cannabisnews.com: Michigan Tests Welfare Recipients for Drugs 





Michigan Tests Welfare Recipients for Drugs 
Posted by FoM on November 04, 1999 at 06:41:49 PT
By Associated Press
Source: Boston Globe
The state of Michigan, which is implementing new mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients, found that 8 percent of those tested in three separate regions showed signs of illicit drug use. 
However, Douglas Howard, the head of the state's Family Independence Agency, cautioned against drawing too many conclusions from the statistics. ''We're very early in this,'' Howard said in today's Detroit Free Press. ''We haven't really gone through a full cycle, and it's possible the numbers could go up, but it's possible they could go down.'' Michigan officials say the state is the first in the nation to require drug tests as a condition of collecting welfare. Starting Oct. 1, the state required drug tests for all new welfare applicants in Alpena and Presque Isle counties, Berrien County and the Joy and Greenfield area in west Detroit. By the end of October, the state had 258 test results back, 21 of which were positive. Eighteen indicated marijuana use and three were for cocaine. Mandatory testing is expected to go statewide by 2003. But welfare-rights advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan say the program is a violation of privacy. Last month, the ACLU filed suit in federal district court challenging the program's legality. Those who test positive are being evaluated and sent to drug treatment paid for by the state. No one will be denied food stamps or assistance checks if they test positive for drugs, and police will not be notified. But those who test positive and do not go to treatment risk the gradual loss of their benefits. Pubdate: November 4, 1999 Copyright 1999 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing, Inc. 
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Comment #2 posted by Doug A on November 04, 1999 at 09:36:58 PT:
Treatment for pot = Legalization!
>Those who test positive are being evaluated and sent to drug treatment paid for by the state.Yet another waste of tax money. Instead of drug "treatment" (what type of treatment does the average MJ smoker need, anyway?) these people should be sent to job training so they can get off the welfare rolls.(Oh, I forgot - anyone who has smoked pot in the last few months is a monster and menace to the workplace and society and therefore cannot be hired.)Of course drug-testing is an invasion of privacy! If someone on the street demanded a urine sample of a stranger, s/he would probably go to prison for some type of harassment! It is also a humungous waste of natural resources (i.e., all those big plastic cups which are just thrown away, instead of being recycled and reprocessed, like they should.)The only people who benefit from drug testing are the laboratories and their suppliers.
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Comment #1 posted by observer on November 04, 1999 at 06:55:19 PT
illicit drug use
> showed signs of illicit drug use. ...Need to be vague at first: want to bury the little detail of this anti-marijuana-smoker pogrom in the middle of the story, as to not make it so obvious.> 21 of which were positive. Eighteen indicated > marijuana use I.e. any mj use over the last several months ...> and three were for cocaine. So, the test was sold by politicians and persecutors as "getting tough" on "crime and drugs" ... but, we find once again, that the testing is really only used to persecute marijuana smokers. The "hard drugs" bit was just to sell testing to the public. 
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