Drug testing for unemployment and welfare benefits

Georgia governor in support of drug testing the unemployed. / Jessica Fairley

Wednesday Georgia Governor Nathan Deal answered a question from the Atlanta Journal Constitution of whether or not he supports drug testing for unemployment recipients.

With the high number of people receiving unemployment benefits, Deal says yes he would entertain the idea of unemployment recipients taking a drug test before receiving public funds and many in Southwest Georgia agree.

"I'm sure there are people out there on drugs that wouldn't like it, but I think it's a good thing," said Melissa Knight.

She says this measure would ensure future workers are prepared for the job field because many places of employment require drug tests. If an employer knows a client is clean, they may be more willing to hire them.

Governor Deal's statement came on the same day that another lawmaker announced his consideration of a proposal to drug test welfare recipients.

Fox 31's talked with many people on the streets and via Facebook who say they are in agreement with lawmakers about this issue but some people say this law wouldn't be right.

"You earn unemployment benefits by working on a job for a certain period of time. The amount received is based on your earnings unless you get the maximum benefit amount. This is not welfare therefore you should get whatever it is you qualify for without having to be drug tested," said BJ, a blog user.

One woman who receives government benefits say she agrees with drug testing 100 percent.

"I'm on public benefits. I don't do drugs and that's not why I agree. I feel like your money should be going towards your children and your household," said Marie Gardner.

Gardner says if people can afford drugs, then they should be able to support themselves without government assistance.

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