Looking Glass Legal Logic Looms 

Looking Glass Legal Logic Looms 
Posted by FoM on January 05, 2000 at 06:32:05 PT
Source: Bakersfield Californian 
There is an odd wrinkle to a Michigan proposal to test welfare recipients for substance abuse.It is not odd that the idea would generate controversy. It has.It is not odd that welfare rights advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union are screaming bloody murder — the latter, to no one's surprise, is suing to kill the plan.
The surprise is that many of Michigan's welfare recipients side with government agencies and taxpayers in saying the idea has merit.Recipients' take on the issue is slightly different than plan proponents', who see it as a way to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. Recipients add the credibility argument: They, as do taxpayers, see a few people abusing the system. The majority of welfare recipients who do not abuse the system support the idea of drug tests to avoid a negative and unjustified stereotype that assistance recipients are cheats, dissolute and lazy.There is another argument regarding the plan: If a recipient tests positive he does not necessarily lose benefits. If the person enters a substance abuse treatment program paid for by the state he can keep the benefit. Only if a person tests positive for abuse and does not partake of the offered help will benefits be denied.Thus, everybody wins: Taxpayers and government agencies ensure that scarce financial resources are used wisely and beneficially, and people with a problem get treatment that may lead to a far better life for them.There is another perspective. Many private sector employees — and some public sector ones — are widely subject to drug tests. Whether they are pre-employment only, mandated for everyone, random or based on probable cause varies.If working people are required to prove they are not substance abusers why should non-working people who are living off the former's largess not be held to the same standard?Critics say it is not a parallel situation: An employee has an option to not take the test; a welfare recipient risks losing benefits if he refuses.Piffle. If an employee refuses to take a required drug test he loses his job; if he refuses to meet the demands of a potential employer for a job he is qualified for he also can lose unemployment or welfare benefits. It is a double loss.At least welfare recipients can keep their benefits and get treatment. It is a double gain.What's the inequity?   Published: January 4, 1999Copyright© 1999, The Bakersfield Californian Related Articles & Web Site:Civil Liberties Union Tests to Get Welfare? Michigan May Say Yes - 1/04/2000 Some On Welfare Welcome Drug Tests - 12/20/99 Support for Drug Tests on Welfare App.-12/18/99
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Comment #1 posted by Happy on January 05, 2000 at 10:54:21 PT:
Test The Gov't both of these threads, testing for government was struck down because "urination is a private act and a warrent must be issued to invade that privacy"I say get together the lawyers and sue for every negative drug test. It is a right that must be given just compensation if infringed upon. Use this fuel to sue more employers, and agencies that demand it be violated.I think not only are the media dropping the ball, but the lawyers are leaving it buried...Thank GOD for Greg Schmidt
The Happyhouse Church
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