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North Carolina Governor Vetoes Welfare Drug Test Bill

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north carolina marijuana welfare drug testingBy Phillip Smith

North Carolina Gov. Robert McCrory (R) Thursday vetoed a welfare drug testing bill pushed through the legislature by his Republican colleagues. Drug testing welfare applicants or recipients was a “government overreach,” he said.

The bill, House Bill 392, would have required people applying for the state’s welfare and food stamp programs to undergo drug testing if social service workers determined there was reasonable suspicion they were using drugs. It would also have required county workers to ensure that applicants did not have outstanding felony warrants and were not violating probation.

“While I support the efforts to ensure that fugitive felons are not on public assistance roles, and to share information with law enforcement, other parts of the bill are unfair, fiscally irresponsible, and have potential operational problems,” McCrory said in a veto statement. “Drug testing Work First applicants as directed in this bill could lead to inconsistent application across the state’s 100 counties. That’s a recipe for government overreach and unnecessary government intrusion,” he said.

“This is not a smart way to combat drug abuse,” McCrory continued. “Similar efforts in other states have proved to be expensive for taxpayers and did little to actually help fight drug addiction. It makes no sense to repeat those mistakes in North Carolina.”

While vetoing the bill, McCrory did issue an executive order that would implement the bill’s fugitive felon provision.

The veto won praise from civil liberties and civil rights advocates.

“Our state and federal constitutions protect the privacy and dignity of all North Carolinians against unreasonable searches, and all available evidence has shown that welfare applicants are no more likely to use drugs than the general public,” Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the ACLU in North Carolina said in a statement.

The ACLU and other groups had written McCrory on July 31 urging him to veto the bill.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.org - Creative Commons Licensing - Donate

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Johnny Green

Johnny Green is no longer with The Weed Blog because he was caught redhanded stealing money from TWB and using black hat strategies to inflate pageviews to try and lure unsuspecting investors. We hope Johnny has learned from his mistakes and wish his family well.

8 Comments

  1. Yes, yes, I know, poor people don’t deserve any “amenities” in life. It’s all their fault that they are poor, so they must suffer and not get any soda or be allowed to shop at convenience stores. And these people you describe, it sounds like you are talking about people of color, which seems very discriminatory to me. And I don’t think you know anyone with gold teeth, $4000 rims, and a $3000 stereo. It also seems like you have an odd obsession in calculating what other people spend, and how they spend it. It’s creepy.

  2. Yes, yes, I know, poor people don’t deserve any “amenities” in life. It’s all their fault that they are poor, so they must suffer and not get any soda or be allowed to shop at convenience stores. And these people you describe, it sounds like you are talking about people of color, which seems very discriminatory to me. And I don’t think you know anyone with gold teeth, $4000 rims, and a $3000 stereo. It also seems like you have an odd obsession in calculating what other people spend, and how they spend it. It’s creepy.

  3. Yeah, my drug of choice is bacon and my 3 year old’s is blueberry waffles. Im receiving food stamps for the first time in my life, but I use to buy them from crackheads…either way, SOMEONE was eating because food has to be purchased with them no matter whose name is on the card. So thanks for my fix, asshole.

  4. don’t believe it was a good deal to veto this bill. if done it correctly. welfare employees are no different then regular citizens. to have these people pass judgement is crazy. if it was a random draw from state level I can see this having good outcome. people on welfare shouldn’t be afforded these amenties in life. people tax money shouldn’t buy ones drugs. but my thoughts are just that thoughts. state would save so much if they issued checks to pay for rent and things of that nature. set up programs to were families on food stamps should have a charge account at the local grocery store. not be able to run in the local convience store and buy soda. but our whole system is set up to be defrauded and stolen from. someone with gold teeth and 4000 dollar rims and a 3000 stereo shouldn’t be allowed to draw state assistance. my thoughts only

  5. This is a surprise. It does make a lot of sense because only a small amount of welfare recipients actually do illegal drugs.

    Why some think that everyone on welfare is living large and partying it up I’ll never know. The assistance that they do get usually leaves them short of food every month when they don’t do drugs. Drugs are expensive and not something that people on welfare can afford. Yes the system can be abused but testing everyone for drugs isn’t going to catch many of the real fraudsters.

  6. @joe_voll:disqus
    I hear your frustration but surely you do not think that more government prohibition and intrusions are the right direction for us do you? This is extremely expensive and violates more peoples rights than just drug users. Most poor people are not drug users. Besides this effort will really only affect cannabis users. So the crack and meth and alcohol abusers will still be getting welfare. There is a need to stop the abuse of welfare systems but this method is not going to do a thing to prevent “your tax dollars” from being misused. Its bad enough being poor but being a victim of government profiling because of a few bad apples is just unnecessary.

  7. Isnt this great. Now all the welfare recipients get to enjoy their drug of choice with my tax dollars!

  8. Wow. Finally a Republican admitting to government over reach. 9-10 times republicans seem to defer to the government to resolve social issues and stepping on freedoms regarding choice of any kind. This is not to say Dem’s do not also, but I feel they do less often. Huzzah to His Honor the Governor!

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