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State has cause to go slow on welfare drug tests

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In the first four months after its law on drug testing of welfare applicants went into effect, Kansas ordered only 20 tests. One reason for the slow start, state officials said, is that they want to make sure the law can stand up to a court challenge. That’s been a problem in other states. A federal appeals court in Florida last week upheld a lower court ruling that Florida’s drug-testing law was unconstitutional. “The state has failed to establish a demonstrable or peculiar drug-use problem among (welfare applicants),” the three-judge panel said unanimously. “If anything, the evidence extant suggests quite the opposite.” The Florida law authorized “suspicionless” drug testing, while the Kansas law targets those suspected of using illegal drugs. – Phillip Brownlee

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