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Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:52 AM

Drug testing for people on welfare?

My neighbor posted this on FB: "Thank you Florida, Kentucky and Missouri, which are the first states that will require drug testing when applying for welfare. Some people are crying and calling this unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional????? It's okay to drug test people who work for their money, but not for those who don't? . . . Repost this if you'd like to see this done in all 50 states. If you can afford to buy drugs and extra illegal things then you can afford your own groceries."

I'm stumped as to how to answer this. All I could post in reply was "This assumes that everyone on welfare uses illegal drugs. This assumes that everyone on welfare is able-bodied."

What are your thoughts?

57 replies, 11131 views

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply Drug testing for people on welfare? (Original post)
Bertha Venation Jul 2012 OP
Blecht Jul 2012 #1
ejpoeta Jul 2012 #2
GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #3
Bertha Venation Jul 2012 #9
GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #13
Bertha Venation Jul 2012 #14
GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #26
PatSeg Jul 2012 #44
GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #49
PatSeg Jul 2012 #55
GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #57
Mimosa Jul 2012 #4
rucky Jul 2012 #5
PotatoChip Jul 2012 #40
JoePhilly Jul 2012 #6
Viva_La_Revolution Jul 2012 #7
NNN0LHI Jul 2012 #8
mattclearing Jul 2012 #10
Mimosa Jul 2012 #11
mattclearing Jul 2012 #23
Bertha Venation Jul 2012 #15
mattclearing Jul 2012 #22
JHB Jul 2012 #42
mattclearing Jul 2012 #47
GoCubsGo Jul 2012 #12
99Forever Jul 2012 #16
FreakinDJ Jul 2012 #21
99Forever Jul 2012 #38
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #17
Turbineguy Jul 2012 #18
2pooped2pop Jul 2012 #24
Fumesucker Jul 2012 #25
surrealAmerican Jul 2012 #29
abolugi Jul 2012 #32
Ichingcarpenter Jul 2012 #19
2pooped2pop Jul 2012 #20
shanti Jul 2012 #54
Gore1FL Jul 2012 #27
Booster Jul 2012 #28
Nevernose Jul 2012 #30
bupkus Jul 2012 #31
Trillo Jul 2012 #33
think Jul 2012 #34
Lex Jul 2012 #35
Cronkite Jul 2012 #36
ananda Jul 2012 #37
justice1 Jul 2012 #39
JHB Jul 2012 #46
Bluerthanblue Jul 2012 #41
warrprayer Jul 2012 #43
JHB Jul 2012 #45
woo me with science Jul 2012 #48
Zoeisright Jul 2012 #50
limpyhobbler Jul 2012 #51
Arkansas Granny Jul 2012 #52
gollygee Jul 2012 #53
Oasis_ Jul 2012 #56

Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:54 AM

1. My thought

Your neighbor is an idiot with a complete lack of empathy.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:54 AM

2. i've seen this too and didn't quite know how to reply.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:00 AM

9. Thank you! I shared it on FB! I hope she sees it. She is a fundy.

How have you been?

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Response to Bertha Venation (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:09 AM

13. I'm surviving. :^) How are you? *hugs*

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:10 AM

14. I'm shrinking.

Significant weight loss with Medifast, 28 lbs since May 6.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:32 AM

26. Awesome! Keep up the good work. :^D

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:57 PM

44. Thanks

I'm saving that for the next time I see a stupid comment about drug testing and welfare or food stamps. The last time I saw a cruel one about food stamps, it was posted by someone who had been on food stamps when her children were young.

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #44)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 08:42 PM

49. The hypocrisy is unreal, isn't it?

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #49)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:48 PM

55. Yes it is

and its very painful as well. For a few years in my life, I relied on welfare and food stamps. Because of the help I received, I was able to survive, receive life-saving medical help, and feed my young children. It was humiliating enough as it was. If I had to submit to drug testing as well, it would have been beyond demeaning (if that's possible).

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #55)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:30 PM

57. I've been in the same boat, and I would have definitely found it deameaning!

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:55 AM

4. What would that do about people who are on legal Rxs

Say an older person whose pain can only be treated with opioids?

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:56 AM

5. Thank you Florida, Kentucky & Missouri for wasting your taxpayers' money...

to help dispel that big stereotype about welfare recepients...

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/no-savings-found-in-florida-welfare-drug-tests.html

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Response to rucky (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:36 PM

40. Tell them that is costs too much.

The looks on wingnut faces when you cite Florida's experience (with stats to prove it) is priceless. it blows their entire argument -and- prejudices against poor people right out of the water!

This is from rucky's link:

From July through October in Florida — the four months when testing took place before Judge Scriven’s order — 2.6 percent of the state’s cash assistance applicants failed the drug test, or 108 of 4,086, according to the figures from the state obtained by the group. The most common reason was marijuana use. An additional 40 people canceled the tests without taking them.

Because the Florida law requires that applicants who pass the test be reimbursed for the cost, an average of $30, the cost to the state was $118,140. This is more than would have been paid out in benefits to the people who failed the test, Mr. Newton said.

As a result, the testing cost the government an extra $45,780, he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/no-savings-found-in-florida-welfare-drug-tests.html?_r=1

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:59 AM

6. Required Medical exams, sounds like a Mandate.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:00 AM

7. that worked out so well for Florida..

Required drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits ended up costing taxpayers more than it saved and failed to curb the number of prospective applicants, data used against the state in an ongoing legal battle shows.

The findings — that only 108 of the 4,086 people who took a drug test failed — are additional ammunition for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which sued the state and won a temporary ban on the drug-testing program in October, said ACLU spokesman Derek Newton.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/20/2758871/floridas-welfare-drug-tests-cost.html

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:00 AM

8. I would never leave my children unattended with this crackpot

For even short periods of time.

You neighbor is a sick asshole.

Don

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:03 AM

10. I responded to this on Facebook a few weeks ago thusly:

Why not just drug test everyone? If a kid tests positive for drugs, they can forfeit their public education. A public employee can lose their job. A contractor with positive testing workers can lose their contracts. Why not deny drug users their Social Security benefits? Revoke the registration on vehicles of positive testing individuals? Automatic tax audits for people who test positive?

And what happens when casual drug users are driven from society and unable to make an honest living or qualify for assistance? They can inevitably go to jail for approximately the same cost, only with no hope of ever contributing to society or the economy.

My point is that if an intrusive overbearing government is wrong for anyone, it's wrong for everyone. It's all well and good to expect fair treatment for working people, but these kinds of laws are discriminatory and counter-productive.

One way or another, society is going to pay the costs of people at its margins; the question is whether it's going to be humane, efficient, and peaceful.

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Response to mattclearing (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:06 AM

11. ^ Fantastic rebuttal!!! ^

Mattclearing you rock.

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Response to Mimosa (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:26 AM

23. Thanks! I do my best. :) n/t

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Response to mattclearing (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:11 AM

15. Matt, may I plagiarize, please?

This is excellent.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:26 AM

22. Be my guest.

We are all engaged in a war against stupid. Let's not quibble about who made which weapon.

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Response to mattclearing (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:52 PM

42. Jail costs more than aid, actually

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Response to JHB (Reply #42)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 03:52 PM

47. Of course it does.

Not sure why I said that it was roughly equivalent.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:09 AM

12. Kick 'em when they're up. Kick 'em when they're down.

And, it's a waste of money. Just post this link:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/florida-didnt-save-money-by-drug-testing-welfare-recipients-data-shows/1225721

And, this one that shows that drug use in the general population is at least 3 times higher than it is for the 2% on welfare who mostly smoke pot:

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drugs/many-states-considering-measures-to-require-drug-testing-for-welfare-recipients

I agree with Blecht. Your neighbor is a self-righteous dick.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:17 AM

16. Ask the self-righteous dickhead...

.. why it's "Constitutional" to test anyone, at all?



Stand back or you might get splattered.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:23 AM

21. The next post will be about their "Freedoms"

 

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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #21)


Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:17 AM

17. Fuck that. How about drug testing for Wall St. criminals?

 

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:20 AM

18. Sure, why not?

Last edited Sun Jul 22, 2012, 03:39 PM - Edit history (1)

As long as I own the company and can make a profit from it. I might even share some of that with the Governor. After all, I'm not THAT greedy.

People who are drug tested for their jobs are tested for safety reasons, not because they are paid money. Your neighbor has a strange view of the world and must think he does something useless for a living.

On edit: I was in a job where at first drug tests where done every six months. As they were doing many 1000's of tests with very few positives this later became random testing (including alcohol at <0.04 limit). Also in the event of a marine casualty or injury.

Some people were exempt from testing because of their job description.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:28 AM

24. tested at their job for safety?

 

I think it is more of a way to keep people more likely to vote dem from achieving by keeping them out of the work place.

Again drug testing only finds the pot users. Most people don't smoke at work so the testing finds nothing of value to the employer.

most jobs now require drug testing

They test again if you get hurt because we all know that if you smoked pot last month, it has caused you to be cloudy on the job today. and the main cause of the accident. You will now be fired and not have any insurance to pay for your injury. You can now not hold the company liable for the dangers on the job that caused your accident, because you smoked pot last month, last week, or yesterday.

It's about safety if they test pilots and people who wield large dangerous equipment. It is not about safety if your job is running the drive through.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:31 AM

25. Plenty of jobs that require a drug test have nothing to do with hazardous conditions..

I know someone who manages a shoe store that has to pass a random drug test about three times a year..

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #25)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:43 AM

29. ... and the fact that we allow private employers to do this ...

... is part of the problem. Employees are not slaves: we need laws to protect us from being violated by our employers.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:52 AM

32. when smoking a joint

on Friday can still get you fired on Monday it has nothing to do with safety. Its about controlling their employees behaviors 24/7.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:22 AM

19. Drug Testing for Gun Purchases.

Or at least see if they are taking anti psychotic drugs.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:23 AM

20. drug testing only finds Marijuana users

 

everything else leaves your system within days.

Testing welfare applicants has failed in Florida costing them much more than not testing them with 90 some percent passing.

Can we say the same for our government people? Test them.

Pot users are not a danger unless you happen to be a brownie manufacturer.

Of course, I guess we don't want those dog gone welfare queens to spend all their foodstamps on brownies, so I suppose we must test them.

even pot smokers kids need to eat. Take away the corporate welfare before worrying about food stamps.

I would like to see more ways to thwart the abuse of the system. But not helping people in the United States of America to exist in this world that is rigged against them is well, unAmerican, unpatriotic, and dare I say it? Yes, unChristian.

Nobody seems to care if they fucking drink alcohol (the real gateway drug) like a fish though.

those are my jumbled thoughts on the subject.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #20)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:04 PM

54. THANK YOU!

that is what this is all about. they aren't fooling anyone.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:36 AM

27. There are several approaches.

1> Not all state employees aren't drug tested--specifically the legislatures.
2> It's not OK to drug-test employees. That's a stupid thing too.
3> The policy doesn't save money--it costs money.
4> It hurts innocent children who are not on drugs
5> Welfare and drug abuse are separate issues. This would be like denying fire protection for those who have committed traffic violations.
6> Should we drug test seniors for medicaid?


Feel free to use or embellish any or all of these that you see fit.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:41 AM

28. I always tell them that members of Congress should be drug tested also. I've never had

anyone reply to that tho. lol

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:46 AM

30. It costs more than it saves

The New York Times is reporting the recent Florida law requiring welfare applicants to submit to a drug test has actually cost the state $45,7870 since its inception in July, state documents are showing.

The law was approved amidst the guise that it would save taxpayers on welfare costs and deter drug users from collecting from the government to support their habit.

Instead, the numbers show the program cost the taxpayers money, deterred few drug users and had no effect on the total number of applications for welfare.

http://www.webpronews.com/floridas-welfare-drug-test-program-costs-the-state-money-2012-04


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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)


Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:54 AM

33. We are living in a culture that deeply believes in guilt until innocence proven.

(note I didn't say "legal system", I said "culture"

Do you write a check at the grocery? (I did for many decades). ID required. In other words, you're not who you say you are until you prove it. Now we have debit cards. Enter pin to prove who you are: Guilt until innocence proven. Even logging onto my own computer, password required: Guilt until innocence proven.

There are so many ways in which our culture has daily trained us to believe we are not who we say we are until we prove it every day, often multiple times throughout the day. Undoubtedly, this has had psychic consequences.

It is not surprising that some people who are conditioned by all of these "prove you are who you say you are" mechanisms would want welfare recipients to have drug tests. All it takes is a "War on (some) Drugs", thus "the enemy" has been identified by powerful people in government, and the psychic conditioning of "guilt until innocence proven" among the people is triggered.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:56 AM

34. I'm sure the alcohol industry supports this effort full heartedly /nt

 

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:57 AM

35. New York Times: No Savings Are Found From Welfare Drug Tests

Link http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/no-savings-found-in-florida-welfare-drug-tests.html

In fact it cost taxpayers more to do this than it saved them.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 11:05 AM

36. A waste of taxpayer dollars.

 

The majority people forced onto the welfare roles have children, it is very difficult to receive welfare if you are a single person with no dependents without a disability.

What are we going to do, cut off a single mother with four kids because she happened to use a non-government approved drug? Do people realize how much MORE this would cost taxpayers? The kids would have to be placed in foster care, the mother would be put out on the street with no means to support herself which MIGHT result in increased crime rates.

My prediction is that the people on welfare that DO use "illegal" drugs will transition to perscription pain medication which in MOST cases is more addictive and dangerous than recreational drug use. We will end up picking up the tab for these drugs.

I saw this with my own eyes when the plant I worked at started doing semi-annual hair drug testing. The guys that smoked pot just went to a local pain clinic and received a script for potent pain medications. Several became addicted to them BUT since they were "legal" they were OK.

In Nashville they had an activist go to each state rep after they passed our drug testing bill asking if they would submit.... Not one said yes.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 11:06 AM

37. Why don't the lawmakers make the same rule for themselves?

What's good for the goose . ...

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:04 PM

39. Follow the money... Who is profiting from the drug tests?

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Response to justice1 (Reply #39)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 02:08 PM

46. See #45 below

It's one more contract to throw to their pals, or even themselves.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:45 PM

41. And they accuse the Democrats of "Nanny Society"?

They demand individual freedom?

They piss and moan about the waste in Gov't. Programs?

Why single out welfare recipients- Let's make everyone submit to these tests. Let's have all citizens prove they aren't wasting the Gov't's money.

After all, if a taxpayer is abusing drugs or alcohol they are costing the Government money. Police, medical, legal, and social services may all need to be accessed as a result.
They may "work for their money" (in their eyes) but if they abuse substances and end up arrested, in an accident, ill, in a fight, or abuse illegal drugs, they are burdening everyone with THEIR bad habit.

hypocritical, self-righteous idiots.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:53 PM

43. They can't cure AIDS

or cancer or a hundered other diseases, but they can sure as hell tell what's in your piss....

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 02:02 PM

45. Who does she think is doing the testing? To whit:

Gov. Rick Scott's drug testing policy stirs suspicion

By Stacey Singer

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

One of the more popular services at Solantic, the urgent care chain co-founded by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, is drug testing, according to Solantic CEO Karen Bowling.

Given Solantic's role in that marketplace, critics are again asking whether Scott's policy initiatives - this time, requiring drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients - are designed to benefit Scott's bottom line.

The Palm Beach Post reported in an exclusive story two weeks ago that while Scott divested his interest in Solantic in January, the controlling shares went to a trust in his wife's name.

This raised a groundswell of concern and questions about his health policy initiatives, especially his push to move Medicaid into private HMOs. Solantic does not take Medicaid but does business with private Medicaid HMOs. The questions are growing louder with Scott's executive order on drug testing.
More at the link. Emphasis above is mine.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/gov-rick-scotts-drug-testing-policy-stirs-suspicio/nLq8f/

The State of Florida has to reimburse applicants who show up clean, which is over 97% of them. But Scott (oops! I mean his wife) makes money on every test, potitive or negative.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:15 PM

48. Peeing for profit.

Always follow the money. This first article has very old numbers, but you can bet your life the business is even *more* lucrative today.

http://critcrim.org/node/158
Peeing For Profit

Who would ever think that pissing in a bottle would become such a huge enterprise, with several corporations getting in on the action? But that’s what has happened. And we have the “war on drugs” to thank for this. Consistent with what seems to be a national obsession over drugs, a report called “Drug Monitoring and Abuse Testing Business” noted that revenues for drug testing businesses grew as much as 15 percent annually during the first half of the 1990s.

In 1996, the drug testing market took in around $628 million in revenues, increasing to about $737 million in 2001. It has been estimated that about 61% of all major businesses test their employees, plus more than 500 school districts test their students. Currently an estimated 20-25 million Americans are tested for drugs each year, compared to around 7 million in 1996.
....
A company called Beckman Coulter says that there is a $35 billion market in biomedical testing alone, of which $21 billion comes from testing for illegal drugs....



Here's a more recent article on the explosion of drug testing for painkillers, which gives a sense of the strength of the profit motive at work here.

Report Claims Drug Testing for Painkillers Motivated by Profit

by Pat Anson on February 17, 2012

Profits, not patient care, may be a driving force behind the soaring number of drug tests given to people with chronic pain, according to a pain sufferer and patient advocate. In an article published in the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, author Mark Collen claims that widespread drug testing may be partially motivated by money.

“The paper takes a retrospective look at drug testing and presents Medicare data which shows a meteoric climb in drug screens,” said Collen, who cites evidence that doctors and drug laboratories could make as much as $200 by ordering a single drug test. “I was very surprised when I saw the numbers, which show that between 2000 and 2009 the number of all Medicare laboratory services increased by about 48%, while the number of drug tests conducted in physicians’ offices increased over 3,000,000 percent.”

The number of drug tests billed to Medicare by family practice doctors soared from a few dozen in 2000 to over a quarter of a million tests in 2009. Doctors of anesthesiology, internal medicine and neurology had similar increases in their use of drug screens.

....
“It would be naive to say that money has not played a role in the dramatic increase in drug testing as noted in the paper,” Collen wrote in an email to American News Report. “I believe profits drove drug testing behavior and behavior drove acceptance of the procedure before there was sufficient evidence of efficacy. Now physicians may be drug testing patients because others are doing it.”

Until recently doctors could charge Medicare and private insurers up to $225 for a urine drug test that cost them a little over $20. Medicare changed its reimbursement rules after the government found evidence that some laboratories and doctors were using questionable billing practices.





And here's an article from around the time of the Florida drug testing debacle, noting who was expected to profit:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/12/13/drug-testing-for-unemployment-benefits-yet-another-republican-smokescreen/

Drug Testing For Unemployment Benefits; Yet Another Republican Smokescreen

...Perhaps it comes down to profit: as seen in Republican Governor Rick Scott’s state of Florida, where – in similar context – would-be welfare recipients as well as public employees (union members) are subjected to an executive order for compulsory drug testing (ironically testing at a mere 2% as compared to the 8% of the non-welfare general public) that not only excludes legislators, governors and judges but also pays a private medical company – Solantic – to perform said testing (Scott and his wife own controlling shares of Solantic).


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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:34 PM

50. It's unconstitutional.

That's the first answer. It's also inefficient, costs much more than it saves, and it's a violation of civil rights. None of those things matter to fucking stupid repukes.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:44 PM

51. It's just an opportunity for someone to make money at the testing company.

Marijuana should be legal anyway. That's probably the main drug they are looking for.

Stupid waste of money.

It's ok to smoke weed.

An alcohol habit can be more expensive even.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:53 PM

52. This also assumes that drug tests are infallible. Actually, there is a 5 to 10% false positive

rate on drug tests. I don't believe this issue has been addressed.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:56 PM

53. A lot of the people on welfare are kids

Who need to eat and have shelter and clothing regardless of whether their adult smokes marijuana.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:28 PM

56. It's not Unconstitutional

As the potential recipient can always decline to take the test and not accept the benefit, which would (imo) invalidate any potential 4th Amendment violation claim . It DOES, however:

1) Create yet another front on the failed war on marijuana

2) Consume state resources to combat an imaginary problem

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