State Rep. Lonnie Napier thinks the more than 600,000 Kentuckians receiving food stamps, Medicaid or other public assistance need to be randomly tested for drug use once a year.
He says each test would cost about $30, which means the total annual tab for the program could exceed $18 million.
If the Lancaster Republican seriously wants to combat the scourge of drug abuse in Kentucky, there are far better ways to spend that amount of money. Forcing everyone receiving public assistance to submit to drug testing has several readily apparent down sides.
People who are denied assistance because they fail a test or those users who don't even bother seeking help because of the test requirement may well turn to crime to feed their habits. If there's one thing Kentucky doesn't need, it's more drug-related crimes putting more people in an already overcrowded corrections system.
Napier's proposal also paints with an extremely broad brush, broad enough to stigmatize anyone who applies for food stamps, Medicaid or other assistance programs by suggesting they must be using drugs. As a result, some people who really need help may decide not to apply just to avoid humiliation.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.kentucky.com.