North Texas Daily

Texas drug bill ought to mellow out, man

Texas drug bill ought to mellow out, man

March 27
22:12 2013

If you’re addicted to drugs, do you deserve money from the government? For the Texas Legislature, all signs point to “no.”

On Tuesday, lawmakers pushed forward with a bill that would require drug testing for certain applicants to the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, a monthly cash assistance provision utilized by more than 100,000 state residents every year. You might be more familiar with the program’s informal name: “welfare.”

The initiative, which is backed by Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst along with the state senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, would cut off all funds for 12 months if an applicant tested positive for illegal drugs.

The bill originally made the testing mandatory for every applicant, but after consideration the requirements were altered to only require the tests for individuals with prior drug convictions or other suspicious attributes that suggest drug use.

This is certainly a more reasonable approach than testing everybody, but it’s important to remember that drug use among welfare recipients is hardly a major issue.

National studies indicate that individuals receiving financial assistance use drugs only about three percent more often than the rest of the population.

In fact, alcohol abuse is a far more serious and widespread problem for needy families, and these proposed drug tests have absolutely no means to detect it.

A few proposals have been made to modify the bill, allowing applicants who fail drug tests to still receive benefits if they enroll in substance abuse treatment programs—an approach we would wholeheartedly support.

This country already punishes non-violent drug offenders enough by tossing them in prison alongside hardened criminals for smoking marijuana, so any initiative that emphasizes rehabilitation for drug users instead is certainly welcome.

As a side note, the average payout for families enrolled in TANF is about $174 per month—and as far as we know, that doesn’t buy a whole lot of drugs. At least not the really good ones.

About Author

Reporter

Reporter

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","https://chimpstatic.com/mcjs-connected/js/users/de9596854f37498d65b58fa8f/42480106fd1ae582112be0c96.js");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@Reed_Smith25: About 30 minutes to first pitch between North Texas softball and Oklahoma State.Mean Green have to win this one to stay alive, then win a possible seventh game to advance to Super Regionals.Follow this thread for updates and analysis.@ntdaily https://t.co/gwOTVfpYbc
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@Reed_Smith25: About 10 minutes from the SCHEDULED first pitch between North Texas softball and Fordham.Obviously that won’t happen, but the game should be pretty soon after the conclusion of Oklahoma State and Nebraska.Follow this thread for updates and analysis.@ntdaily https://t.co/pTVgd00NBs
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: The price of drinking alcohol as a college student📝 @vokethegem 🖼 @GishhyOrangehttps://t.co/oMQVLjZau2
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@Reed_Smith25: 30 minutes out from North Texas softball vs Nebraska in the Stillwater Regional.This is the first time the Mean Green has ever played in an NCAA regional game.Follow this thread for updates and analysis!@ntdaily https://t.co/GPLqZMYgZN
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Unionization’s flicker of hope in Staten Island📝 @migchalee 🖼 @GishhyOrangehttps://t.co/M7ldFuXozO
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Latest Issue of North Texas Daily

Flytedesk Ad

Instagram