DRUG TESTS DISPEL A MYTH ABOUT N.C.’S POOR (Raleigh News & Observer column) — The drug-test requirement for those receiving government assistance illustrates a peculiar world view found among many conservatives. They think the poor are often poor because they don’t want to work. Instead, they enjoy a comfortable life on the couch, taking drugs and watching a big-screen TV, thanks to the benefits of subsidized housing, food stamps and welfare. Call it life in the lap of poverty. But the drug-test results told a different story. After more than a year of delays, the state began in August to screen applicants to the state’s Work First program, a program that provides cash benefits, job training and help finding work. About 7,600 Work First applicants were screened, and the positive tests are only 0.3 percent of those screened.