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Fla. welfare applicants less likely to use drugs
Fla. columnist decries mandated drug tests for welfare applicants, says it's legislators' turn
By The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) ' A new Florida law requiring drug tests for welfare applicants has found them to be less likely than other people to use drugs, not more.

One famous Floridian suggests that the people who came up with the law should be submitting specimens.

Columnist and best-selling author Carl Hiaasen offered to pay for drug testing for all 160 members of the Legislature in what he called "a patriotic whiz-fest." Several of the law's supporters say they're on board.

Preliminary figures show that about 2.5 percent of up to 2,000 applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families have tested positive since the law went into effect in July. Another 2 percent declined to take the test.

The Justice Department estimates that 6 percent of Americans 12 and older use illegal drugs.

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