Last week, Georgia’s legislature passed a law that would mandate drug testing the state’s 2 million food stamp recipients. The idea behind the law is that drug abusers should be denied access to food stamps, forcing many to chose between their habit and survival.
In a statement earlier this year, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Greg Morris, said,
Yesterday, Slate‘s Jamelle Bouie penned an opinion piece on the new law. He explains that the drug testing deprives the addicted poor of their last connection to recovery.
Bouie recommends mandatory drug counseling and treatment as a possible government-provided solution. But the question remains: is it the government’s job to mandate treatment for drug users?
Government assistance through food stamps assumes provisions for struggling, hard-working individuals who are not making enough money to provide for themselves and their families, or totally unemployed.
In this scenario, recipients are working to become self sustaining.
But in Bouie’s imagined future, the government should also be responsible for programs funding drug rehab, removing users from substances that are illegal in the first place. If the government is aware that a food stamp recipient is a meth user, is it not their obligation to prosecute the user?
Should states mandate drug testing or provide aid for addicts? Let us know in the comments.