Stop Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Target: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Goal: End ‘suspicion-based’ drug testing of welfare recipients in Michigan

The Michigan House approved a pilot program that will mandate drug testing for some welfare recipients and will cut their benefits for failing more than once. Families who need help buying food should not have to go through this unnecessary humiliation, which is also expected to increase taxpayer costs. Let the governor of Michigan know that you do not support the humiliation of welfare recipients, and that drug-related issues should be addressed through different channels.

There are several U.S. states where similar laws exist, and Michigan itself passed a law in 1999 mandating drug testing for welfare recipients, but it was struck down by federal courts as unconstitutional. Welfare recipients should not be subjected to extra scrutiny from the government just because they are low income. These types of laws perpetuate misconceptions and stereotypes about welfare recipients, and create a hostile attitude towards them.

Needing help to support your family shouldn’t be a shameful thing, but right now there is a lot of stigma around it. This law will only make it worse, and will turn every low-income person into a potential suspect. This humiliating process will benefit no one. If Michigan is really concerned about people who abuse drugs, lawmakers would allocate this money towards creating support and recovery programs. Please call on Michigan’s governor to repeal this degrading law.


Dear Governor Snyder,

The Michigan House recently passed a law to start a pilot program that will require some welfare recipients to undergo drug testing. This law is going to cost the taxpayer more money and promote the existing negative misconceptions and stereotypes about welfare recipients. I am asking that you immediately repeal this law, which will do nothing but humiliate and degrade welfare recipients, who already face enough challenges.

Treating all welfare recipients as potential suspects and mandating some to get tested for drug use just to be able to feed their families is unfair and unjust. If you are worried about drug use in your state, you should dedicate these funds to support and recovery programs, not to criminalizing welfare. This current bill will only deepen the stigma around welfare and create more hostility towards welfare recipients in your state.

I am asking that you immediately repeal this law and protect Michigan welfare recipients from further humiliation and stigma.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nikopoley via Wikimedia Commons

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