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Georgia backs down on law requiring drug tests for food stamp recipients

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Georgia backs down on drug testingGeorgia will not drug-test food stamp recipients under a controversial new law that federal and state officials concluded was illegal, the governor's office said Friday.

The Republican-controlled legislature this spring passed a law that required testing if authorities had a “reasonable suspicion” of drug use. Adults failing the test would temporarily lose food stamp benefits, although children could still receive them.

The drug testing law, set to take effect July 1, drew an outcry from civil liberties advocates, who said it violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. They also said that the law could scare away many who rely on food stamps to feed themselves and their families.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Georgia’s attorney general determined the testing plan violated federal law.

“The law is the law,” said Rep. Greg Morris, the measure’s Republican sponsor, backing away from earlier calls to fight in court for drug testing.

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