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Delegate wants to drug test welfare recipients

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  1. Motorhead
    Delegate wants to drug test welfare recipients

    Delegate Craig Blair’s (R-Berkeley)latest version of a bill to require drug testing for people getting public assistance triggered floor debate in the House Wednesday and it had not even been formally introduced.

    The debate was so intense House Speaker Richard Thompson had to remind members of rules that prohibit naming a colleague during debate. Thompson also reminded House members that the order of business was remarks, not debate.

    Delegate Blair began by saying he’s seeking additional sponsors from both parties for the bill. He also made it clear that the bill is a scaled down version of last year’s bill.

    “This year this legislation only applies to people on Welfare. It has nothing to do with food stamps. It has nothing to do with unemployment,” said Blair.

    “It also includes legislators do drug testing,” Blair said. “We should lead by example.”

    Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne, was the first of several members to blast the bill.

    “I will proudly rise and oppose that legislation with every ounce of my being in my body,” said Perdue. “You can’t turn the war on poverty to the war on the impoverished.”

    Delegate John Overington, R-Berkeley, endorsed the bill, insisting the goal is to get people out of poverty.

    “Federal employees are drug tested,” Overington pointed out. “Our goal is to get people out of poverty, back on their feet,” he added.

    But Delegate Joe Talbott, D-Webster, used his copy of the state constitution to argue Blair’s bill would violate that document.

    “I believe the issue is totally unconstitutional,” Talbott said. “I belive this would be unreasonable to have search and seizure of an individual.”

    Debate on the still unintroduced legislation lasted nearly half an hour.

    Tom Miller
    Feb. 11, 2010
    West Virginia Public Broadcasting
    http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=13123

Comments

  1. dadrone
    SWIM is generally against welfare aside from senior citizens and the handicapped. But If we HAVE to have it, they deserve to have to pass randoms. Do whatever you want but SWIM doesn't want his tax dollars going into welfre recipients bongs.
  2. Motorhead
    I agree with this statement. I am also against drug testing. So I ask myself what happens if someone on social assistance flunks a drug test if this measure were to pass? The article doesn't provide an answer. They did discuss it for 1/2 but didn't really give any more details as to what the full legislation would entail.

    I mean, so someone fails a test-they lose their cheque. What happens then? I don't know how well Delegate Blair has thought his proposal through.
  3. dyingtomorrow
    This is a horrible idea.

    SWIM would be very comfortable making the generalization that most people on welfare smoke marijuana or do hard drugs. Lets call welfare what it is - a way to keep extremely poor people pacified. If you take their welfare away they are going to go nuts and commit a bunch of crime to make ends meet, and it costs a lot more to keep people in prison than to give them barely enough to live in peace.

    I think poverty and the war on drugs are intricately related. Even something as small as a marijuana conviction can knock an otherwise decent and productive person down through the cracks of society and prevent them (effectively, monetarily from legal fees and fines, and in terms of what it does to their life and psyche) from ever getting gainful employment again. This lifestyle is passed on to their children, and I wouldn't be surprised if you can trace 3 generations of poverty and street life back to some petty drug or alcohol (when it was illegal) conviction that turned a "regular guy factory worker" into a social outcast in the early 1900s.

    Until the futile and self destructive war on drugs is corrected, all we can do is throw money down the toilet for things like welfare and social aid for people who aren't allowed to work because of their drug use, to keep the huge underbelly of impoverished irrevocable-drug-user society from going on a rampage and bankrupting our federal government through the constant expansion of our disgustingly bloated prison system.
  4. Joe_Pinko
    SWIM thinks drugs should be distributed WITH ALL WELFARE CHECKS.

    SWIM's tax money is going to feed and shelter these people. SWIM wants to pay for them to have a good time too.

    :laugh:
  5. Motorhead
    Craig Blair has a website(I won't directly link a gov site):notwithmytaxdollars

    His mission statement:

    In principle, I said early that I am in agreement that I don't like my tax dollars feeding welfare drug habits. I think any working person would agree with this. However such a stance and this bill doesn't really address the root causes of poverty.

    As DT mentioned poverty is often rooted in generational causes. Whether started by drug issues or not, I myself have seen generations of welfare/social assistance recipients. Its a way of life so to speak. Like the boy who wants to become a plumber because his father is a plumber.

    But the reasons/causes for poverty are much more than generational. Legislators have to address the root causes instead of patchwork solutions like drug testing. Keeping someone off drugs for the sake of keeping them off drugs doesn't help towards providing life skills, job-training, child care, or the myriad of other issues that are needed to get someone off of social assistance and back into society and the work force.

    Its just a waste of money. Cost for drug-testing kits, the man-power to administer the tests, and the inevitable social cost if people loss their assistance are just some of the stresses put on the system if such a bill were to pass. I think Mr. Blair is looking for the working man vote without thinking of the reprecussions of his actions.
  6. lordcheeto
    I work a very hazardous job. I work long hours. I work 12 hours every single day for 2-3 months at a time. I get drug tested.

    Yes, I believe there should be a welfare system. What I don't believe in though is drug testing the people who will work these long hours and do this back-breaking work just so this under-privileged single mother with 9 kids and no common father can get stoned then go pay her cable bill, cell phone, car payment, rent, and buy groceries. If we have to get drug tested to provide YOUR income, then YOU should be drug tested to receive our assistance!

    I don't know if people collecting welfare are at all required to provide anyone with, say, job search records; but that should be required. Weekly. I have to do it with my unemployment in the months that I'm not out paying for these leeches, so why can't they do it also? Maybe require 5 job contacts per week to qualify for benefits. Also, provide these people with job prospects. Add bonuses to the benefits for these people to actively participate in job fairs or something equivalent. Add bonuses for like 40 hours of community service per month. Require a monthly random drug test where a failure doesn't mean instant revocation of benefits. First positive test, force them to go to rehab. Second offense: 6 month suspension of benefits. Third offense: Termination of benefits.

    I do agree that taking away the benefits would cause some bad reactions, but how many people would actually go along with the program? People on welfare are just as smart as the rest of the population. There are no IQ barriers to poverty and riches. These people were not afforded the same privileges as someone from, say, the middle class. If we arm these people with education and give them a little bit of a push in the right direction, we might start getting people off welfare and into the workforce.

    "If you take their welfare away they are going to go nuts and commit a bunch of crime to make ends meet."

    That isn't happening already? My area is NOTHING like Chicago, Detroit, Toledo, etc as far as crime goes; yet I dare you to walk through any of our 'welfare neighborhoods' and expect to keep a watch on your arm, cell phone in your pocket, or money in your wallet.
  7. vegoon
    Are you given benefits if you're disabled in the USA.

    For example, someone with Multiple Sclerosis who cannot work and uses cannabis to deal with the pain.

    They are then drug tested, found to be a 'marijuana addict' and denied the only source of income?

    Just a thought
  8. dyingtomorrow
    Not nearly as much as if you took their welfare away.

    A huge percent of people on welfare WOULD be working were it not for drug laws. The vast majority of illegal drugs do not at all interfere with someone's ability to work. It's only because they are criminalized, and because if you get caught with them you can never get a good job again, that they cause the massive problems that they do. Pretty much the only way many of these people CAN make money is to sell drugs, not to mention using them because that's the only way they can deal with their horrible life.

    I have a hard time believing that people really cannot follow the logical conclusion of this. People have never NOT done drugs, and they never will stop doing them. So they want hundreds of thousands to millions of people to have no job, no place to live, no food, and no way to support themselves?

    What is the goal here, to have bands of roving Mad Max Roadwarrior people all over the U.S.?
  9. TheFamousSpacewhale
    Fuck spending tax money on drug testing. That money should be spent on better counseling for the homeless and unemployed claiming social assistance.
  10. themidnighttoker
    This.

    What are they going to try next? Segregating the homeless/unemployed into "barred, walled off and/or isolated areas" (prisons) to keep them from getting into the world of drugs? Ri-dic-u-lous. I'm not saying it's right that taxpayers are funding their *potential* drug habits, but it doesn't mean they should be criminalized (which is what will happen, you mark my words) either. Most of the "criminals" today have been imprisoned or are unemployed because of an idiotic drug policy in which an 18 year old can get arrested for carrying a half ounce bag of bud, and then never get a chance to improve his life again because of one stupid mistake.

    This is what this bill means; it means more red tape, it means more reasons why people should be imprisoned or have a criminal record, and it means that the US will continue to plunge into bureaucratic idiocy and ignorance.
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