Another Dumb Bill To Drug Test Welfare Recipients in Ohio

This man is an idiot.
  • This man is an idiot.

State Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) is the latest Ohio GOPer to toss a bill into the pile that would drug test welfare recipients in the Buckeye State.

Previous efforts, despite inflammatory rhetoric playing off social and economic stereotypes meant to get a rise out of those conservative-minded voters who feel like social safety nets are a waste of money and all the poor people use the cash to go get high, have thankfully failed. Hell, even John Kasich has said that he's not interested in the idea.

But that won't stop Schaffer, who introduces the bill today. Talking to the Columbus Dispatch, the egregiously misguided state senator had this to say:

“It is time that we recognize that many families are trying to survive in drug-induced poverty, and we have an obligation to make sure taxpayer money is not being used to support drug dealers. We can no longer turn a blind eye to this problem.”

Ah, this problem and our blind eyes. Clearly there is something serious here that needs to be addressed.

Except, there's not.

Florida has tried this before, at a net loss to the state of over $45,000, and only 108 people tested positive. That out of 4,086 tests. 2.9%. A problem indeed. (Most, incidentally, were positive for marijuana.)

Want more evidence the idea is concocted by those ignoring fruitful factual evidence and playing on the lowest fears of a constituency who already believe welfare recipients are drugged-out scumbags?

Try Utah.

“Utah has spent more than $30,000 to screen welfare applicants for drug use since a new law went into effect a year ago, but only 12 people have tested positive, state figures show," according to the Deseret News.

But sure, let's run ahead with Schaffer's plan, which would have three counties test welfare recipients who admit to using drugs within the last six months on a questionnaire (another brilliant facet of the — we'd like to reiterate once again — phenomenally stupid bill).

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Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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