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Georgia Cannot Implement Drug Testing for Food Stamp Applicants and Recipients

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Federal officials announced this week that Georgia cannot implement a new law that would require some food stamp applicants and recipients to undergo drug testing.

The law, passed in March, would have required testing when state workers had a “reasonable suspicion” the person was using drugs, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said its policy “prohibits states from mandating drug testing of (food stamp) applicants and recipients.”

Legislators in a number of states are pursuing measures that would deny welfare benefits to people who use illegal drugs. Some measures would require written tests designed to spot people who abuse drugs, while others would deny benefits to people with recent drug convictions.

According to the article, Georgia is the only state that wants to extend the requirement to people seeking food stamps.

In December, a federal judge in Florida ruled the state’s drug-test requirement was unconstitutional. Florida’s law required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing. Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando ruled the testing requirement violated the protection against unreasonable searches.

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