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Tenn. authorities preparing to drug test welfare recipients

April 29th, 2013 10:49 am by Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee authorities are preparing to test welfare recipients for drug abuse.


The legislature passed a bill requiring it and Gov. Bill Haslam signed it nearly a year ago. The statute gives the Department of Human Services until July 1, 2014, to begin screening people receiving welfare for illicit drug use.


The Tennessean reported preparations continue, despite a judge in Florida stopping a similar plan over constitutional issues. Also, Arizona authorities, who have been drug-checking welfare recipients for three years, say they have caught just one offender.


Pam McMichael of the Highlander Research and Education Center calls the statute an extension of an unsuccessful war on drugs.


Rachel Sheffield of the Heritage Foundation said it's fair to require specific behavior from people getting public assistance.

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