Monday, February 29, 2016


North Carolina has begun a program to require welfare applicants to be drug tested.  Known as ‘Work First’, the law requires testing of any recipient suspected of being a drug user.  This was enacted by the Republican controlled legislature in 2013, over Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto. Screening consists of social workers asking those being screened about drug use in the previous 12 months (and of course, these applicants will be totally forthright).  A positive response will mean referral for drug testing. Also, people convicted of felony drug offenses in the three years before applying for benefits are also referred. 

It’s a great start in my opinion.  If I have to have a drug test to get a job and earn money, a welfare recipient should be drug-free to receive my tax dollars. 

But here are the hilarious facts printed in the Raleigh N&O on 2/9/16 about the first four months of the program. 

  • From August to December, 2015, there were 7,600 applicants.
  • Of those, 2% were referred for drug testing (i.e. 152 applicants)
  • Of that 152, 89 were tested, which means 63 were no-shows, most likely because they knew they would test positive.
  • Of the 89 tested, 21 tested positive.  That is a POSITIVE result 23.5% of those TESTED.
So far, so good? The author of the article, one Lynn Bonner, concluded:  “The 21 positive tests represent less than 0.3 percent of the people screened.”

What he/she failed to mention is that the 21 positives was 23.5% OF THOSE TESTED!!!  What would the numbers be if all 7,600 applicants were tested?  

I hope that is coming down the road.  It would be far cheaper to have every applicant pee in a cup and have that tested, than to send that same applicant money every month in perpetuity. 


  1. I've long wondered what percentage of all government assistance winds up with the drug cartels?


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