Monday, March 16, 2009

The idea of drug tests for the unemployed is in WV too

I'm sure this drug test proposal for the unemployed in West Virginia includes testing people for nicotine.

Denying someone unemployment for failing a drug test and for having nicotine in their system is crazy! That's a clever way to turn unemployed smokers into criminals and/or homeless people!


Drug Test Bill Waits On Action
MetroNews Talkline
Charleston, Kanawha County

No movement is expected this week at the State Capitol on the proposed bill that would subject anyone who receives state assistance to random drug tests. That bill is currently sitting in the House Judiciary Committee.

House Majority Whip and Marion County Delegate Mike Caputo says that's where it should stay.

"I think it's ridiculous," says Delegate Caputo. He says the proposal would be an insult to many people. "To accuse them, just pointing at them because they're poor or because they're on hard times, (saying) they're probably a drug user, that is ridiculous."

One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Jackson County Delegate Mitch Carmichael disagrees. "It's crazy not to drug test," he says.

Delegate Carmichael continues, "If we think for an instant that drugs don't cost our society more than the costs associated with testing, then that's just ridiculous. We're burying our heads in the sand and not realizing the real cost of drug usage in our communities and throughout our state and our nation."

Delegate Caputo says it's hard enough to ask for help. "I've been through those times. I've been laid off. I've been to where I didn't know if I was going to make the bills at the end of the month and had to collect an unemployment check. It would have been humiliating to me that I was struck with some hard times and I would have to do a drug test."

Delegate Carmichael says it's something many others in the private sector are already doing. "If workers have to take a drug test to get a job, then why shouldn't people that are on state aid have a drug test as well?"

As part of H.B. 3007, the random drug testing would be implemented for those who receive welfare, unemployment benefits or what used to be called food stamps. After a number of drafting delays, it was officially introduced at the State House last week.

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