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Cory Doctorow at 7:42 am Thu, Dec 8, 2011
LOL. I was hoping some sharp-witted legislator would do something like this. It will, of course, be killed faster than hope.
As a Georgia resident, I approve of this.
It’s weird. I feel like I am being possessed by some republican witchcraft….
….because I completely agree with the idea that those who receive financial assistance should be drug free.
The way I view assistance is just that. Assistance for those who need it when they need it. The whole “hand up not a hand out” cliche. For families and people that need benefits, they should be trying to better their lives with the assistance they are provided. Drugs aren’t exactly placed in that scenario.
However, I can see a happier medium than a complete financial shutoff for a drug violation. If one has a positive drug test, then immediately require them to enter a drug treatment facility, and give a limit as to how long they can still receive financial assistance before they have to take a second drug test. They fail, they lose benefits.
For families and people that need benefits, they should be trying to better their lives with the assistance they are provided. Drugs aren’t exactly placed in that scenario.
What about TV? Is it “exactly placed”? If not, should we be checking for and denying assistance to anyone with a TV? After all, they might just use that assistance to buy some snacks to munch on while watching TV all day.
I don’t think you’re under the influence of witchcraft because you’re taking an approach that’s both common-sense and compassionate, specifically saying that a drug violation should not be reason for a complete shutoff of aid. Unless I misunderstand you you’re suggesting that, possibly, someone on financial assistance who has a drug violation may have problems that need to be dealt with, rather than simply cutting them off and hoping they’ll destroy themselves.
What you’re missing here is that financial aid is already costly, and implementing such a common-sense, compassionate program would cost even more. That would require raising, rather than cutting, taxes. It’s easier and cheaper to implement a quick, hard-line policy that aims to cut off as much financial aid as possible.
Aaaand…you fell for it.
The point of legislation like this isn’t to curb an epidemic of drug users on welfare. It’s to perpetuate the idea that welfare recipients are just lazy drug addicts. It’s simply a new way for conservatives to exercise their favorite pasttime: Kicking people when they’re down.
That is a very interesting idea. I tend to think of these bills as short-sighted and their proponents as believers in a false ‘everything is black or white’ world-view.
The idea that it’s not out there to be an actual law, but to buoy a belief… intriguing. I don’t buy it yet, though. Are there other examples of this you can think of off hand?
Also, love the term “gander sauce.”
Just look at Florida. They recently enacted the same law, and because so few drug tests were positive, it’s costing the state immensely more in testing than it’s saving by denying drug addicts welfare benefits. And yet, there’s no real movement to roll the law back because drugs are bad something something.
“so few drug tests were positive”
I’m actually surprised by that, given the false positive rates for many drug tests.
That’s a mindset I can’t respect, feeling so free to dictate the lives of people receiving their rightful benefits from the government. Why don’t we drug test people before they receive assistance when their house is on fire, then? Or when they receive tax dollars to help them build a stadium? No, it seems, paternalism is only for those living paycheck to paycheck.
And if you’re an impoverished and hungry child in one of those families then SCREW YOU, you should have thought of that before you picked a mommy with a drug habit.
“For families and people that need benefits, they should be trying to better their lives with the assistance they are provided. Drugs aren’t exactly placed in that scenario.”
What about eating fatty foods? Sleeping in late? Smoking Cigarettes? Drinking alcohol? Those bad habits are destroying our moral fabric, you want help you should have to pass a strict work ethic test, up by dawn, clean living! Eat your veggies!!
…or maybe we just keep out of peoples blood streams.
Or hey! If they prefer weed to alcohol, they can start using any of the many synthetic cannabinoids used by many folks on probation, or who work for paternalist employers. Cocaine or speed users? There are crappy chemicals available for them too..
“Spice” blends and plant foods are easily attainable despite the recent ukases banning them. Why allow people to relax with a bong hit or blunt after a grueling 16-hour day working 2 jobs when they can be smoking untested, unreliable chemicals usually created in China* to a vendor’s specifications or lack thereof.
Safety first, right? (I know, I know. It’s control first. Puritanism and condescension come in a very close 2nd and 3rd.)
* No anti-Chinese manufacturing sentiment informed my statement. Most research chemicals from cannabinoids to psychedelics are, in fact, created by labs in China.
From what I’ve read from RC users, it’s not the lack of quality control in Chinese factories that result in the occasional release of chemicals that are dangerous. It’s more a matter of the significant geographical distance between vendors and producers that makes communication and QA difficult. (Not to mention the language barrier.)
While I would love to elaborate on the cause and effect of the War on Drugs and the popularity of RCs, I’ll save it, ending with this observation:
Animals like to alter their moods. From the shroom-eating sheep of the Hebrides to the birds getting shit-faced off fermented berries, the song remains the same. And it always will.
The liquor(coke, weed, meth,etc.)-lovin’ politicians who grandstand to ensure the continuation of their perks and tax-subsidized health care are vile little opportunists who, whether they intend it or not, use their privileged position over those less powerful in order to invest themselves with more power. Oh yeah, the song remains the same.
Yeah, that’s not a compassionate point of view. I like my safety nets without massive fucking holes in them. Just because someone falls in a manner you find unacceptable doesn’t mean they need to be get splattered all over the pavement.
“In October 2006, reporters from Le Iene covertly tested deputies of Italy’s lower house of parliament for drugs, by claiming to be performing TV interviews about the budget, when in fact the “make-up artist” preparing the deputies for the camera was actually swabbing their faces for samples to be tested for drugs.
Of the 50 samples from deputies, almost one third tested positive for drug use in the previous 36 hours; 12 for cnbis and 4 for ccine (edited to pass work filters)
When deputies discovered the ruse, they lobbied, on privacy grounds, for broadcast of the pertinent episode of the show to be blocked, which it was.”
As we say down here in the South (and most other places as well, I’ve noticed), Good luck with that.
Q: Why does the state of Georgia have anything to say about who can apply for *federal* assistance?
A: Because f*** you, I’m a Republican and drugs are bad.
Know your rights….
You have the right to food money
Providing of course
You don’t mind a little
If the government wants to be so strict with its assistance, should we also test for coke use the traders of the investment banks we bail out?
No. The concern is in inverse proportion to the amount of money involved. $10 of food stamps? Critical. $1T useless weapons system? Irrelevant.
Also has to do with the skin color of the (presumed) recipients.
I presume this will include testing for alcohol and tobacco use as well?
Do we give them a pass on caffeine?
Shoot, we should be testing them for endorphins. Why should we give a penny of public money to people who are still capable of experiencing pleasure?
We should NOT give them a pass on caffeine. Legislators are much less likely to pass idiotic laws while asleep.
this is Georgia, after all, home of the CocaCola mothership.
The LACK of caffeine and sugar-syrup in the bloodstream is probably ground for DISqualification.
Test them both. But really, just decriminalize the private action of making yourself feel good.
SWIPE! I’m stealing that.
I fully support the idea that those seeking financial aid should be drug free, or seeking counseling for their addiction at the barest of minima. While alcohol and tobacco are not purchasable with SNAP / food stamps / EBT, the programs -do- enable participants to spend what little cash they have on their “vices” instead of encouraging any more beneficial activity. It’s frustrating to see somebody purchase groceries with a program, then pull out their cash for a case of beer and carton of cigarettes.
I do not base this opinion on “drugs are bad mmmkay.” If you can keep your sh*t together, take care of business, not harm others (arguments of where drug money actually goes aside), and still have a habit or addiction, then assuming you’re an adult, do what you do. If that habit or addiction is why you need to dip into the public coffers though, put that hand back in your pocket empty.
I’d also like to see participation in any grocery purchasing welfare plan be predicated on participation in a (let’s say weekly) volunteer run miniature home-economics seminar teaching basic budgeting and healthy cooking and eating habits. The excuse that the impoverished are often more obese because of their diet shouldn’t be an excuse at all.
Well, Jaron, you’re entitled to your opinion. In my opinion, your opinion is fucking ass backwards and punishes the most vulnerable in society for the sake of your sense of superiority.