The North Carolina state legislature is debating a bill, Senate Bill 594, that would require new applicants to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to pay out of pocket to undergo a mandatory drug test.
Why? Because according to one state senator, people might be smoking doobies and then using food stamps to pay for their munchies. The dirty hippies!
Tempers flared after Bill Rowe with the N.C. Justice Center told lawmakers similar legislation in Florida and Michigan has been struck down by courts as unconstitutional.
“Our Fourth Amendment doesn’t allow suspicion-less testing of people,” Rowe said. “There’s no decision that says this is OK.”
Rowe also cited studies that show drug use is no more common among TANF recipients than in the general public.
Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, argued with Rowe.
“You’re OK with (drug users) getting federal dollars if they’ve had a doobie and get the munchies and need more food stamps?” Tucker asked. “Sit down.”
And those whose salaries are paid using taxpayer dollars, such as Tommy Tucker, may be doing the same thing or worse. We just don’t know. Should we drug test them?
If Florida Governor Rick Scott couldn’t get away with drug testing welfare recipients, I doubt the bumbling legislators of North Carolina who recently shared their desires to declare an official state religion have the law on their side.