is going to be welfare, it should be managed with a little common sense.

  • IstvanIN

    It is time to do away with welfare for anyone other than orphans with NO relatives whatsoever, cripples and the elderly.

    • Anon

      That would solve nothing and create a lot of suffering for good people. What it is time to do is admit that blacks are evil and have no place anywhere in the white world and non-whites do not belong in white nations to any appreciable degree. When most white people feel that way and back up such sentiments with armed force, then, and ONLY then, will we be anywhere near a solution.
      The question is not one of if this happens but when and why. Will white people choose this or will we be forced to come to heel in the wake of a collapse oh our current societies.

      • evilsandmich

        No get rid of it all that way I can guide my charity to the people that I want it to go to rather than Obozo

    • Whitetrashgang

      The problem is half the corporations in the US are on welfare. What it should be is workfare, how many trillions of dollars and people are needed to repair the US infrastructure ? Get this people to hitch up their pants and work.

      • JP Rushton

        This is something that liberals are actually very correct about.

        Corporate welfare is insane, the banks get bailouts and the military contractors are swimming in money.

        The amount of money from the budget that actually goes to welfare and food stamps is actually a really tiny amount of budget compared to everything else.

      • jayvbellis

        Please shut up or don’t post such nonsense here on Amren.

        We are addressing the destructive non White underclass that is destroying our civilization. It’s not the same problem as tax breaks for corporations.

        • SoulInvictus

          42 percent of Medicaid recipients are non-Hispanic whites.
          In some states, like Ohio, it’s 61%.

          48.7 percent of food stamp recipients are white.
          And again, in some states like Ohio, 65% of food stamp recipients are white.

          • Alexandra1973

            According to the 2010 census, Ohio’s population was 81% White, 12% black, 3% Hispanic, and almost 2% Asian.

            I live in Ohio.

    • Cripples already get Social Security disability payments, so in their case, welfare is a needless duplication.

  • We Georgians are so racist and mean.

    • refocus

      They go to the doctor three time a month as it is ! What is one more test on the blood already drawn?

    • SoulInvictus

      I’m ok with it, but only if they test everyone who receives government funds.
      Senators, White House staff, Supreme Court Justices, defense contractors, corporate welfare/subsidy reciepients, bailout recipients (banks, GM, etc).

      Not sense in holding a double standard for the poor who receive the least of the above list.
      Somehow I see a bill supporting the above not making it very far in Congress.

      • evilsandmich

        It seems set to fail. The private sector has to do randoms or totals they can’t (at least in the strictest sense) test only people that they suspect.

        • SoulInvictus

          By that logic and current precedent then, a “test everyone” approach would seem the most honest, logical, and in following with typical practices of testing.
          No way in hell will it ever happen. But a fun way to deflate people who are a little one sided in their perception of who ought to be persecuted for drug use.

      • I’m not opposed to drug testing politicians, but the difference is that politicians are earning their wages (at least in theory).

        • SoulInvictus

          If I could trade all of congress for a horde of stoned EBT card wielders, I’d take that bargain.
          Most people on food stamps are working too, sad as that is to say.

          The lawmakers and judges that are mentally impaired via drugs stand to do a lot more damage. And only makes sense that they have to live by their own rules. But, when has that ever been the case.
          Don’t see many lawyers and politicians doing time for coke possession. All I’m sayin.

          • There is a crucial difference between paying someone for a job and giving someone a handout. Drug testing a politician might be a good idea, but drug testing someone who is being granted unearned money is just the right thing to do. It isn’t a double standard.

          • SoulInvictus

            So long as you understand it’s just another way to put the boot on the throat of the poor.
            And that 42 percent of Medicaid recipients are non-Hispanic whites.
            In some states, like Ohio, it’s 61%.
            And that 48.7 percent of food stamp recipients are white.
            And again, in some states like Ohio, 65% of food stamp recipients are white.

            So… it’s one of those be careful what you wish for things.
            It’s fun for some to enjoy the delusion that it’s solely masses of bum blacks siphoning off hard earned dollars from whites, facts do not bear that out.
            I don’t necessarily disagree with the drug testing, but it’s more interesting to ask why the same amount of scrutiny and outrage isn’t focused on corporations receiving billions in subsidies and welfare (while also receiving indirect subsidies for their low wages via the safety net).

          • Alexandra1973

            I live in Ohio and sadly I get food stamps (husband left, have a disabled child). I wouldn’t mind working but there’s hardly anything here, and who would watch my child?

            Take comfort in this: I’m waiting for my husband to come to his senses and return (it does happen and I still love him believe it or not, he’s a good guy that made a bad decision), I’m not dating so you know I’m not punching out one kid after another, it’s just me and my son right now, I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs, never have (at least I’ve never been drunk and I haven’t had a drink since the 90s).

            Perhaps as I get to know people around here and make more friends in church, my situation will change.

            I have had jobs, from 1989 to 2004. I have to look at it as getting my money back or I really feel bad.

          • There ought to be online charity programs people in your situation could apply to for help, like a kind of non-government food stamps. Do you know of anything like that? Thanks for giving me an idea for a nonprofit. It would be tax deductible, so donors could feel good about re-channeling their money away from the government. You could have it set up so that donors could search through profiles of needy people/families and donate to those they like. Just brainstorming.

          • Alexandra1973

            That’s actually an idea. I like that.

            I believe, though, that if people weren’t taxed to death, more would give to charity. I’m all for helping the poor, I can certainly understand not wanting money taken by force to give it to people who don’t deserve it or misuse it.

            I do visit a food pantry once a month (it’s for residents of my town only) and I’m okay with that, since people voluntarily donated things, no one broke into their homes and took cans of stuff.

            The only “toys” I have are my aging computer and games and my cellphone, and my son has a used computer his dad (my husband) gave him. Furniture came from Goodwill or a Habitat for Humanity store, or I brought it with me when I moved to where I am now. No plasma TV, no satellite or cable (not that I want it). The only new furniture I’ve bought is a new bed for my son.

            Then my van is old, it’s a ’97, and I think my pastor’s going to see if a couple of the guys at church can take a look at it and see where that noise is coming from.

            Doing okay over here, not where I want to be…but I thank God I’m not homeless.

          • SoulInvictus

            If I’m ever up in Ohio, I’d be happy to help you out.

          • SoulInvictus

            Don’t feel badly in the least. If people answered honestly, statistics say a large number of Amren readers are on financial aid of some sort.
            Then add in government employees, contractors, etc as they’re a net drain on the taxpayers as well.

          • How is it putting the boot on the throat of the poor? If they can pass the drug test, they will get food stamps. It isn’t hard.

            More white people are on food stamps because there are a lot more white people in the country than black people. If you look at percentages, blacks are several times more likely to be on food stamps.

            I don’t support corporate welfare, either.

            $100+ a month adds up quick when you’re talking about many millions of people.

          • SoulInvictus

            Rather than get into the philosophy and hypocrisy of it, again, here would be a specific example.
            Say a MS or cancer patient is legally buying (state-wise) marijuana to help ameliorate their symptoms. If the Feds test them, they would lose their food assistance.
            Or a family has a parent that is an addict. There would be no way to allocate food assistance to children while cutting off the adult.

            When the government stops buying stuff like the 3,000 tanks the Pentagon outright said it didn’t want or need, only to ship them directly to a parking lot to rot, then I’d be all for focusing in on more complex issues like food stamp and welfare fraud.

            I completely agree that the system needs an overall, like the simple modification that an EBT card should only be able to purchase food staples. And then there’s the broader issue of transforming welfare into workfare for able-bodied poor. But conservatives, in perpetual anti-poor/anti-worker stances, almost never promote solutions to improve things but rather go for the easy vote getting soundbite like Welfare Queens and such.
            Which is what drives working class whites into the arms of Dems out of desperation, when they otherwise have little common cause with race baiters and minorities.

          • “Say a MS or cancer patient is legally buying (state-wise) marijuana to help ameliorate their symptoms. If the Feds test them, they would lose their food assistance.
            Or a family has a parent that is an addict. There would be no way to allocate food assistance to children while cutting off the adult.”

            With the first case, all you need to do is make an exemption for people who are legally using otherwise illegal drugs. This is not new. Some people legally use Xanax for anxiety and the like. You won’t fail a drug screen for showing up positive for Xanax if you have doctor’s orders to take it. As for the second case, giving money to a drug addicted parent who is likely to use the money to buy drugs isn’t going to help the child. In fact, it will make the situation even worse. The children need to be taken out of that home.

            “On a more personal liberty note, I don’t think businesses and damn sure not the government has any business discriminating against you for what you do in your free time. Whether that is partaking in the equivalent of smokable beer, or making racist comments (a la Sterling, and Josh Olin).”

            Why not? If I am giving you money out of the kindness of my heart, I have every right to insure that you aren’t going to spend it on crack. Do you think it’s better for the government to control businesses and prevent them from taking (what they consider to be) rational precautions?

            “Today they go after druggies you disprove of, tomorrow they’ve logged your IP, mailed you a fine for intolerant speech, and notified your employer of your new bigot status.”

            Ok, so that’s why we need less government, not more.

            “But conservatives, in perpetual anti-poor/anti-worker stances, almost never promote solutions to improve things but rather go for the easy vote getting soundbite like Welfare Queens and such.”

            Conservatives aren’t anti-poor, they’re anti-Big Government. The irony is that Conservatives are very pro-free markets, and free markets are the very *best* thing for the poor.

          • SoulInvictus

            “With the first case, all you need to do is make an exemption for people who are legally using otherwise illegal drugs.”

            Well, first you’d need to have a single precedent where the Feds have acted rationally in regards to drugs.

            “giving money to a drug addicted parent who is likely to use the money to buy drugs…that you aren’t going to spend it on crack. ”

            Can’t buy crack with an EBT card. Well, not easily or without bartering.

            “Do you think it’s better for the government to control businesses and prevent them from taking (what they consider to be) rational

            That same rationale is why you can no longer exclude blacks from a restaurant. Like I said, give them an inch…

            “Ok, so that’s why we need less government, not more.”

            Exactly. I know a lot of what I say will sound lefty, but once you go hard enough in a direction, it comes full circle.
            Once you grow the Feds to empower them on something you like (drugs for example), eventually, that power will be bent towards something you don’t. Or you.
            This is how you know how shortsighted lefties are. They want the Feds to step in and fix every social ill, but fail to connect that empowering the same corrupt system is what has accomplished all the crap they hate to begin with.
            Jump in and make the states adopt gay rights(or whatever), wait what, now my local government has no authority to do what I elect them to do!!!OMG….
            It’s really pathetic.

            “Conservatives aren’t anti-poor”
            What passes for popular conservatism today, is without doubt anti-poor.
            Easy example from recent headlines, they have no problem signing off on massive aid to the Ukraine (which is what concern of ours?), yet extending unemployment for working poor that are now discriminated against by employers for (wait for it) being long term unemployed, is being killed by House Republicans.
            They are anti-poor, anti-working class.
            It’s why they favor immigration and H-1B work visas, for cheap labor to benefit their big business donors.
            It’s why they have never had union support and make every attempt at state and national levels to gut collective bargaining.
            It’s why they (colluding with Dems) had no problem outsourcing the American manufacturing industry, gutting the middle class.

            They never miss an opportunity to demonize education, to blame every problem on welfare while ballooning the deficit, and last but certainly not least, engaging in foreign wars without paying for them, while cutting taxes on the uber-wealthy. Something no US government in our history has done to my knowledge.

            Then there’s bailing out the big banks and lenders with money stolen from the same tax payers that were screwed by them in the first place.

            The list really never ends, and no I don’t pin it all on the Republicans. But as always, we’re crushed between the greed of global corporations and the social destruction of leftist ideology.
            That’s why we’ll end up with open borders and a collapsing brown America. Because both sides agree on that.

          • “Well, first you’d need to have a single precedent where the Feds have acted rationally in regards to drugs.”

            Look, you’ll never catch me trying to argue that the government is rational and good. All I’m saying is that if you’re going to have a government program, it should be run according to common sense principles. If that can’t be accomplished, it should be cut.

            “Can’t buy crack with an EBT card. Well, not easily or without bartering.”

            Bartering is very common. Or they will use there EBT to buy enough food to live and then spend all their money on drugs. Either way, it’s wrong.

            “That same rationale is why you can no longer exclude blacks from a restaurant. Like I said, give them an inch…”

            That’s my point.

            I agree that many so-called Conservatives are not really Conservative.

    • JP Rushton

      The only accurate way to do this is by using blood or hair. Pee tests are way too easy to fake, especially when the workers think the law is waycist and don’t care about getting accurate results.

      The problem with this is that it requires a lot more money than just doing simple pee tests. Something I doubt they will do.

      • Pee tests are difficult to fake if simple precautions are taken, like observing the person as they pee.

        • SoulInvictus

          Isn’t it funny the little invasions that become acceptable in a police state.
          Could anyone picture George Washington allowing his daughter to be observed urinating by a government official or just to qualify for employment…

          Privacy and dignity are the first things to get sacrificed on the altar of totalitarianism.

          • I guess my view is that the real invasion is that money I worked for is being taken without my permission and given to people I don’t know.

    • A welfare recipient should lose the right to vote . . .

      • blight14

        In a sane world, that wouldn’t be a question. I’d extend that to a policy that only allows net taxpayers to vote.

  • Romulus

    This bill would go a long way to getting the gibsmedats off the public dime but probably wouldn’t work in pot friendly Denver.
    Even after the shooting last year by blacks during Denver’s potfest, the brain dead kids celebrated the first annual dumbing down. Cultural decay is rolling along and picking up speed.

    • SoulInvictus

      “the shooting last year by blacks during Denver’s potfest”

      That would definitely be ascribed to blacks, not the pot.
      I’ve never met a violent pot head in my entire life.

      As for cannabis itself, I think it could do for our economy what tobacco did for the early US. This country was largely built on tobacco money.
      I’d love to see small farmers becoming wealthy again, and the US actually exporting a product.

      Always funny when I see Republicans hostile to this, when in any other context they can’t shut up about privacy, liberty, big brother, free markets, entrepreneurship, etc.
      Insert one little sticky flower into the picture and they completely forget the lessons of prohibition.

      • Romulus

        I’ll not debate the merits of excessive use of psychotropic drugs this evening. I did that for more than an hour at the conference with a young ,wistful ,completely clueless cannabis consumer.

        For future reference, I am neither an Repugnicant or Demoncrat!

        • SoulInvictus

          All things in moderation.
          I think it’s far more enjoyable than alcohol, safer, and doesn’t turn people into violent drunks.
          There’s not much logical reasoning for legal tobacco & alcohol, but illegal cannabis.

          That said, like any drug (cigarettes and caffeine included), you get too absorbed in it and it isn’t healthy. Even if the actual health risks are minimal for pot.

          On a purely economics side, legalizing such an innocuous thing as pot could be an enormous boon for the economy. Why wouldn’t we do it… dumb not to. It’s already the biggest cash crop in most counties near where I live, and not a dime of it being collected for tax revenue.
          Bad economic times brought the end of prohibition, I suspect it’ll be the same for weed once states begin to see how much cash Colorado is raking in through taxes and increased tourism.

  • Alexandra1973

    I’m okay with “reasonable suspicion.” That complies with the Fourth Amendment. Now checkpoints, that’s different.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    OK, good start, now tubal ligations and vasectomies for repeat reproducers suckling at the public teat…

  • RisingReich

    If this program lasts a year, it will be challenged under this madness called ‘disparate impact’ b/c we all know how frequently Blacks consume darn near ANY drug they can get their dark hands on.

    • JDInSanD

      Don’t forget, “What about the children? They’re innocent victims.”

  • Ograf

    I don’t think the searches are unreasonable. You want me to pay you free money, take the test. If you don’t want to test, then go get a job.

  • 4321realist

    “Georgia Governor Signs Law to Drug Test Some Welfare Recipients,”

    I think a law should be passed making drug tests mandatory for all politicians and government employees.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    Ironic, isn’t it, that you need a drug test to work for money, but don’t need one for sitting on your dead butt waiting for free money…

    Nathan’s trying, but as with everything that applies to giving blacks what whites have to work for, it will be hysterically challenged as being racist and it will go away pronto.

    • JP Rushton

      I needed to take a pee test when getting a medical procedure done because of my very distant past of using drugs. I was pissed because I haven’t done drugs in a long time, but they needed to make sure I wouldn’t die from combining something with the anesthesia.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      I once told a student of mine who was complaining that he should get paid for the *work* he did at school that he got paid AT LEAST $15,000 a years to *go to school* and to *learn stuff*. I wisely failed to point out the other AT LEAST $15,000 a year in other benefits he was getting, for a grand total of at least $30,000, probably $40,000 considering the Medicaid…

      For being BLACK. For breathing, eating, defecating, and causing trouble. And b!ch!n about it. OK, he was a *youth*, sure, but…uh…

      Yeah, this was around the time I started becoming a race realist. Consciously and admittedly, that is.

      On the funny side – I don’t know what it is, I’m a big White man who can be as loud as a negro, it kind of throws them for a loop, especially when you give off a slightly crazy vibe – I remember this chubby little darkie who accosted me outside a convenience store a few years ago. Cute little guy.

      “Can I have a dolla?”

      I looked at him, smiled, “Tell ya what guy. I’ll give you a nickel for every push-up you can bust out.”

      Kid looked at me like I was crazy. Then one of his little buddies started whooping it up.

      “Ha ha ha! That man ain’t yo daddy! HA HA!”

      HA HA indeed! I love compassionate meanness.

  • MBlanc46

    I understand that folks who want to live off the public purse have a different status, but I still don’t like the idea of the state getting into people’s bloodstreams.

  • John Ambrose

    Like clock work some left-wing judge will declare this law unconstitutional in the next few days, maybe a couple weeks tops.

  • angrywhiteman

    sounds reasonable to me. it would stop alot of the fraud where foodstamps are traded for drugs while kids go hungry watching mom smoke crack and grow up with the same “imma abuse da system ” mentality!

  • TXCriollo

    If I need to take a drug test to make money whats wrong with people taking drug test to get welfare?

  • Puggg

    My job requires pretty frequent drug testing.

    And to some people, welfare is a career track.

    • One of the deputies in Clear Creek County was pretty much wasted all the time on weight loss pills. Those are basically amphetamines, so she was totally unpredictable, and we avoided her to the extent we could. Otherwise it was a good jail, though I was cold all the time, as the jail was basically an unheated basement below the courthouse. The sheriff’s wife cooked us all Christmas dinner, and we each got a cup of eggnog. When I took my first sip of that, I looked up, and everyone else at the table did at the same time. It was the real thing, with whisky in it.

      Lots of employers require drug testing, and the military does too. People on parole or some kinds of probation also have to take drug tests. I was allowed to drink while on federal probation – just not excessively. Mary Jane is legal in Colorado now, and I voted for it, but I won’t use it. My reluctance is that under federal law it is still an illegal narcotic, and I want my gun rights back someday.

  • This is an intrusion and illegal search .. plain and simple ..
    It would be better to get rid of welfare . .except for the most
    unfortunate . . .create jobs and success will be found as a welfare state
    is doomed to fail ..

    • Yes, but I was subjected to drug tests while I was on federal probation. I never used drugs; I made it all the way through college in California without once smoking marijuana, but they tested me anyway. After I injured my back, I took the prescription receipt into the federal probation office so they could photocopy it, before I used any of it.

      It didn’t do much for me, but later discovered that combined with a few stiff drinks, it worked. I suspect those federal jack-wagons told them to go light on the prescription, just so it would hurt.

      • Them prescription drugs always have a pleasant sort of euphoric effect..
        but, I was a lowly industrial construction worker and usually had at least
        2 drug test per year, the consequence for failing was being sidelined
        from work and a mandatory drug abuse class, whatever . . . . . a lot of schitt. I’ve filled many a beaker to be able to pay some income tax. I guess when you have to work for a living they have you right by the old flow modulator.

        • SoulInvictus

          When you can be legally robbed of property or deprived of employment for what you do (drugs, potentially even legal ones like tobacco) or say (racism) in private life,
          then much of the Constitution is rendered meaningless.

    • jayvbellis

      Stop,dreaming. We’re not getting rid of welfare.

      Be realistic!

  • jayvbellis

    Another reason to get out of the race denying Constitutionalist/Libertarian cult.

    The (mostly) Black underclass doesn’t think and act like high IQ Milton Friedman Austrian school free market wonks.

    High IQ white people don’t need draconian laws telling us we can’t get on welfare and abuse crack cocaine and heroin. The underclass does.

    High IQ white people don’t need draconian laws telling us our teens they can’t wear their pants below their arses, the underclass does.

    Only of the supposedly sacred rights in the Bill of Rights simply can not be given to the underclass or the invading hordes from the Third World.

    We need laws of Manu, Apartheid laws, Jim Crow laws, sterilization laws.

    We’re staring at dispossession, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

    I wonder if there were many, any race denying Libertarian Constitutionalists in Santo Domingo/Haiti when White were Dispossessed and slaughtered in the early19th century?

    It was something similar French Revolution propaganda about “Liberté, égalité, fraternité

    Liberty, equality, brotherhood with the most brutal Blacks in Haiti!

    Don’t think so then or now.

  • Earl Turner

    Want to get tough on welfare? Forget the silly feel-good pandering-to-the-voters drug testing.

    Someone commits a crime while on welfare? They lose their benefits. Minor child of someone on welfare commits a crime? Lose the benefits. We’ll make it a 3-strike thing. Strike one, lose benefits for three months. Strike two, one year. Strike three, banned from all public assistance for life.

    No more Section 8. All public housing will be in housing projects. No more slumlords profiting from our tax dollars. No more ruining decent working folk neighborhoods with Section 8. They can go live in the projects and they will be responsible for all cleaning and lawn maintenance.

    • Grantland

      Abolish all welfare. Shoot to kill rioters and looters. End of story.

  • Lee_CPA

    The only problem I have with this bill is the use of “reasonable suspicion” threshold. It should be 100% sampling for drugs and mandatory birth control. They’ve got BC shots that now last 3 months, maybe more. Time to put them to good use.

  • willbest

    The only way drug testing welfare recipients can violate the 4th amendment is if welfare is a constitutional right. In 2 US history classes, a con law class in undregrad, and 3 years of law school, I must have missed that provision of the constitution.