Not a single welfare recipient or applicant has tested positive for banned drugs in a Michigan pilot program, part of the growing practice of screening beneficiaries of government assistance for drug abuse.
The program, which ends on 30 September, may face renewed scrutiny in the wake of Wisconsin congresswoman Gwen Moore’s proposed legislation to force taxpayers with more than $150,000 of itemized deductions to submit to the IRS a clear drug test. Under the legislation, applicants who refuse the test would be required to take the significantly lower standard deduction when filing their taxes.
Moore’s office said drug-testing welfare recipients and applicants is “blatantly unacceptable” and pushes a stereotype that impoverished individuals are more susceptible to substance abuse than other, wealthier individuals who are beneficiaries of government programs.
“Congresswoman Moore finds it shameful that states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida continue to push these discriminatory policies under the guise of fiscal responsibility,” Moore’s communications director, Eric Harris, told the Guardian.