Oklahoma welfare applicants face drug test screenings - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Oklahoma welfare applicants face drug test screenings

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Residents in Oklahoma who need welfare will first have to pass a drug screen.

Oklahoma State Senator David Holt, who co-authored the bill, says the law is necessary to ensure that tax payer money isn't being misused.

"You're coming to the government for this help from your friends and neighbors at a time when you're prepared for it," said Holt.

While it's not the law in Texas, many feel it should be.

"If you're going to get money from the government you should be able to pass a drug test," said one woman.

"They've made it too easy for people to apply for these programs," said Political strategist and author, Lisa Fritsch.

She says if tax payers have to do it, so should those receiving welfare.

"When I wanted to work at target or when I wanted to work for a bank in college I had to take a drug test and that was earned money. We're talking about money that's doled out from hard earned tax payer money," said Fritsch.

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma says the policy unfairly targets the poor.

"There are some legislatures and some politicians that seem determined to exploit the stereotype that just because you're poor, you're more likely to use drugs," Ryan Kiesel of ACLU of Oklahoma.

Fritsch disagrees.

"This can be about not making people so comfortable in their poverty. Perhaps if there were more hoops you had to jump through when you signed up for welfare benefits and food stamps, more people would take initiative and not want to be on those programs," said Fritsch.

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