Archive for Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random drug testing of welfare recipients approved

Drug test plan spurs ire, praise

March 24, 2009

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— Supporters of a bill that would require random drug testing of those receiving public assistance called it tough love.

But opponents said the proposal amounted to a war on the poor.

The Kansas House on Tuesday gave first-round approval to legislation that aims to administer drug tests to several thousand people each year who receive assistance from the state.

House Bill 2275 was debated for about two hours, eliciting dramatic comments from both sides.

“This is crazy and it’s mean,” said state Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth. Crow said she supports testing people for drugs if they are suspected of drug use, “but testing someone because they’re poor, where does that make sense?”

Other opponents said that while they didn’t want taxpayer-funded benefits going to drug users, the effect of cutting off assistance would increase crime, produce more troubled homes and fill up the prison system.

The bill has a hefty fiscal note — $800,000 per year, by one estimate — and wouldn’t take effect unless state funding is available.

But state Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, said her bill was meant to get treatment to those found to be using drugs. That would protect taxpayer dollars and children that may be in the home of drug users, she said.

“There’s a lot of good here,” Kelley said.

Her bill initially said if a person receiving welfare benefits tested positive for drugs, then they would receive treatment; if they tested positive twice, then benefits would be suspended.

But state Rep. Charles Roth, R-Salina, amended the bill to allow two rounds of treatment, and then suspension of benefits if the person failed a drug test three times.

An amendment to exempt from drug testing people in the grandparents as caregivers program produced heated debate.

Several Republicans said grandparents shouldn’t be exempt from drug testing.

But state Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, asked incredulously, “You want Grandma and Grandpa to come down to a state office building and pee in a cup so that they can take care of their grandchildren?”

The amendment passed.

Comments

maxcrabb 6 years, 2 months ago

ArumerZwarteHoop-"Money for drugs goes straight to Mexico and organized crime."

All drugs? A lot of meth is straight from your local midwest meth shack, out in the middle of nowhere. Not to mention all the small indoor and outdoor marijuana operations throughout the US...

Yes, some drugs do come through Mexico, and it creates a lot of business for organized crime anywhere drugs are used or grown. But to just say all drug money goes to Mexico is a stretch.

That's why California lawmakers are trying to decriminalize marijuana use, so they can tax the hell out of it and redirect money for the police enforcement to higher areas of need, like gang activity or secessionists...

akt2 6 years, 2 months ago

I love this. It is maddening to have an unemployed, uninsured person that is testing positive for cannabanoid and cocaine, tell you that they can't pay their bill and have applied for Medicaid.

feeble 6 years, 2 months ago

better lay off the poppy seed bagels, gramps.

Given the budget shortfall, when will funding be available?

jasonc_22 6 years, 2 months ago

How can any American support passing any law that searches someone without any probable cause? Hasn't anyone read the Constitution?

lawrencechick 6 years, 2 months ago

The only probable cause I need is that they are getting my tax money while my family struggles. It's about time!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

I once read someone's opinion. It was something like, instead of spending money and effort ferretting out people who sell or use street drugs in order to met out very expensive punishment, it should be used instead to discover the reasons WHY they do it.

And then, work on eliminating the reasons WHY.

Made sense to me!

newsreader 6 years, 2 months ago

I was drug tested to get my job, to pay taxes, to pass it out to people who dont have jobs. Shouldn't they be drug tested to take my money?!

I think it's great and should be required!!

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

So will the managers of A.I.G. have to give up their bonuses if they fail their drug tests? How about the auto manufacturing CEOs? When are they going to have to pee into a cup? They sure get a heck of a lot more public assistance than welfare mothers could ever dream of getting.

Stupid conservatives.

Sheila Couchman 6 years, 2 months ago

I think this is a great idea! As a daycare provider, I have seen so many young, single moms that are involved in drugs. I think it would help them to have to take responsibility for staying clean and sober for their children.

fourkitties 6 years, 2 months ago

Well I hope they are checking them for alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and pain killers too.

gogoplata 6 years, 2 months ago

So it is OK to use government force to steal from the productive members of society and give it to the unproductive memebers only if they don't do drugs.

Leave charity to the people. The government does a piss poor job with it.

KansasVoter 6 years, 2 months ago

If they want to drug test welfare recipients, why not drug test ALL government employees, including politicians? I'd love to see how many of our elected hypocrites would fail a random drug test. And when I say drugs, I mean alcohol and prescription drugs as well as the illegal ones.

cybermaiden 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey, let's string 'em up and wave pitch forks at them while we are at it. We will yell "How dare you be poor!!!" "Hurmph, hurmph, hurmph" grumbles "If they are poor folk they must be on drugs. Yep, yep, yep"

There are some days I am embarrassed to be a Kansan.

butterfly80 6 years, 2 months ago

I think this is great. I know alot of people who completely abuse the system. I get up everday and work and when I see people who lay around all day to hungover from the night before living in a nice house it is frustrating. People learn how to abuse the system and I think things need to get tougher for people to get help. I believe this is the first step to that.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

If you're on public assistance and not on drugs nothing will change. If you're on public assistance and on drugs I guess you'll figure out real quick just how much you need that assistance. Sounds like a great plan to me.

cybermaiden 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm all about getting people help who need it. Even helping druggies get rehab. What horrifies me is singling out an economic population, the poor, for drug testing.
You people are just chipping away at your Constitutional Rights one cause at a time. Soon, your Government will have all the power. You'll cry "Why are they doing this to us?". The answer will be "Because they can and you invited them".

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey cybermaiden, you're going under the assumption that these folks are poor just because they are on public assistance. If they have money to be hooked on drugs how poor are they really? If they are bilking the system how poor are they really? Once again, if they are poor and not on drugs this won't change anything for them at all.

Just out of curiosity what constitutional rights are you referring to that are being chipped away at?

butterfly80 6 years, 2 months ago

Maybe doing the drug testing more people on drugs will want rehab. I don't think having people take a drug test to get assistance is a step toward the government having all the power. I think it is a step toward less people abusing the system OUR TAX DOLLARS. I have no problem people getting help who need it but if you can work get off your A** and work.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

Of course they are free musbhiorlo, they are free to NOT ask for public assistance if they don't like the steps they need to take to get it. Nobody is forcing them to seek help.

davidmcg 6 years, 2 months ago

Listen folks, I used to test federal inmates for drugs. Some of these inmates even though they were under supervision of a federal parole officer were also caregivers to their grandchildren. Alcohol, illegal narcotic use and unauthorized use of prescription drugs know no age limit or social background. You would be surprised how many of these 40, 50, 60 and even 70 year olds would test positive for drugs and not alcohol. And I am not just talking about marijuana here either. They tested positive for crack, LSD, cocaine, pain killers and prescription drugs without a prescription.

If testing is to be done on those receiving these benefits, it should be everybody or nobody. Grandparents are no less immune than a teenager.

All state employees are subject to random testing. I do not know the guidelines the state uses for employees so I will not discuss that matter. But, another poster stated something very interesting. Testing elected officials. That should also be done. Elected officials are role models, thats why we test police officers and firefighters. What makes a politician so special that they are not tested? School districts also randomly test teachers and school staff.

The $800,000 for the testing sounds like a lot, but it isn't and doesn't even matter that much. What matters here is what type of testing and what lab will process it? There are all kinds of tests. Five, seven, eleven and 13 panel. The more panels, the more intensive test, accuracy and cost. Then there is even supervised and unsupervised testing. In supervised testing someone is in the room when the sample is given to reduce cheating. That is what I did as a federal drug tester. Even then people cheated. I didn't catch them all, but about a 99% success rate.

Most narcotics, with exceptions for a few only stay in the human chemistry for 72 hours. After that, the levels are so low if at all that results either don't show up or are rejected. Some drugs stick around longer and for chronic users may be detectable for months. I am not going to give a detailed account of lasting times for drugs here, I don't want to tip any violators off.

Another question that will be asked. Who will use drugs a few days before they have to give a sample? You would be surprised how many people will be nabbed. The testing is cheap. The treatment and possible future incarceration is what is expensive.

libertarianjim 6 years, 2 months ago

The dopes in the Kansas Legislature should be drug tested (or better yet, water boarded) for passing this amendment. When the state of Kansas tests my urine or blood, it wil be during my autopsy.

maxcrabb 6 years, 2 months ago

From MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18098378/

For every $1000 of tax money spent, $219.40 went to health care (even if you are not insured) ($124 went to Medicare, the rest Medicaid) $206.60 went to the Social Security fund $196.50 for Military spending (the site breaks it down) $85.30 to pay back debt for the budget (Treasury's deal)

THEN $132.70 for "income security", which includes unemployment insurance ($12.70), food and nutrition programs ($20.30), and housing assistance ($14.40), and to top it off is retirement for federal workers (37.00).

The other $160 is split between education, transportation, agriculture, NASA, general science and space research, global outreach, disaster response, and international affairs.

Then it cost $6.90 for the government to move that all around and actually spend it.

It is important to note, however, that $1.2 trillion of the $2.7 trillion spent by the feds will come from individuals. $342 billion will come from corporations. $873 billion comes from Social Security taxes, $57 billion from excises taxes, and $98 billion from "other" (?) taxes and fees.

Do with it what you will.

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

here is an excellent commentary by a Harvard economist on the legalization of drugs: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/24/miron.legalization.drugs/index.html

quit wasting our tax dollars are the absolutely ridiculous "war on drugs"

gogoplata 6 years, 2 months ago

My will would be to get rid of the income tax.

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

sorry... it seems that it won't let me post the link... just go to cnn.com it really is a worth while read

samsnewplace 6 years, 2 months ago

fourkitties I agree with all, but coffee? Let's put the thumbscrews to them all now! I'm 100% for drug testing, if they are collecting, we should know their money is going for something other than drugs and alocohol.

gogoplata 6 years, 2 months ago

That CNN article is a good read. I agree with you stuckinthemiddle. It is time to put an end to the war on drugs. But as it relates to this article is also time to put an end to welfare.

samsnewplace 6 years, 2 months ago

gogoplata, at least those that are on it from generation to generation, never trying to get a job or make a life of their own!

jesusturds 6 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

madameX 6 years, 2 months ago

Coffee is not a luxury! Okay, maybe a $4.00 latte from a fancy coffee shop is, but if someone on food stamps wants to but a can of Folgers and brew it themselves it would be cruel to begrudge them that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Hey cybermaiden, you're going under the assumption that these folks are poor just because they are on public assistance."

Well, Akreed, you're going under the assumption that these folks are drug addicts just because they are on public assistance.

gogoplata 6 years, 2 months ago

Welfare/Charity can be safely placed in the hands of the public. There are very few things the government does that could not be done better by the public.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for your religious testimony, gogoplata. Too bad it doesn't work that way.

alm77 6 years, 2 months ago

musb, I'm assuming you're not on assistance. Most people I know who are on assistance of any kind are used to the government in their business, whether it's home visits from the Family Department or WIC telling them which foods to choose. I even had a mom tell me once that the government should come out with a parenting handbook for her. WOW

So, what I'm saying is that the people on welfare will comply. They're used to being told what to do. Most will probably pass that test. Some will be forced into rehab and a few may recover, but some will fall out of the system while losing their kids in the process.

oohmgrover 6 years, 2 months ago

Most everyone seems to be missing the point. The assumption is not necessarily that because they are poor, they use drugs. The point is that if someone is spending money on drugs and receiving welfare, they should be spending the drug money on whatever they get welfare benefits to supplement.

And welfare isn't a right, it is aid. No one has to apply for welfare. People get drug tested for jobs, why shouldn't they be drug tested for a handout?

I worked at a grocery store for years, and while most people seemed to be using their food stamp cards and WIC checks responsibly, there were those who made poor choices and bought things like a pint of Godiva chocolate ice cream and Red Bull.

In this economy when even teachers are losing their jobs due to the repeated funding cuts in the only area that the state constitution says the state is required to fund, I'm loathe to allow people who waste their money on drugs get any amount of the welfare money that I help pay.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 2 months ago

Kids need food, regardless of what mom and dad do to themselves....

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

"Well, Akreed, you're going under the assumption that these folks are drug addicts just because they are on public assistance."

Actually no I'm not. If I was assuming they were on drugs the testing wouldn't even be needed, now would it? I'm going under that assumption that if assistance is needed it had better actually be needed. Not because you're blowing money on drugs.

oohmgrover 6 years, 2 months ago

No one is forcing them to sign up for welfare, therefore it isn't unconstitutional as far as I can tell. It would be unconstitutional if they were stopped randomly on the road, but these are people who receive government aid. It is already constitutional for government employees to be drug tested and they receive money from the government, why would this be different?

sinverguenza 6 years, 2 months ago

If poor people have to be clean because they're getting my tax dollars, does that mean I have a free pass to be dirty since I'm giving my tax dollars?

Because I'm kind of OK with that. ;)

ksmax 6 years, 2 months ago

This is not created to single out poor people, it is created to make people who receive government assistance think twice about doing drugs. I do think it is a good idea, however, the children are the ones going to pay for the stupidity of the adults when they choose to do drugs instead of thinking of the children that this is suppose to go to help.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

" People get drug tested for jobs, why shouldn't they be drug tested for a handout?"

Most drug-testing for jobs is just a pointless and mindless abuse of privacy rights. This is no different.

"Actually no I'm not. If I was assuming they were on drugs the testing wouldn't even be needed, now would it?"

If you weren't making assumptions about an entire class of people, you wouldn't be supporting this, your denials notwithstanding.

"Because I'm kind of OK with that. ;)"

Simply shameless.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

"If you weren't making assumptions about an entire class of people, you wouldn't be supporting this, your denials notwithstanding."

Well if bozo says it it must be true! Guess what bozo, you're wrong. I know it's hard to accept sometimes but you are.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

By your logic, we should be following them around in their cars and making sure they buckle their seat belts and don't run red lights. We should also be checking to make sure they aren't engaging in insider trading. Because there wouldn't be any assumptions involved in that, now would there?

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

Not the same at all. Running red lights and buckling their seatbelt is in no way similar to them blowing money on drugs with one hand while reaching out for a hand out with the other. Insider trading? Really?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

" blowing money on drugs with one hand while reaching out for a hand out with the other."

And it requires an assumption on your part that this happens frequently enough to justify invading the privacy of even those who don't do this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Insider trading? Really?"

Yep, it's an unlikely assumption, but an assumption nonetheless, as is your assumption that they are all on drugs.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

I make no assumptions how frequently this happens. I'm sure there are statistics available showing connections between the two, however I don't have them. Do you have them, or are you just assuming there is no way it's a common enough occurance to even worry about it? Do you have some other solution to prevent the abuse of assistance by those that don't need it, or is it just your goal to shoot down ideas proposed by others?

denak 6 years, 2 months ago

I doubt this will ever go into effect. I doubt that it is even constitutional. Certainly it should be challenged on a 4th amendment basis as well as a violation of one's privacy.

Also, just what do they mean by "welfare?" Are they only talking about TANF, or food stamps, or WiC, or SSI due to a child's disability? Does anyone who receive government money to care for a child have to submit to a "random" drug test? What about foster parents? Or parents who adopt from the foster care system? They recieve money from the state in the form of an adoption subsidy. Children in foster care are eligible for WIC? If a foster parent signs the child up for WIC, will the foster parent have to wiz in a cup?

On a personal note, this is insulting. When my son was young, and I was in college, I was on food stamps. There was nothing in my environment that would have led anyone to believe that I was on drugs (and to be clear I wasn't) nor did I abuse the benefits I received, nor was my son neglected in anyway. It is a waste of tax payer money--apparently to the tune of 800, 000, to mandate random drug testing.

Furthermore, who are we kidding. There is no such thing as random where the government is concerned. At the very least, people will soon realize that when they come in for an appointment they will have to have a urinalysis. Or they will get a letter in the mail telling them to come in. For those who are abusing drugs, they will know in advance. It isn't as if someone is going to knock on your door and say "hey fill this up".

And lastly, who is going to pay for this treatment? Let me guess. Oh yeah, the government. And while mom or dad is in "treatment," the kids are going to end up in foster care....where, ironically enough, they are being taken care of by me.

Dena

HermioneElliott 6 years, 2 months ago

I get food stamps and I am not in the least embarrassed to say so. I am grateful for them. I am not a monk and I have taken no religious vows. Right now I have among other things, Pepsi, pizza, and an Edwards cheesecake. How does that make me feel? Satisfied. I am not a drinker or a druggie. Food does it for me. Do not be messing with my snacks. I think that money could be spent on something a lot more useful. I would like to see some verifiable numbers about just how many receiving federal assistance have an alcohol or a drug problem. We have elderly in this town going hungry because of their pride. Now, for sure, they won't apply. Real helpful.

AjiDeGallina 6 years, 2 months ago

Are those on Corproate welfare included?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Illegal drug use is illegal for everybody. If there are reasons to suspect anyone of doing so, there are police whose job it is to investigate. That's the best way to deal with this, not forcing everyone who gets government assistance to pee in a bottle just because people like you are looking for ever more ways to be punitive to poor people.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

People like me? Whatever could you mean? Let's see here...your not making assumptions that you know me are you bozo? YOU would NEVER do such a thing.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

If the Democrats proposed this it would be called Socialism @ 800k per year. I'm not surprised that the Rebublicans would propose it though, (but then again, I'm not surprised the Democrats would propose the tax on CEO bonus). At any rate this measure does seem like overlap because I believe law enforcement already has testing policies for those who have drug offenses and might be in a diversion program or on probation

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

My mother was a medical assistant in central Pennsylvania. A good portion of the patients she saw were welfare recipients, often times multi-generational recipients. Living off the govt. teet became the family business. She was always concerned for too many of them, particularly the children, because the parents/guardians too often were drug abusers and/or alcoholics.
I'm sure not everyone that's on welfare is a drug abuser. But if they are they shouldn't be eligible for mine, yours, or anyone else's money. Unreasonable search? Does not apply. War against the poor? Not even close. My only problem with this law is that they shouldn't receive two strikes first. And hopefully there's a time component, as not all recipients are on the dole for long periods. But if someone is drawing for long periods there should be 'oversight'.

For those of you concerned with the children of these people who might lose their benefits because of this law, seems to me the kids would be better off than to live with someone so negligent and unconcerned with their overall welfare they'd spend welfare money for a habit rather than their progeny's well-being. Not to mention risking the loss of the source which feeds their children and in turn risk losing the children themselves.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

Another argument I see for this measure is the "why should my hard work be paying for people who take drugs" take on things.

Well, if you remove the microscope and look at the macrocosm of society, there will always be those who need assistance because there are not enough jobs to go around. Usually this is between 5-10%. So if they did pull things together and "work hard" they will only take the place of others who will fall down into an assistance program. The 5-10% will remain constant.

There are surely ways to improve welfare programs that are fair to both those who pay for them and those who are on them....but I just don't see this as being a productive measure.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Great, I think the guys getting any of the stimulus money, like if they buy a house this year, or if the receive tax credit for any type of investment or improvement should be drug tested. Why should they receive tax money and not pee in a cup. Think of all the jobs testing the pee makes. Since the churches don't have to pay taxes and use roads and stuff, they should be subjected and they can lead the way in proving they deserve the tax breaks.

djeyler 6 years, 2 months ago

Finally some common since. If you have money to buy drugs you certainly don't need government assistance. Lawrence housing authority has been drug testing for years now and it has made a good improvement in the quality of life in low income housing. If your on welfare you should be drug screened. Leave those who are not taxing our system alone. The next step should be mandatory birth control for all women using government assistance. If you need my help with my tax dollars you don't need more kids.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"because people like you are looking for ever more ways to be punitive to poor people"

This fallacious argument keeps popping up in this thread. Poor people are not the problem nor the target. Drug users abusing the nobility of the system are.

ArmyBrat25 6 years, 2 months ago

I think this is a great idea! I would pee in a cup if thats what it took to take care of my family. I am on assistance, and it would not bother me one bit.

Maybe eventually it would weed (no pun intended) out the people who abuse the system-leaving more assistance to those who abide by it. I read above that it would hurt the kids-I have known of people to trade their food stamps for their habit, so most of the time if that is what they have to do to get their fix then that's what they will do.

Christine Anderson 6 years, 2 months ago

I have one concern only with this law. Does it have a provision for those who are on prescription drugs? I am NOT talking about rx drug abuse, but it's USE. There is a difference. If a welfare recipient tests positive for a drug which is considered a controlled substance, but they have a current, valid script from their dr., are they going to be "damned"? Oh, as for the person who says they used to work Checkers and thought someone was "irresponsible" for buying Godiva ice cream, you are a jerk! How do you know how often that person buys that, instead of a less expensive brand?Well? Some folks buy a "treat" once in a great while. It's an edible item, not etoh or tobacco, so shut up.

Trouble 6 years, 2 months ago

This is great. I had to take a drug test to get my job. The only thing is what about the kids. The parents are tested and the government stop the welfare assistance then who is going to take care and feed these kids that are born into these families. I don't like to see my taxes going to support someones drug habits. But I not for letting a child to go hungry or homeless. What happens to the kids?

Phil Minkin 6 years, 2 months ago

Other candidates for drug testing: 1 gun purchasers and anyone getting a hunting permit 2 CEO's and top managemement of companies getting tax breaks 3 elected officials 4 Radio talk show hosts(too late for Rush)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"This fallacious argument keeps popping up in this thread. Poor people are not the problem nor the target. Drug users abusing the nobility of the system are."

Not fallacious at all. You're clearly willing to abuse the privacy rights of poor people simply because you think that their getting government assistance that justifies you in assuming they are all drug addicts. I've no doubt that you'd take any punitive turd of measure against them that you can squeeze out.

cybermaiden 6 years, 2 months ago

"Welfare/Charity can be safely placed in the hands of the public. There are very few things the government does that could not be done better by the public."

You know, I agree with this statement. In theory, this is the way society should work. The less input we give the government the more liberated we become. However, do you really want to trust the lives of the poor and hungry to "this" public? Maybe if we could rewind time a good 20 to 30 years before the Johnson County invasion.

By the way, I want our politicians randomly drug tested, NOW. Let's see how many of these "recipients" keep their positions. HAHAHA

oohmgrover 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok, so you say...

"I get food stamps and I am not in the least embarrassed to say so. I am grateful for them. I am not a monk and I have taken no religious vows. Right now I have among other things, Pepsi, pizza, and an Edwards cheesecake. How does that make me feel? Satisfied. I am not a drinker or a druggie. Food does it for me. Do not be messing with my snacks."

AND

"I think that money could be spent on something a lot more useful."

While a comment is probably not necessary when looking at these two statements, I can't resist. Get off your butt, buy some name brand sugar water and stop wasting my money on stuff that isn't even healthy.

oohmgrover 6 years, 2 months ago

"Oh, as for the person who says they used to work Checkers and thought someone was “irresponsible” for buying Godiva ice cream, you are a jerk! How do you know how often that person buys that, instead of a less expensive brand?Well? Some folks buy a “treat” once in a great while. It's an edible item, not etoh or tobacco, so shut up."

Yeah, I still don't care. You get a treat for a job well done, and that involves getting a job. Buy non-name brand healthy food that will actually provide sustenance for your body with the government's money, buy brand name junk with your own dime.

cybermaiden 6 years, 2 months ago

"Akreed (Anonymous) says… Just out of curiosity what constitutional rights are you referring to that are being chipped away at?"

How about your 4th and 5th amendments?

I don't know about you but I vehemently guard my rights against intrusion for the "better good". I get a nervous when I see Government encroaching on anyones rights. And if your so concerned about your taxes perhaps you should rethink the legitimacy of taxes other than property taxes in the first place.

Alucard13 6 years, 2 months ago

How about an opinion of one of those poor people. not only am i poor, but handicapped as well. Alot of us poor folk are disabled. for myself and Many others, drugs made illegal by money grubbing politicians are what get us by. I'm not talking the hard stuff like meth, but cannabis, and a few other natural remedies. for many of us pain and sickness are a constant companion. although the benefits i receive do help a bit, to pay for the drugs i am prescribed by my doctor. but many of those meds, make me sick, or have little positive effect. so i use a combination of what i am prescribed and cannabis to help ease the constant pain and side effects of the meds i must take. sometimes just the natural items help, for our bodies are set up to process these things earth-made for healing. Many find themselves sick from the pills and treatment they are given.
now i am not just laying around getting high just sponging of taxpayers. i like to work. i would love to have a full time job, but my disabilities prevent that. i have a Very difficult time finding employment due to my handicap, but i keep on looking.

I am POOR, I am in Pain, I Want to WORK, Yes i use other than what the Doctors give me, but I am a Good American, who is VERY Thankful for the help i get, for with out it, i would most likely be dead. Thank You America for Loving and Sheltering me! Goddess Bless America!!!

cybermaiden 6 years, 2 months ago

And Goddess Bless you Alucard13!! If my taxes go to anyone, I want them to go to you and others in your situation!!!

Jim Phillips 6 years, 2 months ago

I actually have mixed feelings about this. If it's passed, we taxpayers will be footing the bill of the testing and the rehab. More government intervention. On the other hand, it really irritates me that I have to pay taxes to help sustain some idiot who spends the day lying around the house getting drunk/stoned, particularly if that person has a family. Maybe the solution is to wait until the person has been arrested for a drug related offense and then make the testing mandatory as long as the person receives government assistance. If he doesn't like it, he can take the initiative to get clean and get a job.

christie 6 years, 2 months ago

Since these legislators receive public money then they should be exposed to the same requirements.

After all - who pays for their salaries??

Your TAX DOLLARS.

WHY 6 years, 2 months ago

So what about farmers who receive government money. Or people who use state roads.
Or everyone who receives the EIC. Or rich people who get tax breaks.

Alexander Neighbors 6 years, 2 months ago

so more money will go to testing these people instead of helping Them This is REDICULAS !!!! how about you take the $800,000 and add it to a job training program. OR how about more Job ready training or daycare options... COME ON PEOPLE poor people need help not drug tests.

How about you just start testing tax payers who make more than $65,000.00 that way we ensure that the stats Tax base will not be using drugs..

black_butterfly 6 years, 2 months ago

I see nothing wrong with testing people who receive welfare benefits. I had to take a drug test to get my job. My friend use to say, "The wounded dog yelps!" If you are mad about this you should ask yourself why? Yes, it will cost us tax dollars to pay for testing and rehabilation, but I'd rather pay for the treatment then continue to see the epidemic of drug addiction that has crippled many people. We are always going to have to pay taxes. Maybe if we offer them some treatment we can cut costs in other ways. When I am working overtime to pay bills and support my two children, it kind of irritates me when I see someone using food stamps with brand new sculptured nails and "new" hair, wearing designer clothing and driving a brand new car. Yes these could be borrowed items, but I doubt it. I work 50+ hours a week. The least they could do is take a drug test. I would take a drug test every month if that is what it took to support my family.

ridinthefence 6 years, 2 months ago

So much needs to be done to control abuse of welfare. Lets face it nobody minds a drug test, UNLESS they are doing drugs. I say go for it.

davidsmom 6 years, 2 months ago

A lot of people have to submit to regular or random drug testing to stay employed. How is this any different? I have no problem with this at all.

true_patriot 6 years, 2 months ago

Since the nation is now in the business of socializing financial risk for the wealthiest of Americans while privatizing their profits, all CEO's and upper management of companies receiving taxpayer bailout money should undergo the exact same drug tests for exactly the same reasons.

If the public is funding them, we deserve to know what drugs they use to cope with the intense stresses of being fabulously wealthy. I look forward to seeing how much prescription and illegal drug abuse and alcoholism we uncover with these titans of industry and finance.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"You're clearly willing to abuse the privacy rights of poor people simply because you think that their getting government assistance that justifies you in assuming they are all drug addicts."

I've already stated that I'm certain all welfare recipients are not drug addicts. And try to keep it non-personal, bozo, I'm givin' it a shot; "You're clearly willing to abuse....." give it a rest. My opinion is that if someone has essentially become a ward of the state then this control is warranted, and if you live off the teet then asking for a random sample is not much to ask. And I'm often amused when someone talks about abusing privacy rights in instances like this when a drug test is nothing but urine unless you do drugs. The only one's who are worried about their privacy in these instances are drug addicts. Noone's gonna worry that the fact they have osteoporosis is gonna be known by a bureaucrat. There are numerous jobs where a drug test is required before hiring, and many where they're random throughout employment. Construction, OTR drivers, government employees- all must be tested before they EARN their money. So what's so wrong about doing the same for those on the dole? I was tested randomly when I was DOO for a fiber optic company because I was responsible for 20 men, 10 trucks, and about 2 million worth of equipment moving across the country. Sorry, I don't believe someone subsisting on my hard work which has been allowed to continue by my adherence to drug tests shouldn't have to do the same from time to time.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Drugs should be legal.

And, drug testing is, in my opinion, a violation of our Constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure, unless there is probable cause to believe that drugs are being used.

Frankly, if someone's personal habits, whether legal or illegal, are an issue at a job, that should be obvious and thus produce probable cause. So there is no need for pre-job drug testing or random testing.

And, for the record, I don't use drugs.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

On the other hand, I think we have a legitimate interest in how taxpayer funded assistance is spent.

Micromanaging seems absurd, but I would like to see this money being spent wisely and on healthy food.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 2 months ago

Randem testing, no big deal. Unless you use drugs. But if one does not use drugs, chances are they won't be on welfare.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

TrooGrit,

What happened to the Constitution?

It's not just about who pays the bill.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

TrooGrit,

I do pay the bill, since I pay my fair share of taxes.

Your following the employer's dictate because you wanted a job is precisely the reason that the government should be protecting us from this sort of treatment. We are all vulnerable to this kind of abuse since we need jobs, housing, etc.

And, it can't be unconstitutional and then "not at all unfair".

Arumer, there are many challenges we face that the founding fathers did not - it is our job to try to apply our founding principles to new situations.

Our founding fathers were clearly very concerned about the power of the state and wished to protect ordinary citizens from intrusion and abuse by the state.

The fourth amendment exists to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures.

weluvbowling 6 years, 2 months ago

The way I see it, if you paid your tax dollars and are not doing anything illegal or deceitful to make you "poor" and "in need" then you won't object to the random testing.

If you have the money to do the drugs you have the money to buy your grub!

There are way too many people out there doing drugs and collecting benefits who are just as capable as the next person to be working they just choose not to! Personally it irritates the p*ss out of me!

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

logrithmic,

Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits is based on wages earned not on family financial resources. Unemployment Insurance is not Welfare.

weluvbowling 6 years, 2 months ago

We give up our constitutional rights to get a job to support their lazy a**es!

Go back to your pipe logic your testing will come soon!

seriouscat 6 years, 2 months ago

Government's 'War on Drugs' has been going on some 20 years now. Billions of dollars spent. Court system overflowing. Jails overcrowded. Drug and alcohol abuse is still on the rise.

Private sector has been testing workers increasingly for decades. Tests have become cheaper. Now parents can even buy tests over the counter for their kids. Drug and alcohol abuse is still on the rise.

Treatment centers have had their revolving doors swinging for decades. People get 'treated' and still use drugs.

For every new scrip for cancer that comes out, drug companies (subsidized by the government) churn out 100 addictive and costly prescription pills that are supposed to treat mental illness. People abuse them with gusto! (and mental illness is still on the rise)

Our approval of our government's actions shouldn't be based upon whether the action 'sounds good' or 'seems justified' or gives folks a feeling of having some control over how tax money (my money for the one's that see everything through the eyes of a two-year old) is spent. Our approval should be based upon whether those actions are effective at producing the desired outcome. Clearly when it comes to the drug problem, folks just can't seem to grasp this.

Isn't the definition of insanity to try the same thing over and over again expecting different results? That's what they say in treatment anyway.

purplesage 6 years, 2 months ago

Let me see if I can get a drug testing program up and running to make money off this proposal. The government has money, right?

Seems to me non-criminal alternatives for people without resources to cope with substance abuse would be money better spent.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

How about aptitude and IQ testing for politicians?

Then put the results on the internet for everyone to see along with their complete and thorough resumes with grades and test scores from K12 through college; the same kind of detailed information required when you apply to colleges and grad schools. Include essays and letters from teachers.

This would ferret out a lot of unqualified people and limit the propaganda we have to wade through.

I think this would save far more money in the long run than the miniscule amount a handful of drug users are spending from their welfare checks.

But this law is about politics and bias more than about good decision making. It is designed for political purposes only. It is a club used to beat on the unfortunate poor in the hopes of hitting a bad guy or two.

weluvbowling 6 years, 2 months ago

Logic, at this point I don't care if it costs me tax dollars to get these worthless individuals off of my other tax dollars! I am tired of busting my a** to support them and their habits!

As far as tobacco and drinking laws...I don't care about them either...I don't do either one!

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

This is the same government that put Japanese Americans in internment camps.

This is the same government that treated African Americans like animals without human rights and dignity.

This is a government that has to be watched carefully and reigned in when it usurps far too much power from the people.

Did you ever hear about Big Brother? How about Mr. Hoover at the FBI walking around in dresses while he spied on politicians and extorted favors.

Remember the frog in the pan lesson. You lose a little freedom every day and then it is gone and you wonder what happened. The ironic thing about this law is that it was created by Republicans who talk out both sides of their mouths about limited government.

It is only limited when it cuts their taxes. The rest is just BS.

deadboy 6 years, 2 months ago

Im a single father and its hard to raise a child on my own,but i do what i can.I would happily take a drug test if it meant my child would eat.I can see boyh sides of this debate but my child comes first,its hard out in this world for all of us.

someone8 6 years, 2 months ago

I am a 30+ single mother who has returned to school. I have NEVER recieved any assistance. I work full time and go to school part time. I do rely on foodstamps to help feed me and my child. I do not do drugs,drink or smoke. I am all for people getting tested. Go for it..

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

log: "Oh, but what if you did need assistance?"

Already answered: "I do rely on foodstamps to help feed me and my child."

log: "And the state said, for the sake of argument, you'd have to give your kid up for adoption in order to get it. Then what?"

Um....."My god, the stupidity…."

log: "Your kid is badly injured and needs public assistance to survive. But they won't give you the assistance cuz a law was passed saying that you have to have a spotless driving record for three years prior to the assistance and you had a traffic citation"

Errr...."My god, the stupidity…."

weluvbowling 6 years, 2 months ago

"You had to take a drug test to get your job. Don't work there."

Log if you were familiar with the workforce these days you would know that most "decent" paying jobs "require" drug testing to work there.

Earlier I told you to go back to your pipe but now I must tell you...step away from the pipe! You've smoked yourself into a state where you have no sense of reality and you are not reading the posts completely before responding to them!

"The nutcases are in full bloom today!" Yes, you are!

Alexander Neighbors 6 years, 2 months ago

there are serious privacy issues here, next they will be wanting to put GPS tracker on poor people to see where they go.

This is a sad day for kansas.

weluvbowling 6 years, 2 months ago

"I seriously doubt all you folks saying “if you aren't doing drugs, then what's the problem?” would have no issue with being required to pee in a cup every so often."

Not at all! I know what I do and don't do and have nothing to hide. If that is what it takes to keep my job to feed my family, absolutely!

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

beatrice (Anonymous) says…

"So will the managers of A.I.G. have to give up their bonuses if they fail their drug tests? How about the auto manufacturing CEOs? When are they going to have to pee into a cup? They sure get a heck of a lot more public assistance than welfare mothers could ever dream of getting.

Stupid conservatives."

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is funny though. people think that welfare recipients are going to test positive for all these drugs like cocaine that are out of your system within a matter of days completely. nope. all gonna be reefer unless they JUST hit the meth pipe or something. random drug testing is for weed and steroids.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"People can be protective of their privacy even if they are doing nothing wrong. Implying otherwise is absurd"

No offense, logic, but then what 'privacy' are they protecting?

"The problem is that testing welfare recipients while failing to test other types of people who receive government aid is discriminatory"

What other types of people who receive government aid like this are you referring to? I expect there must be a relatively high percentage of welfare recipients doing drugs or this law wouldn't have been put on the table.

"I seriously doubt all you folks saying “if you aren't doing drugs, then what's the problem?” would have no issue with being required to pee in a cup every so often."

But many of us have been so required in order to become employed and/or remain employed. I never had an issue with it, and for 4 years I was subject to random tests 2 to 3 times a year. My company was protecting their liability and their assets, whether equipment or the safety of the men. I submitted 'cuz that was the policy and I garnered a healthy salary. Failing would have meant forfeiting that salary, and that was money I worked exceptionally long and hard hours to earn. The tests were administered to all my men, but it was never under an 'assumption' that we were all likely drug users. Here we have people who are living off those of us who are able or willing to work, and I am by no means saying the majority of those on welfare are slackers, but there's no doubt some are. Making certain such people are not abusing the system is by no means absurd.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

It appears to me that everyone is missing the point. In theses difficult economic times, it is hard to stomach the thought of most hard working Americans, that the taxes that are taken from their paychecks are given to people without jobs and are used to purchase drugs, INCLUDING MARIJUANA.

I feel sorry for the kids of these families like most people do. If someone is taken off of welfare for failing drug tests, the money that was going to them can go to insure their kids are placed in a stable environment where the adults are not making horrible decicions.

I am not attacking the poor nor do I look down on people receiving public assistance. Our current President was the recipient of much needed public assistance at one time.

What I DO look down on is people like Logorithmic, who is constantly pushing his Pro-drug agenda at all times. Lawrence is full of this type of idiotic thinking. Drugs cause problems, in communities, schools, and especially in the home.

Now, before Logorithmic starts talking about the wasted tax dollars used to criminalize drugs and the cost to the tax base for prosecution and prisons, etc. Let me tell everyone something. I worked many years in one of our states Maximum Correctional Facilities and it was not filled up at all with drug users. Many were incarcerated surrounding drugs, i.e. killing someone while on drugs, robbing someone while on drugs, burglarizing houses to get money to buy drugs, killing someone defending their drug profits, etc. So in my opinion, drug use was the CAUSE of the crimes which landed them in prison, not the reason why they were incarcerated.

Drugs hurt families and communities, don't use my tax dollars to buy it. If you don't like it, live in your Mom's basement the rest of your life and smoke your bong and cry about how it is unfair that drugs are illegal like Logorithmic does. Just don't apply for public assistance while using.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"I expect there must be a relatively high percentage of welfare recipients doing drugs or this law wouldn't have been put on the table."

Yea, right, jaywalker, and the police only ever arrest guilty people. Why do you hate the constitution?

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

Lol, at least the smoke hasn't hurt your wit yet Log.

The belief that an addict will cease to be an addict and quit doing illegal activities to satiate a drug habit is too idiotic even for you to possibly believe Log, even in your constat daze of a mind.

Just because some economist from Harvard and you believe that the legalization of drugs will reduce crime doesn't make me less credible. I could cut and paste all day long refuting articles to counter that nonsense but I like to have original thoughts. Under your hypothesis, if we didn't have any laws then there wouldn't be any crime or violence. Not a very sound argument when someone plays it all the way out, unless the smoke is clouding your judgement.

As for the credibility issue, there are plenty of looney, educated, professors out there who advocate drugs, starting with that LSD nutjob back in the 60's. But that doesn't mean they have more credibility than anyone else.

As for the prison guard crack as a means to make me seem less credible, nice try. I was a former Correctional Officer, but I don't know how that makes me un-credible about what I talked about. I have held many occupations in my life, and I also graduated from good ol' KU like many of you and it appears that little has changed in all that time.

You still believe all the worlds problems will be solved if they legalize marijuana. That is laughable.

And personally, I don't care if they do or they don't. Just don't whine about it if you get caught down in your mom's basement because obviously you are smart enough to know that it is illegal.

P.S. Open a window or something so when your mom comes down there to call you for dinner she won't get a contact high.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"No offense jaywalker, but that's none of your business. Hence the term “privacy”."

The question remains, what 'privacy'? I'm serious here, not trying to be snidely contentious, what is protected? It's urine, it's a drug test......what else would be unveiled?

"-farmers who receive subsidies from the government -small business owners who receive tax incentives -Wall Street financial firms who just received a giant bailout -Married couples who receive tax benefits from being wed -Seniors who receive Social Security and Medicaid"

All people who are actively working, paying taxes, or have done so for decades as in the case of SS and Medicaid. This is about those getting a free ride on the backs of the above.

"In other words, how is a drug-using employee who performs his job well any worse than a clean employee who doesn't? The answer is he's not, but random drug testing ignores that fact."

Couldn't be more mistaken. I had a fantastic employee who made a mistake with a forklift and knocked another great employee off a scaffold from 35 feet. Ended up the former was regularly popping pain killers on the job. Did his job great, but his inebriation cost me two men.
To this case, though, I do agree with you on the limited scope possible for drugs tested.

"Third, and possibly most important, is the fact that if a person doesn't like a company's drug-testing policy, they can go out and find another job"

True, but not necessarily in the same field. Sorry, I've never heard nor known of anyone who left their job for another because they didn't like the testing policy.

"If a welfare recipient doesn't like this policy, they don't have any means of recourse. Not all welfare recipients get welfare by choice,"

No, I suppose they don't to the first part, and I completely understand to the second. Still, if it's that important or vital, I don't believe a little urine tested only for illegal narcotics once in a while is much to submit to.

"When it is at the expense of those who AREN'T abusing the system, then yes it is. That's all there is to it."

Again, what privacy is being violated? What expense? Those who aren't abusing the system who've posted on this string say they have no problem with it, as I imagine most would feel.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

and Logicsound,

You have everyright to feel the way you do about my comment. The point I was trying to make was that taxpayers are starting to demand accountability of how their taxes are being spent. From AIG bonuses to drug purchases, many Americans are starting to be resentfull about money being taken from them and used in a manner that is determined unwarrented by many. That is what this bill is attempting to address, though like you I believe it will probably not accomplish what many would like it to.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

Logicsound, I understand the use of citations and providing alternate evidence to support one's idea, but thanks for the refresher.

As I stated earlier, I can sit here all day and post links to support my "original" idea, but I doubt you would read it. I agree the view I hold is held by many, and obviously you agree with that as well, that is why you refute the "originality" of my idea. Therefore, the fact that Log and you apparently believe that just because one person from Harvard appeared quoted in a pro-drug magazine that the argument is sound is extremely far fetched.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says…

"Still missing the point. People shouldn't have to prove that they aren't doing anything wrong to avoid the inconvenience and humilitation of having to submit to unlawful search."

What is the unlawful search? People submit to this type of "inconvenience and humilitation" every day in the workforce and in pre-job conditional offers. Why is it o.k. for the working and not o.k. for the unemployed? Give me a break!

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

If you don't want to have to submit to a drug screening to receive public assitance then DON'T RECEIVE THE ASSITANCE!

People on unemployment benefits are required to apply for work to continue to receive benefits, is that terrbile too?

The sense of entitlement that infects our culture is astounding! Where were you guys taught that not having a job was a good thing? For those of you that have fallen on tough times due to the recent struggles in our nation, I am glad that the assistance is there for you to utilize while you rebuild. Please do not feel humilitated by submitting to the drug test. It is just a way to try to correct the lifetime malingerers who suck the resources dry while using drugs. The same way they check up on fraudulent insurance claims, taxes, unemployment benefits, corporate bonuses, etc. etc.

For everyone else who is outraged at this. . . . . all the way up in the top right hand corner of this website, there is a link called TOP JOBS. Click on it and start applying, especially you logorithmic (so you can get out of your moms basement), but most of those jobs won't give you any money either if you fail a drug test.

Maybe everyone should STOP USING DRUGS!

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Practicality,

Pre-job drug testing and random drug testing while employed should not be permitted either, in my opinion.

The fourth amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures - I would say that testing folks for drug use is unreasonable unless there is probable cause to believe they are using drugs.

If someone's drug use is affecting their performance on the job, it should be obvious and easy to justify testing them on "probable cause" grounds.

Also, you could simply fire them for bad job performance.

And, before the predictable insults ensue, I am not on public assistance nor do I use drugs. I pay my fair share of taxes. It's simply that I remember the Constitution.

Finally, regarding the issue of drug use and related crime, does anyone remember Prohibition? When we attempted to make alcohol use illegal, it created many of the related problems mentioned above.

The argument is not that people will stop using drugs, anymore than legalizing alcohol stopped anyone from drinking. It is that legal substances do not have as many of the associated problems that illegal ones do.

Alcohol use and smoking are legalized addictions - if you believe addictive substances should be illegal, why aren't you advocating the prohibition of alcohol and cigarettes?

someone8 6 years, 2 months ago

When it comes down to it, if I have to "pee in a cup" to continue getting foodstamps, I will. There will be a time when I am making more money and won't need the assistance. At that point and as it is now, my tax dollars are helping put food not only on my table, but on others that need that assistance. I really don't mind helping people that need assistance but, if a person has $25 to go buy drugs then that is $25 they can put towards food. No one can be forced to get treatment, they have to want it. I see no problem doing drug test to anyone recieving assistance, give users the opportunity to get help they may not otherwise get or be given the opportunity to get, don't take away there assistance just let everyone know you shouldn't be doing drugs and there are consequences. Maybe instead of food stamps give food. Don't do random just have everyone do it.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

On another Blog at this site a survey indicates that most people favor drug testing for anyone who receives public assistance. So it is now expanding from Welfare recipients to public assistance, whatever that blanket statement covers.

Is there any scientific evidence that poor people on welfare are drug users? What percentage?

Are we making our decisions based on facts or just bias against the very poor? How much are we influenced by our prejudice or the rhetoric of others who are just as lacking in factual evidence?

Who is pushing your buttons that you would support a law that invades the privacy of innocent American citizens. This is nothing but a witch hunt.

I believe It is cruel to treat the poor as suspected drug users simply because they are poor and to condemn them for accepting government assistance when they are down and out.

If we are going to test the poor than we should test everyone on this blog. Everyone should be tested. Why do you think being employed or owning a house should protect you from being tested? And as long as we are testing everyone for drugs why stop there? What other freedoms can we go after for the sake of the greater "good".

Fueled by prejudice, we give up our freedoms to the government. One small step at a time.

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

Alucard13, i wish things were easier for you!

logicsound04, you are my best friend on the board in this argument. i feel like we are reiterating each other, and i really hope that at least a couple of these misguided folks can open their minds enough for a moment that they can REALLY read what you are saying.

georgeofwesternkansas (Anonymous) says… "Randem testing, no big deal. Unless you use drugs. But if one does not use drugs, chances are they won't be on welfare."

you are a good example of misguided folks.

and jaywalker and practical need to stop being such stubborn asses.
jaywalker: "Still, if [recieving benefits] is that important or vital, I don't believe a little urine tested only for illegal narcotics once in a while is much to submit to."

missing a few, big, gaping holes...

1) it won't trip positive for 90% of the substances it seeks if they havent been used within the last day or two, which doesn't rule out a clean test as a non-drug user/abuser at all.

2) this doesn't prevent an individual receiving benefits from abusing their funds by purchasing legal items such as cigarettes, alcohol, or even something as harmless as a pair of shoes instead of the food for which their funds were allotted.

3) allowing such an invasion of privacy only opens a door to a room this legislature is going to stand in for a while and wonder if they can open that next door that will lead to searching of your homes, vehicles, etc. and it doesn't have to stop at just searching and surveying your life, they could just keep opening new doors to regulating what you eat, where you shop, what you wear, who knows? and all because people like you two stubborn asses were ok with it.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

jafs,

No argument from me about outlawing Alcholol and Cigarrettes. If I could, I would.

Most rational people need a job more than they want to smoke Marijuana, therefore they submit to the drug tests because it is best for their well being to be employed, whether they agree with the test or not. It is the irrational judgement of a few, (well more than a few in Lawrence) that sacrafice or risk employment with most occupations in America just so they can get high. I really have a problem with that narcissistic type of thinking. If one is willing to sacrafice ANYTHING, especially a job or Public Assistance, just to get high, then why should the taxpayer, who had to make all those sacrafices, give to those that don't?

As for Violence and Crime associated with Prohibition? Of course Violence errupted over who controlled the distribution of Alcohol just like it errupts with the distribution of Drugs today. But it also occurs with the users of these products and that would not change whether it was legal or not.

As I stated earlier. I don't believe just because someone smokes weed they are a bad person. I just question their judgement because it appears their willingness to give up everything just to smoke weed seems like a stupid trade.

Anybody want to buy some Ocean Front Property in Arizona?

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

Practicality (Anonymous) says…

"People on unemployment benefits are required to apply for work to continue to receive benefits, is that terrbile too? ... The sense of entitlement that infects our culture is astounding!"

unemployment is completely different. you pay into your own unemployment, which why you must work for it. and i agree that your feeling entitled to speak the way you do to and about people less fortunate than you is a shame.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

Today it is the poor. It used to be the Catholics or the Irish. The Japanese Americans. Black people. Yellow people. Hippies. Gays. Jews.

Which group do we want to go after next?

What will you do if they come after you?

My advice. Lie and hide. The same way others have done in this country in the past. When they come after you next.

In 50 years probably the white people. We will have to worry about where to hide if this erosion of the constitution continues. Your kids might be in the next group we go after.

Because their parents gave up their rights. Because a talk show host or a politician told them it was a good idea and they just didn't want to question whether one small invasion of privacy was anything to worry about.

When you hear the strange click on your phone perhaps you should ask yourself who might be listening. Dick Cheney?

sinverguenza 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm curious...

Has anyone considered that often times, just because someone uses drugs doesn't mean they purchase drugs?

Check out a college campus or Snoop Dog's part in the movie "Friday" if you don't know what I'm talking about.

So if you support this measure and your reasoning behind that is that your tax dollars shouldn't fund someone else's drug habit, please take into consideration that your tax dollars are out of your hands either way.

Individuals might fail the test because they bought drugs and/or have a serious drug problem, or they might fail because they took a hit off a joint at a party last weekend.

If the latter is the case, your tax dollars just paid for a drug test and drug treatment program for someone who wasn't even using your tax dollars to fund their drug abuse in the first place, and who, under this proposed policy, could still stick you with the bill for two more tests before they stop receiving aid!

And as Jaylee pointed out, unless our tax dollars are going to hair-based testing (we REALLY can't afford that), the only people you'll really weed out are the people smoking weed.

All those meth heads and coke fiends are going to slip right through the cracks and still get your tax dollars!

So, do you want your tax dollars to go to individuals who might abuse the system and make choices that hurt themselves and others, or do you want your tax dollars to go to individuals who might abuse the system and make choices that hurt themselves and others PLUS drug testing for those individuals PLUS drug treatment programs for those individuals?

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"I am also being serious. How about the privacy to not have to drive to the nearest clinic and be humiliated by having to pee into a cup for no other reason than you are receiving state assistance?"

Logic, I wasn't doubting your sincerity, just didn't want you taking my repetition of the same question or tone the wrong way.
Not familiar with dispersal of welfare stipends, but seems logical the sample could be submitted at the office where they regularly go to pick up check.

"why should I have to go above and beyond the existing requirements to prove that I am fit to receive aid if I have done nothing to even suggest that I have ever done drugs?"

Unfortunately because too many others receiving the same type of aid do.

"Free ride is relative. I, as a taxpayer, am helping the farmers get a free ride when their crop yields aren't good"

I disagree. There's nothing 'free' about the hours and effort a farmer puts in every day and they're subsidized to keep them at their jobs during hard times like seasonal acts of God.
To the financial firms point, I'm partly in agreement with you, I'd much rather they'd been allowed to fail, but AIG holds the Hill's retirement plans so THAT couldn't be 'allowed' to happen.

"If our goal is to prevent people from abusing our tax dollars, then it needs to be applied across the board, to everyone who receives any kind of aid"

These are not one size fits all situations, which is why I've found previous comments calling for the testing of brokers and the like more than ridiculous. It's not drug abuse that needs to be guarded against on Wall to protect our tax dollars, they need better oversight.
"Um, you consider making a mistake with a forklift that resulted in injury to another employee to be “[doing] his job great”. That is ridiculous"

Come on, logic, I've always conversed with you with respect. I worked with the man in question for 2 1/2 years, I wouldn't base his work history on the one incident and say he was fantastic for that, would I?

"People shouldn't have to prove that they aren't doing anything wrong to avoid the inconvenience and humilitation of having to submit to unlawful search."

And in this matter, here's our rub. If I have to for a job I find nothing wrong whatsoever with them having to in order to live for free. I realize your argument is that I have the option of finding another job, but as an example of how that's false and staying with the above fiber optic job I've discussed, if a testing policy was put in place after I'd started work there and I chose to leave I would not have been able to receive the same salary or position. In fact, the policy was in place for the entire niche I served in. I could find another job in sales or work at McDonalds, but it wouldn't be close to a lateral move. True, there would be an option, but not anything remotely attractive or one that would have satisfied the lifestyle requirements I needed at the time.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"Yea, right, jaywalker, and the police only ever arrest guilty people. Why do you hate the constitution?"

Huh?

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

Jaylee,

Never conversed with you before but 'preciate how you feel free to refer to me as a 'stubborn ass' right off the bat because I disagree with you point of view. That's an effective strategy. For a fifth grader. Anyway, to your points:

1.) Already acknowledged that is a problem with the law.

2.) False argument as A.) such items are 'legal' and B.) the funds are allotted for subsistence, not just food.

3.) I'm not one to buy into the 'give 'em an inch they'll take a mile' argument here. This is limited and non-intrusive in it's scope. It's a test for drugs, nothing else. Not only that, I'd bet not everyone in the system WILL get tested every year.

Darrell Lea 6 years, 2 months ago

If this idea sticks, I feel that the only logical next step is to have anybody receiving a tax refund or rebate be subjected to random drug testing. Maybe anybody applying to renew their driver's license should have to whiz in a cup. Perhaps we should simply require random drug testing to maintain one's status as a US citizen.

Yeah, that's the ticket…

Personally, I'm so clean these days I could sell my own urine for $$$ - guaranteed, but the idea of ANY drug testing, for employment or public funds, is absolutely repugnant to me.

Down with Big Brother!

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

Ha. I love the way Jaylee and Logicsound try to take what i said out of context. You guys ought to be journalists.

Surely Logic, Log, and Jaylee have to admit that drug use hurts the family unit.

Here is a serious question for all of you.

What do you tell your kids about drugs? (Assuming you have kids of course.)

Do you tell them to throw away their occupational future for the daily benefits of getting high?

Do you encourage them to use Marijuana?

I am not saying that you guys do that, I am only asking what you do tell them.

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

jaywalker (Anonymous) says…

"1.) Already acknowledged that is a problem with the law."

then why do you still root for said law?

"2.) False argument as A.) such items are 'legal' and B.) the funds are allotted for subsistence, not just food."

you missed the point in that they are attempting to govern the actual implementation of the funds instead of just allotting them and there IS no definite point that you could draw the line. our lives would become government property.

"3.) I'm not one to buy into the 'give 'em an inch they'll take a mile' argument here. This is limited and non-intrusive in it's scope. It's a test for drugs, nothing else. Not only that, I'd bet not everyone in the system WILL get tested every year."

you dont have to buy into it for it to be true. and the only sense this plan is limited with is it's foresight and ability to conclusively help the people as it is meant to without stratifying a group of people as lower quality and less deserving of rights . apologies on the ass comment though. there was actually supposed to be something in there about not calling names, then i did it myself haha

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

Practicality (Anonymous) says…

"What do you tell your kids about drugs? (Assuming you have kids of course.)"

personally, i encourage education. i was educated, not by my parents, about drugs and made decisions my whole life not to do them, even when they were around and readily available, until i got to college and made my EDUCATED DECISION to try and smoke with some friends at a party and to drink some beer and shots at the concert.

i am not saying that once you are able to make decisions, you should smoke weed and drink alcohol (or whatever else you want or can find), but i am saying i dont think it is wrong if you make an educated decision to try.

obviously i would never ENCOURAGE use of drugs, but especially in the case of marijuana you will not find me demonizing them. some are just there for recreation and others have properties for which they were created/produced. some are addictive. some can kill you. some dont seem like theyre killing you but they are.

it is improbable that my daughter will NEVER see a drug in her life. i would love nothing more than for her to be prepared if she comes across one and make a conscious move based on knowledge rather than untreated speculation and curiousity.

i wish this for my daughter and anyone in ANY situation, not just drugs.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"then why do you still root for said law?"

That's a solid and fair question. And due to the limited scope, it does give me pause. I guess that it's just that I've had some experience with people on welfare, and I'd like to see their 'lifestyle' stopped.

"that they are attempting to govern the actual implementation of the funds instead of just allotting them and there IS no definite point that you could draw the line. our lives would become government property."

I 'spose we see that point differently, as I don't see them governing the 'use' of the funds comprehensively. In fact, the law isn't based in any manner on whether welfare funds were used to buy drugs, just that those on welfare are not on drugs. Perhaps a welfare recipient details cars on the side and uses that money for drugs and their welfare stipend is in food stamps. The law is built to weed out drug abusers who subsist on government handouts.

"you dont have to buy into it for it to be true"

Aah, but the hypotheticals you raised are not 'true', merely speculation on the possible slippery slope this issue raises, which I don't believe will take place.

I sincerely appreciate your apology on the 'ass' comment, but please don't feel abashed. I'm far from a saint in the name-calling business on these boards but have recently decided to stop going down that path. If you continue to visit here you'll see there are many who do such as stock in trade, and when you state arguments as well and as committed as you have you'll be hard pressed to refrain in kind to those that will come back atcha.
We disagree completely on this issue, but I've appreciated what you've had to say. Keep it up.

.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

You didn't really answer my question Jaylee, although I appreciate the response.

Will you encourage or discourage your child from using Marijuana whether as a child or an adult?

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

Practicality (Anonymous) says…

"You didn't really answer my question Jaylee, although I appreciate the response.

Will you encourage or discourage your child from using Marijuana whether as a child or an adult?"

i did answer your question. i said "obviously i would never encourage use of drugs". and i would never. the liberty to make your own decision and the knowledge to properly make that decision are two things i advocate strongly though.

and concerning marijuana specifically, if you demonize something harmless as this, you are neither educated nor fit to educate others concerning it. im not going to sit and tell her if she smokes weed, nothing will happen; but i will educate her and hopefully she does like me and waits until she is an adult to make her decision to try weed or not.

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

that may be wishful thinking if kids are anything like when i was growing up!!!

not kidding, i am pretty sure that i was the only kid in my class of 400 or so who didnt smoke weed and drink and party and have sex and all that... i remember feeling lonely sometimes cause i wouldnt want to hang out with people who were boozing etc.

kids are CAARRRAAAAAAAAZY!!!!!!

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

I have never in my life had to take a drug test to get a job.

If they did test me, they would discover that I am taking a low grade Bayer aspirin.

I do believe that manufacturers have been forced into the situation where they need to do drug testing. But this is very different than the government mandating that citizens be drug tested before receiving financial aid in rough times.

I pay taxes of which a portion is used to care for the less fortunate in our society. If a self righteous Republican legislator, who probably has no clue about what people have to go through in hard times, withholds my tax dollars for pursue a personal political agenda from people who truly need it, I am personally angered by that.

I am stunned by how many people on this blog don't see the problem with that. If you want to fight drug abuse this is not the right way to do it.

Speaking of drug abuse. I would think the high price of legal prescription drugs and the problems in our health care system should be of much greater concern to these Republican legislators. Unfortunately, they do not seem to have the intellectual depth to handle real problems.

Lawrencenativechick 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm for the bill - the system is currentlly abused - has been abused and will be abused as long as people are left with systems that they can manipulate. Believe me: at minimum: 1/2 the people on assistance are using drugs and drinking - it is unfortunate that there are hard working people paying their way

Loretta James 6 years, 2 months ago

well said ksmax

THE KIDS ALWAYS THE ONE TO SUFFER. THEY WILL SUFFER WHILE THEIR ON DRUGS AND OFF.

GOD BLESS THE CHILDREN

laughingatallofu 6 years, 2 months ago

Lawrencenativechick,

It would be easier to believe you if you provided a reference for your statistic.

On another note, it amazes me that the concept of false positives and false negatives hasn't been discussed.

Drug screens are not perfect---they ALL produce false positives and false negatives. Everyone knows that ingestion of poppy seeds will cause opiates to light up, mouthwash---alcohol, decongestants ---amphetamines, certain far-eastern spices --- cannabinoids. If a test comes back positive, it may or may not indicate that the person is using drugs. Typically, subjects are treated as "guilty" (i.e., drug-users) until/unless they can prove their innocence. How will this be handled in this bill? Who will pay for the confirmatory testing? One has to ask the question: is it the intent of this bill to force the public assistance recipient to produce a "clean urine" or to force a small percentage of recipients (sorry, Lawrencenativechick, without a reference, I don't buy that it's 50%) to stop using drugs. These are not the same things. If you raise the bar to avoid false positives, you increase the false negative rate (i.e., light or infrequent users may escape undetected --- you've just defeated your purpose). Hmm, I wonder if our intellectual heavyweights in Topeka have even considered --- let alone actually have applied some thought ---to this.

Also, as has been previously stated, most drugs of abuse have a relatively short stay in the body. Therefore, in order to detect them, you have to test frequently. It's quite easy to skirt the system if you know that you're only going to be tested 2-3 times a year. Testing this size of a population frequently enough in order to "catch" the bad guys is going to cost a heck of a lot more than $800K/yr. Infrequent testing will not accomplish what appears to be the intent of this bill. Frequent testing will increase the cost astronomically.

I haven't read the bill so I have to ask the question: Are nicotine and alcohol included? If not, why not? Both substances, while legal, generate huge health care costs for society. Come to think of it, these two substances generate huge health care costs in people who are NOT receiving public assistance. So, why should we limit our testing to only those who receive public assistance? I sure as heck don't want my insurance premiums to go towards treating someone with lung disease brought on by years of tobaccoism. Do you? So, why aren't we mandating drug testing in order to obtain (and keep) health insurance? Slippery slope here.

laughingatallofu 6 years, 2 months ago

Privacy issues have already been discussed. OK. Since people who don't abuse drugs don't mind being tested (I don't believe that this to be universally true, but humor me), what's next? Will it be OK for the sheriff to come into my house, unannounced, to make sure that my guns are safely secured so that my toddler won't accidentally shoot himself? You won't mind, Mr. Gun Owner, because of course your guns are safely secured --- what do you have to hide? Slippery slope.

Why not test everyone who walks out of a bar for alcohol? What if they blow less than 0.08? They're positive for alcohol, but according to the law, they're not impaired and are thereby still allowed to operate a motor vehicle. How does this make sense?

Test any group of health care workers during flu season for amphetamines, and a large percentage of them will test positive. They're positive, but are they impaired? They're positive, but are they abusing amphetamines? Let's apply the "guilty until proven innocent" rule to them as well. Why not? If they're not using amphetamines (maybe they were just using decongestants), why should they care if they have to prove their innocence (at considerable expense to either themselves, their employer, their insurance company, etc. ---This ain't cheap, boys and girls --- somebody's gonna have to pay some big $$$). Slippery slope.

Now, the only people that I've offended in this post are the intellectual heavyweights in Topeka. But they deserve it---regularly. They earn my scorn --- regularly. All I've asked of Lawrencenativechick is if she has a reference for her statistic. I've put a lot of thought into my post. I've even tried to spell everything correctly so as not to be accused of being "stupid". So please don't call me names or dismiss my thoughts without READING them and THINKING before you respond. Because I've noticed that a lot of posts on this (and other) blogs show ignorance where there isn't any (i.e., a false positive), simply because the fingers were disconnected from the brain ---intentionally or unintentionally. So please be nice. Thank you and have a nice day.

laughingatallofu 6 years, 2 months ago

I got this in an e-mail not too long ago. I was able to track down the source. While it's not about the specific topic that's being discussed on this blog, it is germane to the discussion. Read it carefully and in its entirety --- Don't just latch on to the parts that get your juices flowing.

While you're reading it, ask yourself this question: Which side of the fence are y-o-u on?

http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/282479.php

Fencing Pigs

I got this parable via email from my father, and it certainly seems to describe what our government is trying to do to Americans today.

A professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.

They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

laughingatallofu 6 years, 2 months ago

The multi-generational financial rape that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and so many members of our Congress are trying to force down our throats—under increasing threats and ever-louder fear-mongering—is a betrayal of the core ideals of our Founding Fathers.

Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin... they did not want a large and powerful government. They went to war against such a monstrosity, one that had strangled them with punitive taxation and oppressive government. The fought tooth and nail for to establish a free republic where Americans could enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our socialist President and his Democratic Party acolytes are not breaking any laws in trying to ram this $1 trillion dollar of waste down our throats... and wouldn't hold themselves accountable if they were.

As with many tyrannical governments of the past, they're sincere in their belief that encroaching further into our lives—taking a little more liberty, putting up one more fence post at a time—is for our own good.

But power only makes governments hungry for more power, and a point is eventually reached when that strangling power, that encroaching fence, must be put asunder before to envelops those who love liberty and turns them into slaves.

We face a very simple choice here, in early February of 2009, my fellow Americans.

We stop the fencing today.

We stop our government, Republican and Democrat alike, and declare that they will not have their bloated stimulus, this financial rape of our children's future, that dwarfs the costs of the entire Iraq War and Afghan War combined.

We will shout out NO MORE.

Or in the not too distant future, we will face a far darker decision, that of surrendering what little of our freedom that remains to the all powerful government, or sharpening our tusks, and going to war yet again against tyranny. Hopefully, you will act to day and not allow yourself to be led dumbly into that pen. You will stop it, now, before it can successfully be constructed.

There are pig farmers in the White House and Congress that would see you led in captivity so that they may dine on your fatted flesh.

Will you be led to slaughter.

Or will you be free?

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"Considering the expense of drug testing and the problems with accurate drug testing, there is no feasible way this program will result in a net positive. In other words, we will be taking taxpayer money and dumping it into a program that is designed to save taxpayer money but will cost more than it saves"

Logic,

You got me thinking last night about exactly the above point, and I have to admit you turned me around on this issue as to it's effective implementation. In that context it is a waste of time and resources which, unfortunately, I should have recognized immediately. In fact, I should have taken it for granted which is even more unfortunate.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok, maybe after this one, I'll stop posting on this thread.

The right that's being abridged by random drug testing is not the "right to do drugs", but the right to be free in one's person from unreasonable searches (from the 4th amendment).

I don't see how you can portray drawing blood from inside my body as "not intrusive" - I can't imagine a more intrusive thing to do.

If drugs were legalized, there would still be associated violence (as there is with alcohol) but it would be much less than there is now. The clear lessons from Prohibition are that making things illegal doesn't stop people from using them and, in addition, creates a huge subculture which increases the problems associated with the substances.

If you really believe that alcohol and cigarettes should be made illegal, then you have a consistent position. But, in my opinion, it's the wrong way to go. Then we'll have gangs, etc. involved in the production/distribution/etc. again.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"I don't see how you can portray drawing blood from inside my body as “not intrusive” - I can't imagine a more intrusive thing to do"

I think it's a urine test, no?.

coolmom 6 years, 2 months ago

i struggle with the drug testing thing but we have adopted a teen girl whose mother is on public assistance and has subjected her kids to horrific child abuse and neglect. when she was clean the "daddies" that were in the house were not. i think this is what they want to stop not really the people who have a beer or whatever on the weekends and are using public assistance to get to a better day. i am just not sure how we do this in a responsible manner but i do lean toward protecting the kids at the expense of the drug induced parent if it comes to that.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

Well said coolmom, and cudos to you for the adoption.

If the irresponsible, drug induced parents get a little incensed from this, who cares.

Protecting the children should be what matters most.

laughingatallofu 6 years, 2 months ago

Practicality,

If protecting the children should be what matters most, then why are you supporting this bill? The argument here isn't whether or not public assistance recipients should or should not be tested. The argument is whether or not this bill will produce the intended results. My contention is that it will not , implementing this bill will produce yet another bloated, inefficient bureaucracy, and will divert scarce resources from other programs with a higher cost-benefit ratio. My reading of the bill indicates to me that the mental midgets in Topeka haven't thought this through. Heed the warning, "Be careful what you wish for...."

Melinda Black 6 years, 2 months ago

How much will this random drug testing set us back? Seems like a waste of money to catch a couple of pot smokers.

laughingatallofu 6 years, 2 months ago

Let me see,

14,000 recipients x 12 tests a year (if you're testing any less than this, you're throwing your money in the toilet from the get-go) x $75/test (conservative estimate) = $12.6 million --- and that's just for the drug testing alone! What about follow-up, treatment, the massive bureaucracy which must be created/maintained to manage this fiasco. Not to mention lawsuits (yes, there will be lawsuits). Whoever came up with the $800,000 number was smoking something --- and it wasn't tobacco.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

laughingatallofu,

I agree that this mesure will probably be a waste of tax payer dollars, as there will be to many ways to get around it I am sure.

But,

That doesn't mean that a problem doesn't exist which many would like to see addressed.

laughingatallofu 6 years, 2 months ago

Practicality,

So, if it's a waste of taxpayer dollars, why are you arguing so passionately for this bill's passage? No doubt that a problem (drug abuse) exists, but it exists throughout society. Targeting the poor (who don't have a political action committee to donate to legislators' campaign funds) is not going to solve the problem; rather the "problem" will morph into something else (broken families, bloated bureaucracy, lawsuits against the state which will have to be defended, increased prison population (it's just an incremental step to say that a positive dope test constitutes "possession" of an illegal substance.) Be careful what you wish for. Think this through. It's obvious that the legislators of this bill did not. They voted for something that is not workable, but what do they care? They can go about their business telling everyone about how they voted for "tough love", while the problem still remains (in a different form) and a lot of those precious taxpayer dollars (that many here are so protective of) are flushed down the virtual toilet.

In reading you and others' posts, I sense frustration. But passage of this bill is not going to relieve that frustration. Think about it.

I'll listen to what you have to say without calling you names.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"That's funny, because the supporters of this bill have yet to establish that drug abuse is high among aid recipients in the first place."

Plenty to ridicule about our government and how they operate, but I'm fairly certain this bill wasn't brought to vote and overwhelmingly passed because there's a low rate of drug abusers among aid recipients.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

logic(un)sound04,

No where did the legislators say that they believed drug abuse was high among aid recipients. That is a "notion you have created in your own mind". I imagine the percentages will be about the same as the rest of the population. All it is saying is that to receive public assistance you must subject to a drug test. If identified as a drug user you will be required to get help. If after receiving help, you continue to use and receive public assistance, you will no longer be able to receive public assistance. You still have the FREEDOM to use if you so choose, you will just have to bear the financial cost and consequences of that choice without public assistance.

But, again, I do think it is wishfull thinking to think it will accomplish what it wants.

Alas, illogicsound, if you don't think that there is a "problem" with children living in a house with drug users, whether on public assistance or not, then there is nothing I can do to convince you of anything. I will just leave you with worrying about defending the rights of drug users while the rest of responsible society will try to deal with the devastation those drug users create in society and their offspring.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

Laughingatallofu,

I appreciate the cordiality offered, and agree to respond to you under previously stated politness and seriousness.

Reply coming soon to your question

HermioneElliott 6 years, 2 months ago

I have a Medicaid card so I have increased my drinking in case I am called on to pee at a moments notice.

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

practicality,

in these last posts, you completely ignore the fact that this is being initiated toward only the poverty-stricken, forced to ask for these funds. there is absolutely no plan of action concerning drug testing any other individuals receiving aid or benefit from the government, monetary or otherwise and whether it be needs-based or for discretionary, even leisurely use.

it is rather difficult to interpret this plan of action as anything other than a target of the poor, saying to them "because you are poor enough to require assistance, you must be on drugs SO DILIGENTLY that you use your money on those drugs instead of feeding yourself or your family."

i don't see students or homeowners being drug tested by the government or banks for a loan? that's a far bigger investment to be potentially squandering your funds allocating them to drug abusers.

and there are at least a dozen or more other examples of situations where others are not being tested, but these weathered souls are being forced to.

OwlHead 6 years, 2 months ago

The U.S. will start leaning towards legalization and taxation of marijuana in the coming years. It is happening in states all around us and it is the right thing to do.

On another note, Why hasn't Kansas looked into the viability of Industrial Hemp?? Kansas' number 1 cash crop. We could build houses for the poor, make biodiesel and organic food for our livestock with little fertilizer or water input. The list goes on and on. If the government can't understand the difference between marijuana and HEMP then we don't need them.

Click on this link and scroll about halfway down to "why should farmers grow hemp"

http://www.crrh.org/

This is a major part of the solution to our country's economic and energy problems!

Alexander Neighbors 6 years, 2 months ago

Next they will require a DNA test sample because if your poor you had to have committed a crime right ?

Dont poor people commit crimes ?

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Defender,

I am not on public assistance or on drugs. I pay my fair share of taxes.

The 4th amendment to our Constitution protects American citizens by declaring we are free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

I would say it is unreasonable to test anyone for drugs unless there is probable cause to believe they are using drugs.

So far no one has presented an opposing view to this argument that makes any sense.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"I would say it is unreasonable to test anyone for drugs unless there is probable cause to believe they are using drugs."

Probably. But until pre-employment screenings and random tests for the employed are declared unconstitutional, quid pro quo for the perpetually unemployed living off the ones subjected to such tests themselves is not unreasonable.

sinverguenza 6 years, 2 months ago

Jaywalker -

I agree that it's not reasonable, but it is allowable.

You get to choose who you work for. The majority of people don't get to choose to need assistance. I agree that it sucks that there are people who DO choose to sit on their butts and draw assistance for no reason other than laziness, but why should we enforce an invasive policy for all rather than target those people we know are abusing the system on purpose?

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

They get to CHOOSE whether they take assistance sinverguenza, again, bad logic.

sinverguenza 6 years, 2 months ago

Oh yeah, I choose to take assistance. Guess I could just choose not to and have my kids go without food. Bad logic, my bad.

Hey - weren't you the one looking out for kids here?

From all you've said, Practicality, it seems your main position is that people who use drugs should not have children in their homes.

Good idea. Focus on that and leave poverty out of it.

Practicality 6 years, 2 months ago

Do not disagree with this

"From all you've said, Practicality, it seems your main position is that people who use drugs should not have children in their homes. Good idea. Focus on that and leave poverty out of it."

My position was never an attack on poverty.

sinverguenza 6 years, 2 months ago

Practicality -

Ok then, well if it's about the children, we've covered that too.

Call SRS if you suspect a problem. SRS makes a referral for a child welfare investigation. If the investigation warrants, a court order can produce a drug test for the caregivers and can remove the child from the home if they are seen to be at risk.

No new bill targeting the poor needed.

And if you're really, truly concerned about some children you know now (as in you have people you're literally concerned about), I suggest you call the police first. When you smell pot burning or meth cooking in the house next to you while you hear a baby crying or children playing, don't waste any time calling SRS. Call the police. The caregivers will be busted, the children will be taken, the police will make the referral to SRS.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"I agree that it sucks that there are people who DO choose to sit on their butts and draw assistance for no reason other than laziness, but why should we enforce an invasive policy for all rather than target those people we know are abusing the system on purpose?"

Exactly because there are those that do choose to sit on their butts and ............what you said. I mean no offense, but the 'I have a choice' to change jobs argument is ridiculous, and I"ve stated some reasons why earlier. And I personally don't believe that a random test of one's urine for the sole purpose of detecting drug use is invasive. If, as some have speculated in fear, the samples were being catalogued for DNA, tested for anything other than drugs, or revealed anything other than drug use then I would consider it as invasive. But it doesn't, it won't, and they won't. It's not drawing blood, it's a urine sample. And if that's the cost of getting a free ride, it is an extremely small and insignificant price to pay.

Now, all that being said, I've earlier reversed my position on this particular law as I've been convinced it's ability to be applied effectively is so limited and cost prohibitive that it doesn't seem prudent at this time.

libertarianjim 6 years, 2 months ago

Why does everyone assume drug use is wrong? There is a big difference between use and abuse. I do not know anyone who has not used a drug, legal or otherwise. Just because a drug is illegal doesn't make it bad. Illegal just means a majority of politicians disapprove. Coincidentally, most citizens disapprove of the majority of politicians.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

That's a fairly naive position, jim. I reckon the difference between 'use' and 'abuse' is merely recreational, and it's not a big one. You use aspirin, penecillin, etc. to treat illness or pain. You can also 'use' marijuana, cocaine, etc, only on select occasions, but the mere act is actually 'abuse'. You don't have to be an addict to abuse drugs. People pop pain pills when they don't have pain, they just want the buzz. That's abuse of the intended use of the drug, even if you only do it once. I'm not an advocate for the illegal status of marijuana. But just because one doesn't agree with the illegality of something won't make it any more legal. A law is a law until you can get it changed. And politicians represent constituents and reflect their values. You make it sound like it's only a few hundred people on the Hill who have a problem with drug use.

katjok 6 years, 2 months ago

Also, it seems to me that random drug testing will affect mostly marijuana users. It is said that cannibas stays in your system up to thirty days, while hard drugs like coke or meth stay in your system for 3-5 days. Busting the potheads over the meth heads doesn't seem efficient to me. Especially because meth users and coke users need the treatment more. But, as I hate to say it, rehab does not have a very high success rate.

For the people who are naysayers to use of marijuana it might, but I'm not one to judge people for smoking pot. I'd rather see people smoking pot than drinking alcohol/doing hard drugs!

mommyoffour 6 years, 2 months ago

I think people are putting more to this than there is.

The purpose it to stop letting people spend tax payers money on Drugs, if they want to use drugs then get a job an pay for them.

Also it is to protect the children of the people that choose to do the drugs instead of taking care of the children. If they want to get money to use the drugs and dont want to take care of the children. Then give the children up or get help!

Plain and simple and guess what I am not a college graduate. I have received help from SRS and am for this drug testing!

sinverguenza 6 years, 2 months ago

Good gravy!

"The purpose it to stop letting people spend tax payers money on Drugs, if they want to use drugs then get a job an pay for them.

Also it is to protect the children of the people that choose to do the drugs instead of taking care of the children. If they want to get money to use the drugs and dont want to take care of the children. Then give the children up or get help!"

This policy will accomplish neither of these things. Plain and simple from a college grad who has never received help from SRS and who is against this drug testing!

sinverguenza 6 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, go figure - people advocating policies they don't understand which won't accomplish what they want them to accomplish.

Go figure indeed!

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"The notion that mere use constitutes abuse depending on the type of drug is a myth"

I never said it was dependent on the type of drug. Using drugs for recreational use is basically abuse of their intended function.

"However, calling the use of a drug “abuse” just because it is classified as illegal is naive and intellectually lazy."

Again, I never did that, logic. Intellectually lazy would be ignoring everything I wrote in that post, specifically someone using pain meds just for a buzz. That's 'abuse' of the drug. Granted, some of the illegal drugs are not really known for much else than recreation and I don't think I could ever call the use of marijuana 'abuse', I feel it's safer and preferable to alcohol, but that's another topic. But drugs like cocaine and heroin were originally processed for medicinal purposes and then later outlawed, though my sister actually had her nose numbed out by pure cocaine in the early 80's when they had to re-break it to set it, so go figure.

"Abuse is defined by behavior, not drug category"

Correct. And use of a drug for recreational purposes in almost every instance is 'abuse'. The behavior is using it for recreation. Cough medicine, pain pills, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, etc. etc. are all ingested for buzz effect - that's 'abuse'. With the exception of marijuana, psylosybic mushrooms (I'm sure that's spelled wrong, but it's phonetically correct!), and peyote, which are all natural and need no processing, any other drug's use outside of medicinal intent is abuse. And for the record, I'm no proponent of Dare, and took full advantage of my college years.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

Ljreader this measure was written by a Republican. Which I can't quite understand because of their desire to limit governmental spending, and to keep the government off our backs. But what I also can't understand, the Democrats obviously voted for it hands down, the LJW poll says (68%) this is good. And even welfare recipients (judging by those who have posted) think this is good. Go figure.

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