Republican John LaBruzzo says the bill would help people to get jobs, since many employers require drug tests.
The bill received the support of 65 lawmakers, over half of the chamber. The bill also gained co-authors, bringing the total to six, but not before prompting a heated debate.
Several lawmakers said a similar bill passed in Michigan was overturned by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which does not control courts in Louisiana.
Others argued the bill unfairly assumed that people receiving welfare take drugs. Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, said former Metairie Rep. and longtime Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke introduced a similar bill.
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