Epic Fail

Tennessee Drug-Testing Program Finds 0.2 Percent Positive Results

Written by SK Ashby

While the effort to implement a similar program in Florida was ultimately unsuccessful and ruled unconstitutional, lawmakers in Tennessee enacted legislation in July of last year that requires drug-testing for welfare recipients.

Results for the first six months of the program are in and they may be a big letdown if you were expecting to find that welfare recipients are all drug users.

Out of more than 16,000 applicants from the beginning of July through the end of 2014, just 37 tested positive for illegal drug use. While that amounts to roughly 13 percent of the 279 applicants who the state decided to test based on their answers to a written questionnaire about drug use, the overall rate among applicants is just 0.2 percent.

Is uncovering a 0.2 percent rate of drug use a wise way to spend taxpayer money?

At least one of the legislation's primary proponents believes so.

"That's 37 people who should not be receiving taxpayer subsidies, because they are not behaving as they are supposed to," said state Rep. Glen Casada, a Republican from Franklin. "If the taxpayers are going to support you there are certain criteria you need to adhere to. This is a good use of taxpayer money."

They tell me that Democrats want to establish a Nanny State, but I'd say Republicans have beat us to the punch.

The ACLU reportedly plans to challenge the law in court.