Memphis, TN -- Those in the Mid-South looking to collect state aid like welfare may soon have to take a drug test to be eligible. One Tennessee lawmaker says he wants to make the drug test a requirement and will push three bills in the 2012 legislative session to make it law.
The proposed bills would require those seeking welfare, unemployment benefits, or workers compensation to take the drug test.
"I think it is a waste of money, the people that are going to look for a job are going to make sure they pass a drug test anyway," said Phyllis Golden, a tax preparer at a local state office.
Edward Peques disagrees. The 57-year-old says he went to college for six years and earned a bachelor's degree in social work. Now looking for a job, he doesn't think anyone should benefit if they're taking drugs.
"You got a lot of people actually live off the system, don't want to work hard for a dollar, well that wasn't me, my father didn't raise me that way," Peques said.
State lawmakers considered a similar bill last legislative session but it never came up for a vote. Florida has a drug testing requirement on the books, but it is currently being challenged in the courts.