When you apply for a job, you have to take a drug test so why not when you apply for unemployment benefits or other assistance?
I've thought like this once..
People who need to be on assistance life is shitty enough already. No one has walked in their particular shoes and who can tell what **** they are going through at that moment.
While I would hope that a person seeking help would be making all the right decision, it's possible that they are not at the time. They may seek out some moments of escape from their drudgery and we should not be judging them for that.
Instead, offer them help and hope they take it and recover.
I thought like other Democrats once upon a time; i.e. I assumed the best about people and I wouldn't allow myself to imagine that there are people who abuse privileges, including the privilege of public assistance.
I think it's because of racism, sexism, and classism that we're afraid to see bad where it occurs. We think that if we see bad in someone who identifies with an oppressed category, we are being racist/sexist/classist by seeing them doing bad at the individual level. For anything that a minority is stereotyped for, there are non-minorities who do the same thing. If people are afraid to criticize minority drug use/dealing, they are ignoring that white/male/rich people do it as well and that the people who use/deal drugs are victims of exploitation as much as they are perpetrators. Every abuser must also be a victim somehow or else how would they have learned to abuse others?
You may be right that people have it rough and deserve a break if they're hungry, but people also deserve to have institutional pressures that stimulate them and others to accept discipline and benefit from it. If your parents never told you to stop being lazy and do your homework, you might have gone through life avoiding all forms of work and making excuses for it. It was only because they got you to accept the discipline that you were able to grow stronger as a person.
Tough love is real love when the motivation is truly to help people help themselves. It's different when you just hate people and call it 'tough love' as an excuse to abuse them. Then again, though, I think it was Chelsea Handler who said that children of abusive alcoholics often come out great; meaning that even though it might not have been the abusive parent's intention to do right by their child when they were drunk/abusive, it still ultimately can have a positive effect on the person, if only to stimulate them to discipline themselves against being like their parent.
Whatever the case, we need to recognize that all people deserve freedom from drugs and crime. Yes, it takes discipline to give up drug use and drug dealing, because one is easy pleasure while the other is easy money; but ultimately it is better for individuals, families, and communities. Why do so many people deny that?