After the Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed a bill to test welfare recipients for drug abuse, the state legislature overruled his veto. The law went into effect.
On February 9, North Carolina released the results from their first round of drug testing. Scroll down to see.
More than 7,600 people applied for the Work First program. But only 89 of them were tested for drugs. Out of those tested 21 were found to have illegal drugs in their system. That means only 0.3 percent of the total participant pool used drugs.
The state and national average for drug use is around 8 percent.
Non-welfare recipients are 26 times more like to abuse illegal drugs than North Carolina’s welfare recipients, according to North Carolina’s findings.
Social workers asked applicants about their drug use. Any suspicion of drug use led to a drug test. If the applicant was convicted of a drug offense in the last three years, they automatically were tested.
Any applicant who tested positive for illegal drugs was disqualified for benefits. They are also required to pay the $55 fee for the drug test and for any drug treatment involved.
Since so few tested positive, Democratic State Sen. Gladys Robinson joined Republican Gov. McCrory in stating the program is a waste of the state’s money.
“They found very few applicants,” Robinson said, according to WRAL. She continued, “Plus, the process is already in place in terms of asking questions and making those referrals. So, we just wasted state dollars, in terms of that piece of legislation and in terms of the time and staff all across the state.”
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