Proposed bill seeks to drug test welfare recipients at random - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Proposed bill seeks to drug test welfare recipients at random

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By: News Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Welfare recipients could soon be tested for illegal drug use after Senator Elaine Morgan proposed a bill on Thursday, that would allow the Department of Human Services to perform the tests at random.

If someone is found positive for the drugs, that person's public assistance would be revoked for up to one year.

“If working Rhode Islanders’ tax dollars are being used to fund this program, the people who accept this money should be subject to the same random drug testing they might encounter in the workplace,” Senator Morgan said. 

“A positive drug test would disqualify them from a state ‘paycheck.’ With the recreational marijuana legalization looming, taxpayer money should not be paying for benefits so people can buy and smoke marijuana.” 

Individuals with a prescription for medical marijuana however, will not be penalized.

Senator Morgan says if the person who fails the test has a child; the child will still receive benefits.

The legislation will now go before the judiciary committee.

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