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Home Issue Index Issue: Addiction


Pro/Con Articles


Taxes paid by hardworking Americans should not go to people who use drugs or have substance abuse problems. The government has a responsibility to make sure that welfare assistance goes to those most in need, such as children who lack adequate food and clothing rather than adults who abuse drugs. Drug testing will provide incentive for welfare recipients to seek treatment and become productive members of society.


There is little evidence that people on public assistance have substance abuse problems at a higher rate than the general population, and it is arbitrary and unfair to single out welfare recipients from all the other groups of people and companies that receive government funds. Welfare drug testing violates both the individual's constitutional right to privacy and the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure. On a practical level, drug-testing programs fail to save the government money.


During the Bush administration, lawyers from the Justice Department knowingly distorted federal anti-torture laws in order to illegally authorize torture. Investigating—and perhaps prosecuting—the Bush administration officials who approved those acts of torture would show the rest of the world that the U.S. fully repudiates extreme interrogation methods.


The Bush administration never approved employing torture; rather, it simply authorized several "enhanced interrogation techniques." Those techniques proved vital to fighting the war on terror; interrogators used them to persuade suspected terrorists to reveal crucial information, which likely saved hundreds of thousands of American lives.