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Drug Testing Welfare Applicants

State Rep. Guy Liebmann (R-OKC) announced last Friday that he will introduce a bill in the next legislative session requiring all welfare recipients to take a drug test. Liebmann said his bill would be based on recently passed similar legislation in Florida. Drug testing would be mandatory and applicants who test positive for controlled substances would be disqualified from the program for one year, unless they choose to seek treatment.

David Blatt at has written about a previous legislative attempt at mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients and called it an “unnecessary, expensive and counterproductive proposal.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is currently contemplating a lawsuit against the state of Florida, calling the state’s action “patriarchal, racist and mean-spirited” and a violation of Constitutional rights. Were Oklahoma to pass a bill based on Florida’s, a lawsuit would likely follow.

In spite of the fact that the 1996 Welfare Reform Act authorizes states to impose mandatory drug testing for welfare […] → Keep reading