Michigan welfare recipients passing drug tests with flying colors


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is learning a lot about the drug habits of welfare recipients. After signing legislation for a drug-testing program for beneficiaries of government assistance in December 2014, the total number of positive results is… zero.

Michigan’s pilot program to drug test welfare recipients and applicants officially began last October and covers three counties. In May, there were a recorded 303 applicants and recipients who had been tested. Not a single one of them tested positive for banned drug use, the state reported.

Snyder has yet to comment on the results.

“The governor will wait until the pilot program has concluded and the report is delivered, as required by the legislation, to reach any conclusion,” spokeswoman Anna Heaton told the Guardian.

All 303 applicants had applied for the state’s Family Independence Program, which provides temporary cash assistance to families with children and pregnant women to help them pay for living expenses.

Michigan’s legislature set aside $300,000 to implement the program, which involves a 50-question screening. If any answers cause state health officials to believe that an applicant may be using a controlled substance, the applicant must agree to take a substance abuse test. Refusal to comply with a drug test results in being banned from receiving benefits for six months.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) spokesman Bob Wheaton told the Guardian that no one refused to take the drug test, either.

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