The Michigan Senate will likely consider two bills in the coming days that would punish children of needy parents who rely on the Family Independence Program (FIP) for assistance. If parents either test positive for illegal marijuana use or refuse to take a screening or drug test, they would be diverted to costly treatment and could lose benefits entirely.
The purpose of FIP is to help maintain and strengthen family life for children by helping the parents with whom they are living. Despite this apparent focus on the welfare of children, kids suffer the most when a parent or guardian tests positive for the use of marijuana – a substance which is objectively safer than alcohol. Where alcohol use is expensive and can directly lead to violence in the home, marijuana is safer and a less expensive alternative.