Welfare Recipients are Mostly White and Less Likely to Use Drugs Than Average Americans

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s ethically challenged plan to test welfare recipients isn’t working out so well for bigots and drug warriors:220px-Rick_Scott_official_portrait

Gov. Rick Scott (who, not coincidentally, has a financial interest in a drug testing facility; he just transferred legal ownership of it to his WIFE) decided to drug test welfare recipients. This cost taxpayers millions of dollars and lined his wallet, and they found that only 2% of all welfare recipients tested actually tested positive for drugs. Of that 2%, ALL of them had family members who were eligible for welfare, so NO welfare money was saved by attempting to deny it to people on drugs. (I’ll also note that I heard nothing about getting people who tested positive into a rehab, or any concern for innocent minor children who rely on welfare to, you know, not starve.) Now considering that data exists that has found that 5% of Americans use illegal drugs (that’s the LOWEST percentage I have found; other data puts it at 22 million people, or 9% of the population), that means that, according to the findings in Florida where only 2% of the tested population tested positive, people on welfare are LESS LIKELY to use illegal drugs. In fact, people on welfare are anywhere from 3% to 7% LESS LIKELY to be using illegal drugs than the general population as a whole. Also, let’s not pretend that there are not “false positives” when drug testing, because there are. Your legal doctor-prescribed medications can show up as opiates or other “illegal” drugs. You can eat a poppyseed bagel and have a false positive. If there is a possibility that a test could be wrong and deny a family some needed assistance so they can eat, there is something gravely wrong with the idea.

Also, according to the article most welfare recipients are white, so good luck with spinning this to the Republican base.

Keep reading.

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  • Haystack

    It was never about drugs. They were just looking for a way to further humiliate people for being poor.

    • mcpierce

      I wouldn’t even say that. It was most likely completely about getting the company in which he has financial interest a government contract in order to funnel money into his own wallet. The humiliation of the poor is just icing on the cake and a rallying cry for his conservative cronies.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Rick Scott, American politician most reminiscent of Voldemort.

    • Rhoid Rager

      I could sink his nose in….ehm….using Photoshop….

      • Anarchy Pony

        Go for it!

  • Null

    Well this is a no brainer. With the little money they give you on any form of welfare, you can’t even afford to eat normally after you’ve paid your rent and only the most essential bills you can afford let alone think of spending it on anything for fun, drugs or not.

  • BuzzCoastin

    since when are drugs cheap?
    since when aren’t politicians lying crooks?

  • The Well Dressed Man

    Most Americans are still White too.

  • Ted Heistman

    What a douche…

  • 1American2

    It was always about the GOV. making some fast cash with his investment, and now he may not continue to profit but what the heck he’s already made a killing……

  • Len

    Is Rick Scott from another planet? He looks like he is. He’s high on drugs, I mean high on the money that he makes from people using drugs.

  • THEUNSEENofNOTISH

    Welfare stereotypes seem like big business propaganda to destroy the new deal welfare state that was setup precisely to combat the situation we live in today, one of economic collapse and rampant unemployment. The figures arent even close to accurate I feel, since so many simply STOP looking for work after months of frustration at being unable to find a job that even affords them the ability to pay for their own food shelter and clothing. This is based on my experience with welfare recipients on a community, not system, level.People on welfare are generally too freaking poor to afford drugs, really and if they need it, would rather use cheap herbal home remedies since its so difficult to get socialized medicine in a country where we idealistically seem to hate and stigmatize the poor. Glad to see the stigma is getting blown, as more taxpayer dollars are wasted on drug tests instead of foodstamps, housing subsistence, unemployment and medicare…

  • Melissa Lyn

    what a load of crap. just because they don’t test positive doesn’t mean they are not doing drugs. just means they know how to get around a drug test.

  • gophomaxx

    The Republicans blame the poor for the economic conditions we all are suffering through. This is the justification for increaseing the stress on the poor and putting riders into every bill that supports those in need that make life difficult.

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