Please feel free to comment, as I am greatly interested in your opinion – good or bad.
There is legislation pending – if not recently passed – before West Virginia politicians that would use the “three strikes and you’re out” mentality to punish welfare recipients who fail drug tests by taking away their social assistance – strike one: counseling; strike two : one-year suspension of benefits; strike three: lifetime suspension. The latter two strikes are harsh penalties, even considering the usage of a hard-core drugs such as – methamphetamine, heroin and oxycodone.
To my way of thinking, marijuana detected in the blood stream would be the biggest culprit striking a blow against those least able to absorb it. Many recipients are on the welfare rolls, because they are chronically ill, mentally challenged, and physically incapable to earn a living. No other reason than punishment can be given for taking away social assistance for these individuals who may use marijuana because it is easier on the body than prescription painkillers. Or, they may use marijuana to find a temporary escape from a subsistent life – so what is the big deal if they aren’t able to toe the line.
It certainly will be a big deal for those slung off social assistance: This draconian law, will push the denied recipients into crime – where else are they to go. It will throw already disfranchised mothers on the street where they will lose their last shred of dignity, and the children where are they to find nutrition, security and peace of mind? The state will bear untold cost for this type of harvest. So is it smarter to deny Temporary Relief to Needy Families or push bigger expenditures into the future?
It certainly is a big deal to the Republican politicians in Charleston who somehow have convinced themselves and their proponents that because someone receives public assistance, that someone is their property to manipulate and punish; governments initially set up social assistance to help those in need, not to punish people unable to accept an authoritarian’s dictate. The aforementioned strike one should be the extent of such legislation.