At least 12 states including Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Utah and Michigan are adopting welfare drug testing measures. Legislation varies by state. Utah requires applicants to complete a written questionnaire to screen for drug use, while Georgia requires drug tests for all applicants. Maine is the latest state to join the list, thanks to Governor Paul LePage. Zach Heiden, legal director for the ACLU of Maine, said “This is a waste of state resource which could be better spent on many things.”
Drug testing isn’t cheap. A Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) spokesman said the drug tests in Maine will each cost $62. And the ROI isn’t great. In the first month of its program, Tennessee found just one drug user out of more than 800 applicants, or less than 1 percent.