Back in 2015, a representative for the National Conference of State Legislatures informed lawmakers in West Virginia that drug testing of low-income people applying for welfare aid historically results in very few positive tests.
But, the West Virginia lawmakers went on to pass a welfare drug-testing law by a large margin anyway in the next legislative sessions.
Those who supported the bill insisted the bill would help get those using drugs into treatment. Opponents decried the effort saying it unfairly stereotyped low-income folks.
At the time, it was estimated that the testing, which would cost about $50,000 a year, would flag about 390 people in the first year. That would amount to about 32 positive tests a month with an annual cost about $128 per positive test.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources began drug testing some applicants last October.
Between then and January 5 of this year, 873 folks applied for help, with 107 being asked to test for drug use based on a questionnaire.
A total of four applicants tested positive for drug use. At that rate, the state could expect to find 24 positive tests a year. That would average over $2,000 per positive test.
Draw your own conclusions.
More info at the Gazette-Mail.com.