Congress Gives States the Right to Drug Test the Unemployed

As one of the MANY unemployed in this country, I can say that in theory this may be a good idea but it’s really just another way for the government to screw us all. I don’t believe that people collecting unemployment should be using illegal drugs however, with that being said, it’s still their body and still their choice as to what they do with the money they receive.

The other problem I see here is that addiction is a DISEASE and needs to be treated as such. You can’t just cut off a junkies money supply and tell them to get a job; it simply doesn’t work that way. If the government decides to do this in order to save a few bucks, they are only buying themselves more time. Crime WILL GO UP as these people are now forced to steal in order to support their habits. Emergency room visits WILL GO UP as those trying to get off the drugs begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms and require medical care.

It’s a lose/lose situation for everybody. How about we drug test the people on capital hill?

David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
All Gov

February 23, 2012

While millions of Americans will continue to enjoy their modest payroll tax cut, many of them will now have to submit to drug testing as part of the deal struck between the two parties in Congress. As part of the compromise reached to extend the tax cut, Democrats agreed to a Republican provision giving states the right to require those seeking unemployment benefits who were fired for drug use to undergo testing administered by the state. What’s strange about this concession is that workers who are fired for drug use are not eligible for unemployment benefits anyway.

However, a second section of the bill is likely to impact hundreds of thousands of individuals. This section applies to workers applying for jobs in industries where drug testing is prevalent even if the workers have never been laid off because of drug use. Any state that chooses to apply this rule will shift the financial burden of drug testing from employers to state taxpayers. The Department of Labor has not yet announced which industries will qualify for the drug testing provision

Some opponents of the bill have proposed that members of state legislatures who approve drug testing applicants for unemployment benefits should themselves be tested for drugs since they too receive government benefits.

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