Slight majority favor drug testing NH welfare recipients - 846 citizens, 2190 responses

Sep 17, 2015

Rep. Don Leeman (R-Rochester) requested a bill for the 2016 session that would require drug testing for recipients of public assistance. In light of the proposed bill, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) put the question to Facebook members, asking, “Should NH pay to drug test welfare recipients?”

A total of 72% of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, an slight 56% majority said they would support drug testing welfare recipients with 44% against. Of the remaining respondents, 24% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 4% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 846 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 2190 responses. 

Those in favor of drug testing saw it as a reasonable requirement for public assistance recipients. “If I have to take a test to get a job why shouldn't someone getting welfare have to do the same to get a handout?” one commenter wrote. “If tax payers pay for welfare, welfare recipients should be drug free,” a respondent said. “I'm sure in the long run, drug testing for welfare recipients would more than pay for itself,” another argued.

Opponents of drug testing countered that the policy was inefficient and invasive. “It costs more to test than is saved by booting the minor number of offenders off the welfare rolls,” one respondent wrote. “It should be considered invasion of privacy on both sides,” a citizen argued. “Don’t waste tax dollars to violate the 4th Amendment,” another commenter said. 

Many of those addressing their comments to broader issues argued that welfare recipients should themselves be required to pay for the tests. “I think if you want assistance, than you find a way to pay for the drug test to apply for the benefits,” a commenter wrote. Others debated drug testing in general, or discussed alternatives to drug testing. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Do you support drug testing welfare recipients? Why or why not? Leave a comment and have your say. 

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