Re: Drug test or no welfare check: Your opinion of Michigan plan?

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 21 Dec 1999 22:19:22 -0800 (PST)


>At 02:10 PM 12/21/1999 -0800, Tom Boland wrote:
>
>>What do you think of Michigan's plan to require drug screening tests for
>>all welfare applicants?

Graeme Bacque <gbacque@idirect.com> replied:
>I thought that reg. was struck down by the courts in Michigan. what gives?

Graeme, it appears to me that the court has not made a final ruling, but
may have halted drug testing of Michigan welfare applicants until the case
is settled.  The news article I forwarded reads, in part:

"Even as the American Civil Liberties Union prepares to take the state to
court this month in a quest to block the drug tests, many of those who rely
on welfare say it's about time the government held them responsible for
what they do with their taxpayer assistance."

The news article spin [subtext] seems to me to be: "Welfare applicants
_want_ to be tested for drugs.  So what the hell are the ACLU and fellow
ultraleft travelers _complaining_ about?  Poverty pimps are using poor
people as political kickballs, again."  In short, the article seems to 1)
trivialize civil rights concerns about mandatory drug testing, and to 2)
attack the motives of activists who work to protect reviled groups, such as
welfare applicants and drug users.

[My FWD began with this question and comment:]

What do you think of Michigan's plan to require drug screening tests for
all welfare applicants?

The state's pilot program found 8% of welfare applicants tested positive
for drugs, "nearly all for marijuana," according to the article below:

http://www.fresnobee.com/localnews/story/0,1724,122585,00.html
FWD  Fresno Bee - December 20, 1999

     MICHIGAN'S DRUG SCREENING PUTS WELFARE CLIENTS' RIGHTS TO THE TEST

     Critics are outraged, but many poor addicts agree with the concept.

     By Stephanie Simon
     Los Angeles Times


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