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Poll
Question: Should we drug test those getting unemplyment benefits?
Yes. - 6 (13.6%)
Yes, but only if they ask for an extension past the 26 weeks. - 2 (4.5%)
No, never. - 36 (81.8%)
Total Voters: 44

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Author Topic: Should we drug test those getting unemplyment benefits?  (Read 33572 times)
Shadoworker
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« Topic Start: February 17, 2011, 10:50:15 am »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Also, should we exclude Marijuana? Do you support the legalization of it?
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« Reply #1: February 17, 2011, 10:56:10 am »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Should we exclude Marijuana?

Most of the time, drug testing is invasive AND useless.  It gets pot, sure, but it doesn't get much else unless you JUST did it - and it's NOT cheap.  So we're adding to the expenses.

Unemployment is also something we pay into while we work - it's not welfare.  We HAVE paid into the system.  If you're laid off, why shouldn't you be able to get that money?  What are you going to do with the people that have lost their jobs, lost their hope, and maybe used something illegal to try to get through the day?  Are we going to include alcohol?  Because that's the biggest culprit of problems, and I can get that without even getting in the car.  But it's nigh-impossible to test for.

and .. WHY are we going to treat unemployed like criminals until proven otherwise?  that's what a drug test is - it's saying "I think you're a crook.  Prove you're not."  Need a way bigger reason than unemployment to go that route!
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« Reply #2: February 17, 2011, 11:07:55 am »


Given that the War on Some Drugs is an unmitigated evil, I see no reason to extend it.
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« Reply #3: February 17, 2011, 11:12:13 am »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Also, should we exclude Marijuana? Do you support the legalization of it?

Out of curiousity, has someone actually suggested this as legislation?

I agree with Shadoworker, it's not a privilege, it's a benefit I pay into that I can't get unless I've worked long enough at one place to get it, and don't get fired for cause.  It's hard enough to get, depending on the type of place you work, and the testing is really and truly, invasive and useless.  Also, there are the false positives that can really play havoc with people's lives. And you won't save that much money anyway.
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« Reply #4: February 17, 2011, 11:17:49 am »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Also, should we exclude Marijuana? Do you support the legalization of it?

No, because the expense would be astronomical and it IS a violation of privacy.  When you accept a job that requires it, you make that choice (mine generally do require it), but this would not give you a choice.  The reality is, if someone is a serious drug user, they probably will have trouble fulfilling the requirements of getting unemployment.  Not only do you have to file a claim weekly, but you also have to be able to produce proof of searching for a job for any week they request.  And it is never for last week - they ask for a week last month or some such.  Sure, there are going to be some people abusing the system, but right now there simply aren't that many jobs available.  The last rejection letter I got (I'm an accountant - university degree and many years experience) said they had 68 qualified applicants.  68.  And I don't like in New York or LA.  And be aware - I can pass a drug test any day of the week, but I would still consider it an invasion of my privacy.  
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« Reply #5: February 17, 2011, 11:20:33 am »

Out of curiousity, has someone actually suggested this as legislation?

I agree with Shadoworker, it's not a privilege, it's a benefit I pay into that I can't get unless I've worked long enough at one place to get it, and don't get fired for cause.  It's hard enough to get, depending on the type of place you work, and the testing is really and truly, invasive and useless.  Also, there are the false positives that can really play havoc with people's lives. And you won't save that much money anyway.

psst - I think you meant to agree with me, not the OP. Smiley
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« Reply #6: February 17, 2011, 11:22:08 am »

 

What Owl said. All of it.
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« Reply #7: February 17, 2011, 12:02:19 pm »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Also, should we exclude Marijuana? Do you support the legalization of it?

I have to agree with what everyone else said.

Unemployment is something we pay into. It's already our money, taken out of our paychecks in case we lose our jobs. It's not like you can opt out of paying into the unemployment fund. I believe we do have the right to get that money back when we need it.

IMO, to require drug testing would be a huge violation of privacy and an incredible waste of money.

I would also like to know if someone has proposed this legislation.


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« Reply #8: February 17, 2011, 12:39:04 pm »

psst - I think you meant to agree with me, not the OP. Smiley

My bad, yes, I agree with you, not the op.
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« Reply #9: February 17, 2011, 12:50:15 pm »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Also, should we exclude Marijuana? Do you support the legalization of it?

As someone currently *on* unemployment (and over the 26 weeks, for that matter, thank you lousy job market - and I'm doing a close to national search in the hopes of staying in the field I've invested a lot of time/graduate school/money in) .. thank you, but no.

As others have said, unemployment is something I paid into while working. It has a bunch of other requirements (in Minnesota, filing each week is pretty simple: I can do it online in 5 minutes), but I've had required meetings with the local workforce office (which, given that I'm a librarian - meaning a) specialised field and b) good at research anyway - were pretty short, but which were pretty clearly also created to be a cross-check on search strategies *and* on things like serious depression or other problems. I approve of that, the way they did it, which was low-key.)

Mostly, I prefer things that do not get in the way of my actually, y'know, applying for jobs. Drug testing would add something else to the list - something else to juggle around working on applications, doing phone interviews, and actual in-person interviews. Which, presumably, the nice people at the state unemployment office would like me to do.

(Actually, if we're at making changes, I wish Minnesota would change the "you must be in the state to claim unemployment" - given that 98% of my apps have been online, the only reason to be in the state is for an actual in-person interview (and there've been.. maybe a dozen jobs in 6 months in my precise field in the state that I'm reasonably qualified for, one of which I got to the interview stage for, which is why I'm looking broadly elsewhere.) Where, in counterpoint, if I'd been able to go and stay with my mother in Boston for a couple of weeks, I suspect I'd be able to round up a few more interviews because I'd be local and handy - Massachusetts being the other place I'd particularly like to end up - but according to Minnesota, I can only travel long enough to do specific pre-planned interviews.)
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« Reply #10: February 17, 2011, 12:57:36 pm »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Also, should we exclude Marijuana? Do you support the legalization of it?

I'm pretty much agreeing with what everyone else has said. It's so common to treat the poor like criminals, and I don't really understand it.

On another note, I do support the legalization of marijuana, although I've never done it myself. It seems (in my non-professional opinion) to be less harmful than alcohol as long as no one is driving. People seem to forget that alcohol is a drug too. *shrug*
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« Reply #11: February 17, 2011, 02:09:20 pm »

On another note, I do support the legalization of marijuana, although I've never done it myself. It seems (in my non-professional opinion) to be less harmful than alcohol as long as no one is driving. People seem to forget that alcohol is a drug too. *shrug*

We tried banning alcohol once, too!

It led to increased rates of alcoholism (because harder stuff was easier to smuggle), funded the rise of organised crime, created tremendous amounts of government corruption, increased drunk driving by destroying private drinking-at-home culture, increased alcohol-related deaths due to tainted or poorly processed drugs that had toxic impurities in them, and turned ordinary citizens into criminals.

Also, it didn't work, and it cost a lot of money.
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« Reply #12: February 17, 2011, 03:57:59 pm »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right. I might be wrong but that's what I believe. Also, should we exclude Marijuana? Do you support the legalization of it?

No.

I'm in an industry that has been subject Federal mandates of random, post incident, probable cause and pre-employment testing for 25 years.

The testing is expensive. Why waste the money to catch a small number of folks who might be collecting unemployment and might be looking for a job where drug free is a requirement.

There is no significant reason, at this time, to impose even random drug testing on people collecting.  I might could see doing it on a probable cause basis. If a person comes to the office for help and appears high, drunk, etc then test. Even then, it would probably be easier to just shunt them to the waiting room.

Now, I could see the state offering free pre-employment testing for seekers. People who want to could take a drug screening test and get a card that could be shown to prosepective employers that do random or pre-employment screening.  Down side would be that companies that don't mandate pre-employment the company has to pay for, might expect the state card for people.
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« Reply #13: February 17, 2011, 05:12:27 pm »

I'm interested in what people have to say. Some say it violates their privacy. I believe an unemployment benefit is a privilege, not a right.

Unemployment is INSURANCE that workers and businesses pay for. As such, whether one can or cannot pass a drug test should have nothing to do with getting benefits.

As for legalizing pot, I'm for legalizing (and taxing) all drugs. This would turn off the "war of civil rights" called the "war on drugs", save taxpayers lots of money (fewer LE officers needed, less prison space needed, no court time wasted on drug cases), reduce organized crime, And generate money through the taxes placed on the legalized drugs.
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« Reply #14: February 17, 2011, 05:25:19 pm »

As someone currently *on* unemployment (and over the 26 weeks, for that matter, thank you lousy job market - and I'm doing a close to national search in the hopes of staying in the field I've invested a lot of time/graduate school/money in) .. thank you, but no.

Same here.

Being forced into drug testing to receive the unemployment benefits I've been paying into for so many years would be a kick in the nuts (so to speak).  Unemployment benefits are only given to those who lost their jobs for reasons beyond their control.  We didn't get fired because we did something wrong.  There's no reason to assume we're doing drugs, and even if we were, why would that matter?  Unemployment is an insurance benefit - we paid for it and paid for it and paid for it, and hoped we never had to use it.  Just like our car insurance.  If we have to drug test to get our unemployment benefits, should we have to drug test to get our cars fixed after an accident too??  It's a slippery slope, and I don't think anyone in this country wants to go down it...
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