Speak Outs
Speak Out
When does drug testing violate the Fourth Amendment?

Oct. 26, 2011

By John Vettese, Student Voices staff writer

When the economy is bad and unemployment is up, more people apply for financial assistance from the state or federal government.

This role the government plays is enshrined right in the preamble of the Constitution: “promote the general welfare,” which refers to the well-being of the people. Congress has the power to do this, for example, by passing laws that require clean air or that provide for safe highways and bridges. Governments provide a safety net for citizens in their time of need with welfare programs such as food stamps. Critics of welfare programs say they promote laziness, do not encourage citizens to find work and, in extreme situations, support bad habits.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott hoped to prevent the latter. Over the summer, he approved legislation requiring adults who apply for state welfare assistance to pass a drug screening. When Scott signed the law, he called it the right thing for those in need, as well as taxpayers. “It’s unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,” he said. “We don’t want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive not to use drugs.”

The program requires applicants to pay for their own drug test. If they pass, the state reimburses them. Since testing started on July 1, more than 21,000 people have been approved for welfare through the program, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. Only 32 have tested positive for drugs, and the state has spent $57,920 reimbursing 4,100 applicants so far.

But opponents, including the ACLU, quickly rallied against the law, saying not only is it an insult to those applying for aid, but it also violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. Rep. Corrine Brown said the tests “amount to strip-searching our state’s most vulnerable residents merely because they rely on the government for financial support during these difficult economic times.” Opponents also question whether drug tests for welfare applicants will lead to testing for individuals receiving Medicaid, emergency relief funds, or school loans.

In October, a federal judge in Orlando temporarily blocked the state of Florida from conducting drug tests on welfare applicants. U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven wrote in her ruling that drug tests are “well established” as a means of search under the Fourth Amendment and that the state had not demonstrated a substantial need to justify “suspicionless” drug testing.

Spokeswoman Jackie Schultz said Gov. Scott was considering an appeal of the ruling. Drug tests, she said, are a “common-sense way” to ensure the welfare funds are used for their intended purpose.

What do you think?

When does drug testing violate the Fourth Amendment? Does the government have the right to ensure welfare applicants are not spending that money on drugs? Do the drug tests violate the applicants’ privacy? Do these drug tests constitute unreasonable search and seizure? Join the discussion!
Join the Discussion
 
 
 
limited to 2000 characters including spaces  



Thank you for commenting.
Your comment is awaiting approval.
Click here to view all Speak Outs
Comments
9/25/2018
Sidney Montana
Lunden
Mr Faulhaber
Yes I believe people who get welfare should have to be drug tested. They should be drug tested because the government pays for them to be on welfare wich is the people’s tax money. So if we have to pay the taxes so they can have such programs as welfare then we should be able to have them take a drug test to be able to get welfare.

9/24/2018
Sidney/Montana
Cortney
Mr Faulhaber
Drug testing welfare recipients is something that I believe that the United States should start implementing. Even though the article states that doing so goes against their 4th amendment constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. Many of the tax payers that are funding this program have had to be drug tested for their jobs. The people that are receiving welfare have to sign up in order to receive the benefits. They are not being forced to receive welfare. If a person chooses to receive welfare and they know drug testing is a requirement, they are essentially giving consent to drug testing. If they don't want to be drug tested then they shouldn't apply for the benefits. Even though not everyone on welfare is going to test positive, I feel like it is necessary for the taxpaying citizens of the United States to know that their tax dollars are being used responsibly.

9/19/2018
Sidney, MT
Tianna
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
The government should drug test citizens if they want to receive welfare. Welfare is a privilege not a right. It has a legitimate reason to solve a government problem, and it does not violate the Fourth Amendment. Businesses are allowed to drug test their employees, and that's perfectly okay because it's not the government. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from the government, but at the same time it's not the government's money. Welfare comes from tax, and taxpayers should have a voice in where and how their money is used. It shouldn't be made through the majority, though. The citizens should have elected officials that would make the policies in favor of them and it should be made that way. Florida already started to enforce this, and for the most part it worked. It pleased the taxpayers that their money wasn't feeding drug addictions, and when looking at the ratio of applicants and those who tested positive, there wasn't that many that could not receive welfare. It serves a legitimate purpose to solve a legitimate government problem.

9/19/2018
Sidney/Montana
Cortney
Mr Faulhaber
Drug testing welfare recipients is something that I believe that the United States should start implementing. Even though the article states that doing so goes against their 4th amendment constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. Many of the tax payers that are funding this program have had to be drug tested for their jobs. The people that are receiving welfare have to sign up in order to receive the benefits. They are not being forced to receive welfare. If a person chooses to receive welfare and they know drug testing is a requirement, they are essentially giving consent to drug testing. If they don't want to be drug tested then they shouldn't apply for the benefits. Even though not everyone on welfare is going to test positive, I feel like it is necessary for the taxpaying citizens of the United States to know that their tax dollars are being used responsibly.

9/19/2018
Sidney/Montana
Cortney
Mr Faulhaber
Drug testing welfare recipients is something that I believe that the United States should start implementing. Even though the article states that doing so goes against their 4th amendment constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. Many of the tax payers that are funding this program have had to be drug tested for their jobs. The people that are receiving welfare have to sign up in order to receive the benefits. They are not being forced to receive welfare. If a person chooses to receive welfare and they know drug testing is a requirement, they are essentially giving consent to drug testing. If they don't want to be drug tested then they shouldn't apply for the benefits. Even though not everyone on welfare is going to test positive, I feel like it is necessary for the taxpaying citizens of the United States to know that their tax dollars are being used responsibly.

9/19/2018
Sidney, Montana
Shanyn
Mr. Faulhaber, Sidney High School
I do not believe welfare recipients should be drug tested. It would be impractical and a waste of government money. In theory, it seems like a very apparent idea. However, when examining the details, there are several factors that sway the argument. Obviously, taxpayer and/or government money should not be given to those who abuse substances or those that will misuse the money. But, drug testing applicants is difficult. Drug tests are expensive and, depending on the frequency, they might not accomplish the goal of preventing inessential spending. If the main idea is to prevent misuse of money given to people by the government, would everyone receiving any type of benefits or loans also be drug tested or their spending monitored? Furthermore, if parents applying for benefits were ineligible due to drug use, their children would be denied benefits and ultimately punished for their parents’ decisions. Drug testing welfare applicants would also violate the 4th Amendment due to lack of suspicion. They would be subjected to an unreasonable search, which is unconstitutional.

9/18/2018
Sidney, MT
Caleb
Faulhaber/SHS
Drug testing all welfare applicants is a clear infringement on an individual's Fourth Amendment rights. While the Congress is given the ability to "provide for... the general Welfare" as stated in Article I, Section 8 of The United States Constitution, drug testing all welfare applicants, in an effort to provide for the general welfare, goes directly against the right of the people against unreasonable searches, as stated in Ammendment IV of The United States Constitution. If a welfare applicant has a history of drug abuse, the drug test is then based upon probable cause, and a warrant could then be issued to administer the test. One much more economical method of preventing drug abuse by welfare recipients is to give the recipients food stamps or job training instead of actual money. This would promote the general welfare by ensuring that the population does not starve and also prepares an individual to work in a greater capacity than was previously possible. While it is important that the government is not subsidizing the drug industry though welfare recipients, the statistics show that an overwhelming majority of recipients are not under the influence of drugs (32 out of 4,100 applicants tested positive), while the drug testing is coming at a cost to the state governments administering the testing.

9/18/2018
Sidney/Montana
Shaylyne Fisher
Brad Faulhber/Sidney High School
Welfare recipients should be drug tested when applying to insure that government funding is going to a good cause and not possibly encouraging people to not work at all or only work part time and supporting someone’s drug use. The Fourth Amendment does not get violated when drug testing welfare recipients, because the Fourth Amendment is all about a person or a person’s property being searched without a warrant or without reasonable doubt. The government should be able to drug test people on welfare, because why should tax payer money be going to someone who is using it for all the wrong reasons. In addition, if people aren’t drug tested and are using it for the wrong reasons, then it could possibly be taking away an opportunity for someone else that needs it and can’t get it due to inefficient amount of funding. Being drug tested doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy or work places would not have the power to drug test their employees. If a person that is working for their money and is also paying taxes to help fund welfare can be drug tested to keep their jobs, then there is absolutely no reason as to why welfare recipients shouldn’t have to as well. Drug testing isn’t an example of unreasonable search and seizure or else everyone else that is drug tested for various reasons, excluding those required due to probation or related areas, would not be able to conduct the testing either. In conclusion, the Fourth Amendment is in no way violated by drug testing welfare recipients.

9/18/2018
Sidney/Montana
Shaylyne Fisher
Brad Faulhber/Sidney High School
Welfare recipients should be drug tested when applying to insure that government funding is going to a good cause and not possibly encouraging people to not work at all or only work part time and supporting someone’s drug use. The Fourth Amendment does not get violated when drug testing welfare recipients, because the Fourth Amendment is all about a person or a person’s property being searched without a warrant or without reasonable doubt. The government should be able to drug test people on welfare, because why should tax payer money be going to someone who is using it for all the wrong reasons. In addition, if people aren’t drug tested and are using it for the wrong reasons, then it could possibly be taking away an opportunity for someone else that needs it and can’t get it due to inefficient amount of funding. Being drug tested doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy or work places would not have the power to drug test their employees. If a person that is working for their money and is also paying taxes to help fund welfare can be drug tested to keep their jobs, then there is absolutely no reason as to why welfare recipients shouldn’t have to as well. Drug testing isn’t an example of unreasonable search and seizure or else everyone else that is drug tested for various reasons, excluding those required due to probation or related areas, would not be able to conduct the testing either. In conclusion, the Fourth Amendment is in no way violated by drug testing welfare recipients.

9/18/2018
Sidney / Montana
Ainhoa
Brad Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
The Fourth Amendment, protects U.S citizens from illegal search and seizure. However, if you work for the government, drug testing doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment based on the governments needs. The government should have the right to test people who apply for welfare. The people that paid taxes that are being used to fund the welfare system were required to pass a drug test. Therefore, the people wishing to receive welfare (tax money) should also be required to pass a drug test. The drug tests don't constitute unreasonable search and seizure due to the fact that welfare applicants have a choice. They have a choice to submit to a drug test as a condition of receiving benefits, or not. Benefits are not a right.

9/18/2018
Sidney / Montana
Ainhoa
Brad Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
The Fourth Amendment, protects U.S citizens from illegal search and seizure. However, if you work for the government, drug testing doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment based on the governments needs. The government should have the right to test people who apply for welfare. The people that paid taxes that are being used to fund the welfare system were required to pass a drug test. Therefore, the people wishing to receive welfare (tax money) should also be required to pass a drug test. The drug tests don't constitute unreasonable search and seizure due to the fact that welfare applicants have a choice. They have a choice to submit to a drug test as a condition of receiving benefits, or not. Benefits are not a right.

9/18/2018
Sidney/ Montana
Michelle Stagl
Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
Drug testing violates the Fourth Amendment if there is no reason or a poor reason for it to be done, the person being drug tested has not consented, or the results of the testing are made public. The amendment states that people are secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, but if there is a reason for it to be done then it isn’t a violation contrary to many people’s views. In many businesses, drug testing is used to ensure that the employee is working up to standards and to prevent accidents that may be caused by drug use. Welfare recipients could be tested if the results were used to find a welfare plan that does not contribute to the individual’s drug use. Consent must be present for drug testing to be constitutional, but there may be consequences if the person does not consent. In businesses, the applicant probably won’t be hired if they don’t consent to the test. If the results are made public, then it is a violation, because it is encroaching upon the privacy of the citizen.

9/18/2018
Sidney / Montana
Yarenci
Brad Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
Drug testing welfare recipients Testing welfare recipients is unconstitutional and it goes strictly against the fourth amendment. The fourth Amendment clearly states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” In other words, unless the government has probable cause to test a welfare recipient for drugs it is strictly unconstitutional. Once they test you without probable cause they are violating your person and your privacy. Drug testing should not be the only factor in determining the fact if you need welfare help or not. Many will argue that they might use the money they receive for drugs but this is simple a mal informed person. Welfare doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is receiving cash a recipient could be receiving money in a card form and used only for food purposes. In similarity, they could be receiving Medicare help in which you don’t come even in contact with money.

4/25/2018
ohio
bob
grove city high school
We have rights just like everyone else why should our rights be taken away just because we are forced

5/18/2017
Magnolia Texas
KCmathew
Magnolia West High School
I believe that if you are applying to government aid, you should have to submit to drug testing just as if you are applying for a job, the employer has the right to implement drug testing.

10/21/2016
Washington
Devin
Port Angeles High School
It doesn't violate the 4th Amendment because, "the reasonableness of search is judged by by "balancing the intrusion on the individuals Fourth Amendment intrests..." the governmental concern over safety of minors under their supervision overrides the minimal, if any, intrusion in student-athletes' privacy" (Rhenquist Court)

9/25/2016
Sarasota, FL
Ryan
Booker High
Drug testing violates the 4th Amendment anytime there is not reasonable suspicion. That's what it says. It does not say anytime a group of people is under reasonable suspicion. When the statistics show that 32 tested positive out of 4100, that's the opposite of reasonable suspicion...that proves there is no reasonable suspicion that even the group has been doing drugs. But these rights apply to individuals, not certain groups. Therefore , you have to do a case by case basis for everyone before authorizing a search by means of drug testing. So even testing for employment is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment. I can't believe so many employers are even drug testing...don't they know they are violating the rules of the founders?

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Tracey
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe the drug testing for welfare does not violate the fourth amendment. Reason why I believe this is because it could help anyone who is using drugs quit. I believe the only person who would get mad at this is the one who is using the drugs. And the people who are not using drugs should not worry about this. But want to comes to the government ensuring that applicants aren't spending money on drugs is an invasion of their privacy.

12/8/2015
Torrington, Wyoming
Unknown
Torrington High School
I think that when a student is in a sport, they can be drug tested, because they are saying that "Hey, i'm clean, i'm not harming my body with any type of substance." I think that would be an acceptable excuse to drug test students, is when they are in a sport.

6/1/2015
Tacoma, WA
Mark
SOTA
Sam, try actually reading the fourth amendment. It states person explicitly, right BEFORE it mentions houses. Unless there is reasonable suspicion for specific people, it's a direct violation of the 4th amendment as interpreted by every Supreme Court. If someone has a drug conviction on their record, it would be reasonable perhaps, but privacy is a right. Aside from the protections offered by our Constitution, it's a waste of taxpayer money - where it's been tried, it's invariably cost far more than the money it's saved by denying benefits to those who fail the tests.

5/20/2015
Dillion, MT
Sam
Beaverhead High School
The fourth amendment states that searching ones house without probably cause is unacceptable, not searching their person. Also, to a degree there is probably cause, as it has been proven that several adolescents use drugs. The majority of the people who are against drug tests are either drug users or idiots with first world problems and refuse to conform simply because they are childish and spoiled. If you are overly concerned about drug testing, try comparing your problem to that of the starving and abused children in the world. They have no home or parents to go to, no school to complain about. Instead of spending your time whinging about your insignificant problems, you should just be thankful you have a home and family to call your own with food in your bellies. Or you could actually try to help.

3/3/2015
Neenah/Wisconsin
Ben
Barnish/Shattuck Middle School
I believe that drug testing violates the 4th amendment becuase its seatch and seizure.

9/21/2014
Montgomery Texas
Shelley
Bradley/Montgomery High School
I believe it violates rights, and allows other rights to be violated as well. First, I'd like to say, we all may know Billy Bob who sells his food stamps for drugs. Here is a thought: report Billy Bob to authorities. I believe unless a person is working a Government job, they shouldn't be drug tested. Saying they "could" harm someone while at work due to drug use is speculation, not fact, and it violates everyone's rights. Also, many "tax payers" find themselves in hardships and if they need assistance, they paid into the Food Stamps. I don't know where people get the idea that people can lay around and draw welfare checks. Any type of help like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is temporary. The person is required to job search and provide proof. There is a cut off date too. Disability checks are paid based on that persons work history, and payments into the program. If the person has never worked, but is disabled, you can bet their parents, ect have paid. I know of one check called SSI that is given monthly for people who don't own anything over $2,000. So, if you're in need but your pick up values at $2,100, you don't get help. That is sad. Paying taxes is a sad violation of rights. The pilgrims came here to escape everything that America is doing. Yet, nobody seems to care as long as they can keep Freedom of Speech and Freedom to Own Guns.

9/12/2014
Mississippi
Alexis
Bowman/SHS
I have no understanding how it violates the 4th Amendment... I am on welfare and I would be happy to comply to a mandatory drug test as long as it mad the actual people on drugs stop taking advantage of the system. There is an actual probable cause: using drugs is illegal and people who do use drugs and are on welfare are only being handicapped from any responsibility or initiative and have no drive to get any further in life because let's face it they are living well and getting paid enough to be able to feed their addiction. How is it right for a person who works for a living get subjected to random drug testing but a welfare recipient can claim it is a violation to their 4th amendment rights? What's so difficult about getting tested for drugs? Unless someone is actually on drugs I do not see the point of getting angry about getting tested. There are families on welfare that starve because parents spend the money on drugs, children without food or clean clothes because of selfish parents. Should these people not be taken off of welfare? How would the government know to take these people off unless they tested everyone that applies for welfare? yes there are some people that are trying to quit the use of drugs and I believe they should be allowed on welfare for a limited time as long as they show signs that they are reaching out for help and are on the road to recovery but if they don't stop they should be taken off. The people who are on drugs that would get taken off of welfare would save U.S. tax dollars that can be used in more efficient ways. Welfare recipients should be tested for drugs and only waived of the consequences if they are taking it for medical purposes and it can be proven by a doctor.

7/27/2014
Kentucky
Alex
TCHS
I don't think drug testing violates the 4th amendment. If I have to pass one to work for the money people on welfare receive, they should have to pass one to receive money someone else made for them. And the only people who are just totally against it are probably people on drugs, and welfare. :)

4/10/2014
Ashland ky
Tyler
Jones
It violates 4th amendment especially if no probable cause. It's an unreasonable search. Urin is not in public veiw either is blood. Some argue hair is. I say give a dr a magnifying glass and ask him to point where the drugs on my head are. What he can't see them. Than guess what it's not in public veiw when you have to put it under microscope to see. The public doesn't walk around looking at your hair with a microscope. The government and any one doing so is violating our amendment and needs not to be in a government office set up to be constitutional

3/14/2014
Florda
Devin
PHS
Drug testing is not an invasion of privacy, it is just the same as getting a regular test from your doctor. Do you want some drug junkie on your sports team, or some one who is not on them? You may say it is in direction violation of the 4th amendment, but you do not complain about the government recording your phone calls and texts, now do you? The 4th amendment states that it is against unreasonable SEARCHES of the person, their possessions, or their house. Drug testing complies with the 4th amendment, even if you don't like it. You may say it is taking away something that the kids can do, but if they decide to go on the path of drinking underage, taking illegal drugs, and smoking marijuana...they brought it upon themselves.

11/12/2013
west memphis ar
Austin
west memphis jr.high
Athletes should not be drug tested because it violates the 4th amendment and when people have to pee in a cup and give it to a person it makes that person feel uncomfortable.

8/4/2013
Laramie, WY
Ravyn
Sheridan High School
I believe that there needs to be a very big line between personal and professional life. If you use drugs and do not allow them to interfere with your work, then I think employers need to keep their noses out of your business. What you do at home during your free time is YOUR BUSINESS. What you choose to do with your weekends, your vacations etc...that is YOUR BUSINESS. As long as you aren't coming to work drunk, high, or hungover, what the hell difference does it make?? I enjoy smoking marijuana. It relaxes me (I have high anxiety) and because I've suffered chronic migraines my whole life and stuff like excedrine doesn't work for me anymore, marijuana is a godsend. But, because of where I work, I am subject to random testing. I live in Wyoming. So I couldn't even drive the short distance to Colorado for a weekend and smoke legally without having to worry about losing my job up here. I am a good employee. I have always been a responsible user. I would always limit my use for days when I knew I wasn't going to work the next day or the next couple days. At the very least, THC testing needs to be banned. It's an unfair test. One, because of how long it stays in your system. Two, because it's a PLANT that actually has more health benefits than cons. And three, because it's not dangerous unless you make it dangerous (i.e driving and smoking, driving right after smoking etc.). What a person does with their personal lives should never be the business of their employers if they are doing their jobs and they aren't letting what they do get in the way of the quality of their work. That's where I draw the line.

5/30/2013
Eagan MN
Veronica
eriqwvoeurowierv
Drug testing does nothing but hurt trust

5/30/2013
Hayward, CA
Gustavo
Tennyson High School
I believe there should be no drug testing at all.

5/28/2013
Wisconsin
Brandon
Denzer
NO DRUG TESTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5/13/2013
Ledyard, CT
John
Ledyard High School
I don't think it is a violation of our 4th amendment. Because they do have a reason for these drug tests. I mean everything has a reason behind it and this has been around for awhile and is everywhere and many people can see the positives and not many negatives. So no, I do not think this violates our 4th amendment rights. Especially now with the new Common Core Standards, it would be another reason for drug testing to get those who do drugs help so they can stay up with their classes.

5/8/2013
Medford, Oregon
Cameo
Crater Academy of Health & Public Services
I honestly would welcome daily drug testing in my high school. Other students who are currently high ruin the academic environment to the point where students, like myself, are ahead but forced to go through materials at a slower pace so "no one is left behind."

4/22/2013
new jersey
DAVID MATTIA
thomas grover middle school
DRUG TESTING IS GOOD!

12/12/2012
Dansville ny
kianna
dansville high
I believe that drug testing is ok to an extent.. Drug testing middle schoolers? Making it mandatory?? When is enough enough? Forcing kids to give up a sample of their urine on a daily bases, I think that's a bit pathetic. I'm a student, I'm a senior and I do not use any form of drug or "booze" and even I find drug testing for schools as a violation considering it is an invasion of privacy..

12/10/2012
CA
Yovana
MHS
I do not think that drug testing violates the fourth amendment. The government does have the right to ensure that welfare applicants are not spending the money on drugs. It does not violate privacy.

11/14/2012
TX/Montgomery
Kendall C.
Metzger/Montgomery High School
I believe that drug testing does not violate the Fourth Amendment in this situation. If the welfare applicants are receiving money from the government, then the government has every right to ensure that the applicants money isn't spent on drugs. Some Applicants privacy may feel violated, but taxpayers should be able to know that their money is used for people who truly cannot work for themselves.

9/24/2012
bellingham/ massachusetts
dustin c.
ms.casey/ PJP
drug testing is a violation no matter what, because of the fact that the government doesn't have the right to test people.

9/7/2012
Sidney, Montana
Jim
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I believe if you are not able to pass a drug test or feel insulted by having to take a test then you dont deserve the rights to have free government aid. This aid was something given to the American people in need, not the people to take advantage and become lazy do to bad habits. If a person feels insulted by taking a drug test to get government aid they are going to have a rude awakening when they have to do a drug testing to get almost any kind of job.

6/13/2012
houston tx
deb
alvincc
Only a few tested positive, how many choose not to test at all? If a person has no physical or mental documentation of a disability and wants welfare wouldn't it be "reasonable" to subject them to drug testing to rule out why they can not get gainful employment. "probable cause" There is always some kind of work available. Knew a person who quit a perfectly good job as a septic system installer, cause they "treated him like a laborer".

5/11/2012
Porterville, CA
Andres
Mr.Smith/Monache
The government has the right to ensure that people who get welfare are not spending that money on drugs by asking them for a drug test. They are trying to ensure that we are giving aid to people who need it to support themselves and their family when they don’t have a job but trying to look for one and not just some guy who want to use it for drugs. I don’t think it violates the applicants’ privacy. They should know that there are precautions they have to take to ensure the money is being used properly.

5/10/2012
Porterville CA
Anthony
Smith/Monache
I believe that testing welfare applicants should be drug tested because most applicants do sale their stamps to get drugs. I do not agree with not feeding the kids but in the end the kids are not eating because all money is being spent on drugs. No i do not think they are unconstitutional to search and seizure because if you are using drugs there is every right to search you with a appropriate warrant.

2/15/2012
Indiana
Chase
Baltzell/Huntington North
I think that drug testing violates the 4th amendment to a certain extent because if a person has no criminal/drug abuse backround then they have no probable cause to test you. I also agree with drug testing though if a person has drug abuse backround and since drug testing has been accepted in the job market then what difference would it make here?

1/16/2012
Independence MO
Frankie G
ITT Tech
I do not believe that drug testing violates the 4th amendment. First of all you have to take a drug test at most jobs that you apply for so why not take a test if money is being given to you? secondly if the government believes that is is a violation then simply by adding a clause that says 'by applying for these benefits you are agreeing to a drug test'

1/13/2012
Benson/AZ
Cassandra
Mr. Sorenson
I don't think that drug testing violates the fourth amendment. The objective of the fourth amendment of the fourth amendment is to make sure the government is promoting the general welfare, and by testing for drugs they are ensuring that everyone is safe. I agree with Schultz that welfare funds should be used for what they are intended for and not for drugs. People do have a right to their privacy, and if they think that drug testing is violating it, they should apply for some other loan. People who have nothing to hide have nothing to complain about.

1/5/2012
Montgomery, TX
Tyler G.
Metzger/Montgomery High School
In my opinion, drug testing does violate the 4th Amendment to a certain extent. The 4th Amendment states that no person shall be searched without a probable cause and a search warrant. With that being said, drug testing for a welfare application technically violates this protection. But what is the difference between being drug tested for a job application and a welfare application? Nothing. Drug testing for a job application has become very common and is accepted by society. These people that are applying for welfare, which is funded by tax payers, and are receiving checks that are intended to aid them in living. Though in some cases, these checks are being used to buy drugs, which is why a drug test should be necessary to apply for welfare.

1/4/2012
Montgomery Texas
Brady H
Metzger/Montgomery High School
I believe that drug testing does violate the 4th amendment. It doesn't matter what the situation is. If someone does not have probable cause or some sort of search warrant then they have no right to be in your business. If you want to do drugs fine, that's your business. If you want to spend your welfare check on drugs, again that's your business. As taxpayers why does it matter if the people on welfare do drugs? In the end we will still have to pay taxes.

12/30/2011
Montgomery
Keegan
Metzger/Montgomery
i believe that drug testing does violate the 4th amendment, but with good cause. You have to take a drug test to get a job, so why would it be different to have money basically given to you. Tax payers pay for welfare. why would they want to pay for somebody who is going to spend it on drugs?

12/9/2011
Montgomery Texas
Paige O.
Metzger/Montgomery High School
No, drug testing does not violate the fourth amendment. Taxpaying citizens have the right to demand drug testing, it is their money they are helping support these people with. If you're not using, then you have nothing to hide. You have the choice to, yes, take a drug test or no, refuse. If you make the choice to do drugs, then you should have no right to be on welfare. You have to take a drug test at almost every job in today's day and age, so what makes it any different when we are financially supporting people.

12/7/2011
Montgomery High School
Sydney
A,
In my opinion, I believe the Government has the right to violate the 4th amendment by requiring drug testing to those in need of welfare. The definition of welfare is social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need. The program is designed to help people not continue to influence and provide for their addictions. Tax payers provide welfare and I think they have a right to dictate whether they want their money to go to someone in true need of it rather than someone who could potentially use it for the wrong reasons. If people object to this as a violation of the 4th amendment because they are a current user and need the money for their families or to score more drugs they need to make the decision on what is more important to them, the drugs or their family. Welfare is instated to provide for a better life not to provide for a habit.

12/6/2011
Montgomery Tx
Rachael H.
Metzger/Montgomery High
In my opinion, the government has the right to make people who request for welfare programs take drug tests. Even though it violates the fourth admendment. We don't need low life's on drugs getting money from the government when us tax payers work hard for our money. Most jobs these days require a drug test before you work for them. People don't need to complain about it violating the fourth amendment, they're helping people to become something of themselves.

11/27/2011
Montgomery Texas
Courtney S.
Mr. Metzger/ Montgomery High
I believe that all states should require welfare applicants to be drug tested; I understand it does go against the 4th amendment but the government is helping these people out. If they want the help they need to be okay with a drug test. It’s unfair for tax payers to be working hard to just hand their money out to people who do drugs and have no ambitions to work. People that have money to buy drugs should have money to help themselves. There is drug testing everywhere today people get drug tested at work all the time truck drivers, the military and if they fail a drug test they lose their jobs. No one in that group has made such an ordeal over having to take a drug test so why is it that there is so much controversy on drug testing welfare applicants? People just want to make sure their tax dollars are going to good use, and not to these drugies who don’t want to get a job and rely on support of our government it’s unfair to see that. America is in so much dept today and we don’t need to be throwing our money away to the man who can’t quit the drugs. How is that fair to a kid like me who’s working and going to school to have to get money taken from me to support drugs. So yes I do think these people who are on welfare need to get drug tested and if they are so against it then don’t apply for financial aid and make it on your own. you pick you get high for the day or get a little help to support your family?

11/22/2011
Steger Illinois
Izabella
Mrs. Tweet/ Bloom Trail
I know that taking a drug test might be a bit akward to some people, but it is in no way violating the fourth amendment. The government if offering to give money to people who need help. The government has enough problems of its own and would appreciate knowing that their money is being given to people who are not going to abuse it. If a person has nothing to hide than taking a drug test should be the least of their problems. I see it as giving a report in front of a class; most people don't want to do it but get it over with anyways because they don't want to fail the class. The drug test is very similar; if the person dosen't want to take it than they just simply won't get the money. If the drug test is taken(and passed) than it proves that the person is worthy to receive the money and will use it well.

11/21/2011
Sauk Village Illinois
Sierra
Mrs Tweet Bloom Trail
The people who receive public aid should have to take a drug test. My reasoning behind this is that if people need money to afford their well being then their money shouldn't be going out to drugs. If someone has money to buy drugs, then they should have the extra money to back up there everyday needs. The tax payers money need to be put into more consideration. America shouldn't want out taxes to go out to someone else's drugs; it should go out to feeding a starving family who genuinely need it. The drug test would discourage people from either staying on drugs or taking government money in the first place. It seems unfair to people who need public aid as a whole , but its only right to put tax money where it need to go out to considering the fact that America is still deep in debt already.

11/5/2011
Irving/TX
Derek
Bradley/NImitz
I believe the government has every right to make drug tests a requisite for welfare assistance. First, drugs are illegal. If someone chooses to do drugs, then they should expect resistance from the government. All this is doing is ensuring that citizens aren't breaking the law with the taxpayer's money that is supposed to be going into the wellness of the people. Second, the applicants aren't required to apply. In my opinion, this does not constitute unreasonable search and seizure, and thus means that the fourth amendment is not being violated. Third, applicants who aren't doing drugs should be proud to prove that they are drug free, and it shouldn't offend them when others ruin the system.

11/4/2011
Benson/Arizona
Sami
sorencen/Benson
Drug testing violates the Fourth Amendment when they are forced to take a drug test without probable cause. For example if someone is driving perfectly fine and a cop pulls them over for no apparent reason and they force them to take a drug test that would be violating the Fourth Amendment. Everytime they have to take a drug test they are making the victim pay for it. So i would say for everytime a Police Officer forces you to do it they should be the one that has to pay for it not you.

11/4/2011
Irving/Tx
Jennifer J.
Bradley/Nimitz
No one is entitled to welfare money. I completely agree with the drug testing. If the government is generous enough to give out free money for those in need, then those in need should follow any conditions that the government applies to that money. It doesn't break the fourth amendment because it's not against the applicant's will. If s/he wants the money, then s/he'll take a drug test. If s/he doesn't take the drug test and pass, then s/he doesn't get the money. It's as simple as that. Unless the applicant is in fear of failing their drug test, there's no reason for complaint; they're getting FREE money.

11/4/2011
Irving/TX
Fatema J
Bradley/Nimitz
The first thing the Americans ought to understand is that the government providing the people with welfare is a privilege, and not a right! Therefore, the fourth amendment is nowhere to violated in this case. And thus, the government has the right to take a drug test on the welfare recipients because they must ensure that the people are not misusing this money on illegal activities. Also, on the whole, drug abuse would be controlled to a great extent.

11/3/2011
Benson/AZ
Stacey
Mr.Sorenson/Benson High School
I believe that it's a stereo-type to test the poorer halves on durgs. On clearly it proves that not even close to a quarter of the people tested dirty, so there is no need for someone that is applying for assistance from the governemnt to pay out of their own wallet for something that is required to complete.

11/2/2011
Irving, TX
Ali
Bradley/Nimitz
Americans tend to forget that government welfare programs are not a right. The government is not required by the Constitution to give money to anyone. Welfare is a privilege the government provides to help us through hard times. There is no right violated by requiring a drug test for welfare applicants because welfare in itself is not a right. Because welfare comes from government money and government money comes from taxpayers, I think the government has every right to drug screen welfare applicants. No one wants their taxes to help pay for someone’s drugs, and the government doesn’t and shouldn’t want to waste money on people misusing their welfare payments. Considering drugs are illegal, it is not an invasion of someone’s privacy to require drug tests to get government money. Think about it: using government, taxpayer money for illegal activities. Sounds wrong, doesn’t it? This law is not unreasonable in any way, and it should stay.

11/2/2011
Irving/TX
Juan M
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that drug testing for welfare does not violate the fourth amendment. The reason why I believe so is because it could help people out who uses any drugs to quit. I believe the only people who would get mad at it would be the ones who actually uses drugs. And the people who do not, should not even worry or make a big deal about it. But when it comes to the government ensuring that the applicants aren't spending money on drugs, is an invasion of their privacy.

11/2/2011
Irving/TX
Michael P.
Bradley/Nimitz
Drug testing does not violate the fourth amendment when it involves money. If someone is applying for a job they may be asked to take a drug test which is reasonable and has been accepted by society. So why cant the government do it when people are taking government money? The government has a right to know where your money is being spent. A prime example of this is taxes. Weather it be property taxes, state taxes, national taxes, or even product taxes, are all spent on everything we buy. So the government is already keeping tabs on the peoples spending habits so they have every right to do drug tests to ensure government money is being spent on necessities. Drug testing violates the fourth amendment when the government does it for no reason and has no suspicion that money may be mishandled. The government believed that money was being mishandled and they caught 32 of them which saved them money in the long run. In my opinion, all possibilities of violation of privacy was reversed as soon as the citizen asked for government help financially.

11/2/2011
Irving, TX
Ashley Bo
Bradley/Nimitz
Drug tests for welfare does violate the Fourth Amendment. There should be no reason to search if somebody uses drugs. I do not think the government have the right to ensure welfare applicants are not spending money on drugs or misusing it. It is their problem. They should decide the way the spend their money even if they are wasteful. Having problems with drugs should not disqualify somebody from having welfare. We all should care about having them alive. I think the tests are an invasion of someone's privacy.

11/2/2011
Irving,Tx
Rosa L
Bradley/Nimitz
Drug testing for welfare nonsense. It is logical that the government does not want the money to be given to drugs, but surely the person using drugs has as much right to receive welfare money as much as the next person. Having problems with drugs should not automatically disqualify the person there are plenty of “clean” people that are involved in way more than some drug users. Drug testing is an invasion of an individuals privacy. In the applications it usually asks whether the person requesting welfare have been in trouble with the law. This could disqualify the person rather than invading their privacy.

11/2/2011
Irving/TX
Tambra B.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe Judge Scriven was correct in ruling that drug tests are a form of search, and that the states lack legal reasons for doing the test - it honestly amounts to profiling. So yes, drug test people applying for welfare is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. That Florida law is just a way to satisfy some peoples low opinioned suspicions about the poor. The way Ms. Schultz puts it- as a "common-sense way" to ensure proper use of welfare funds, is entirely fictional. If that were a true aim for any state government, there would be far more monitoring of who is getting welfare and what they're spending/using it on. I would say, however, that I personally think that if a person chooses to apply for welfare when they know they're required to drug test, it's the same principle as when a person chooses to apply for a job when they know they could be drug tested: have them sign an understanding waiver, and it's okay.

11/1/2011
Springfield/PA
Nikki
McRae/Springfield High School
In my opinion, one should not be required to take a drug test unless applying for a job. Otherwise, there is no reason to need to know the personal life of others and violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. It should be acceptable for applying for jobs, maybe, because the company/job is paying whoever works for them with their money and should have the right to test their employees for drugs simply for the reason that they would not want their employees to be involved with this. Other than having to be tested for a job, testing people randomly with no suspicion is not constitutional.

11/1/2011
Springfield, PA
Amy
McRae/Springfield High School
I believe every person applying for welfare should be drug tested. It’s the government's money who is going to aid people. The government aid is generally taken from the taxes of those not on welfare. Once this government aid is in the hands of the citizen, there is no longer a way to keep track of what the money is being spent on. A drug test should be passed to be eligible for welfare because then the government can have a good idea that their own money isn’t being spent on illegal substances. It’s only fair as long as everyone applying is tested. It becomes unfair when only specific people are targeted in these drug tests. Although there is a certain right to privacy, drug testing doesn’t violate this right. If athletes in school can be randomly drug tests, citizens applying for government welfare should also be tested. Companies also have the right to drug test randomly. Overall, if a citizen is applying to using government aid, there should be little argument about a drug test. It’s simply to make sure the aid is going to the right place, rather than fuel addictions.

11/1/2011
Watertown, MA
Claudia
RIMAS/ Watertown High
I think that doing the drug test for welfare does not violate their privacy. It's a simple test to verify if you abuse drugs or not.

10/28/2011
Watertown , MA
Michele
Rimas
I think that people applying for welfare should be drug tested. I think that the economy is already in a bad place, the money shouldnt be used on drugs when they could be used to funding educational or helpful programs

10/28/2011
watertown, massachusettes
Jaime
rimas: watertown high school
I think that you should take a drug test if you're applying for a job so that the company does not have drug addicts in the work place. However once you have the job, the person who hired you knows what kind of a person you are and therefore random drug tests would not be necessary. With that being said, I do think that random drug tests violate the fourth amendment.

10/28/2011
Watertown MA
Casey
Rimas, Watertown High School
I think that it is based on the whole situation. I think that if you fail a drug test once it shouldn't make you a bad person. But if a person continues to fail drug tests and are addicted to pills/drugs then they should be judged if they are doing something work/business related etc.

10/26/2011
Watertown, MA
Bryan
Rimas, Watertown high school
If you fail a drug test for a job then your future with that company is ruined. If I owned a company then I personally wouldn't want a bunch of drug addicts working for me. I say that it does not, random drug tests do violate the fourth amendment.

10/26/2011
Watertown MA
Alec
Rimas Watertown High scool
I personally think based on the persons situation they should or should not be drug tested. For example if the persons current health requires them to use drugs, they should not be penalized. Also the person could be living in depression and it could be the only thing keeping them alive.

Related News
Related Resources
Share