Trump may allow states to drug test food stamp recipients

Andrew Cummings
April 14, 2018

Donald Trump is considering a plan that would require some food-stamp recipients to be drug-tested in order to continue receiving benefits, the Associated Press is reporting. In 2014, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a bill that required drug testing of SNAP applicants under "reasonable suspicion of substance abuse".

Bush says a drug test requirement is an "easy sell" and perpetuates the myth of SNAP recipients being freeloaders.

According the AP, the proposal would apply mostly to recipients who are able-bodied without dependents and applying to some specialized jobs. The change would affect about 5 percent of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Trump administration is pushing for ways to allow states more flexibility in how they implement federal programs that serve the poor, unemployed or uninsured.


Conservative policymakers have pushed for years to tie food assistance programs to drug testing. "It's costly and cumbersome".

Federal law does now allow states to make their own laws imposing restrictions on SNAP eligibility, though a number of states have tried.

Judges have blocked similar efforts in other states.

He said if lawmakers were to write legislation that'd allow for individualized drug testing that could stick; however, they'd have to prove that wouldn't be unconstitutional. "We want to provide the nutrition people need, but we also want to help them transition from government programs, back to work, and into lives of independence". Emails obtained by the AP, however, "suggest that a plan could be forthcoming", the news outlet noted.


"I think if there's a red flag for certain people", one resident said.

For an officer to do this or to seize your property they need probable cause; in this case, a reason to force someone to take a drug test.

If the administration moves forward, it would not be the first time drug testing was used in a safety net program. "If they've been caught using drugs before".

"Most employers require drug tests, and you pay your taxes which funds these benefits, so why not make them take drug tests to receive benefits that people paying benefits have to go through?" another resident said.


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