.
Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test?
March 12th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Arizona could become the first state to require drug tests for applicants for unemployment benefits.

This was part of the deal when Congress agreed last month to extend jobless benefits through the end of the year. That legislation allows states to require drug testing for people who lost their jobs because they failed an employer's drug test - or for those applying for jobs where drug testing is common.

The Arizona State Senate has approved this bill and now it will go to the House for a vote. The Bill's sponsor tells the Huffington Post he would have pushed for this legislation even if Congress hadn't paved the way.

Republican State Senator Steve Smith says the unemployed are fortunate to live in a country where there are programs to help people survive when they're looking for work.

He says the least applicants should do is prove they're of "sound mind to get a job."

Supporters of these drug tests say businesses shouldn't have to subsidize illegal activity. They suggest that workers could also increase their chances of getting hired if they prove they're drug-free.

But critics say drug testing is costly - that it could cost millions for states to administer. They also say drug tests stigmatize the jobless as drug addicts.

Arizona could also run into some resistance here. That's because Congress has left it up to the labor department to determine how many unemployment applicants get drug tests.

Here’s my question to you: Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Pat in Michigan:
Absolutely! I had to take a drug test to get my job. Why should I pay to fund a slacker’s drug habit?

Larry in Houston:
That all depends on who's paying for it. Most employers require it nowadays and they have to pay for it. On the other hand, where's the money coming from to test the unemployed? Bottom line is somebody's got to pay for the drug screening.

Ed in California:
For once I agree with the liberal media. Drug testing for unemployment benefits is an excessive intrusion into one's personal life. Don't forget that employees also pay into the unemployment insurance fund so they should have some say in the distribution of benefits.

Metalworker in Illinois:
No! Those benefits also feed children, clothe them and put a roof over their heads. Aren't they being punished enough?

Morgan:
Yes, if they are asking for an extension of their benefits. Most employers require drug tests, and those who are clean can find some kind of work within 8-12 weeks. Beyond that time, there's a reason for chronic unemployment and drugs/alcohol are probably the reason.

Lynne in North Carolina:
No, because that money was paid in by the employees and they are entitled to it when they are out of a job. This does nothing but stigmatizes a group of people.

Augusto:
I think it's o.k. to have applicants pass a drug test. Being drug free (with the exception of prescription meds) is a valid factor in determining if the person is reliable and able to do the work required.

Jerome in Louisville, Kentucky:
Of course not. Leave the unemployed alone, for God's sake. Drug test Congress instead.

soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Eric

    One word – Yes
    In essence, Jobless benefits means you are on the goverment payroll. So you should pass regular drug screenings. Fail the test, you get another test. Fail twice, you are out.

    Same thing should apply to ANY government provided assistance.

    March 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  2. jen seattle wa

    I guess that would depend on whether you smoke weed.If i worked for company then got laid off and wanted to smoke some marijuana the only inconvenience would be waiting 30 days to piss test then right back at the bong.What about Drunk in public tickets that would take away an inebriates welfare?That would clean up the deadbeats alot quiker

    March 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  3. H.....Illinois

    NO. What does that have to do with being out of work? If they lost their job because of being on drugs while working then that might be a different situation. How about giving drug tests to Governors etc. that are wanting to make this new law? We don't know how they conduct their lives and they are living off of the tax payors. better yet we could fix it so that ALL political offices have to do drug tests. HUMMM..... they would probably legalize them in that case.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  4. Christian Gordon

    Yes. Unemployment is available in part to help people find a job. How can they find a job if they can't pass a drug test?

    March 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  5. Pete in Georgia

    Yes, along with another 10 to 12 tests to cut down on one of the largest areas of FRAUD ever perpetrated on mankind. Our lunatic government will soon run out of ideas of what to next give away for that almighty prize of a vote.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  6. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    It depends on what happens if they fail. If results simply ban people from getting benefits, than no. If they can be used to direct people to treatment while getting benefits, then yes. Most people who are fired for drug use won't be getting benefits anyway because they were fired for cause and therefore not eligible. Also, if they are using medical marijuana to cope with the depression of job loss in states where it is legal, drug testing is not necessary.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  7. Herman Portland OR

    No. The jobless benefits are paid for by the worker and I don't think we are wasting the tax payers money by another mandate. There are entitlement programs that need reforms. I would suggest that if there is drug testing for social and entitlement programs as well as training programs the system would work better.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  8. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    It's the politicians proposing such legislation that are on drugs. They are who needs to be tested.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  9. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Yes I think they should along with elected politicians and government officials and the people working with them. If we're going to pass a law let's pass one that is fair. I took notice in the past that politicians seem to avoid the question when asked if they were willing to pass a drug test. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  10. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Yes, and they should have to do volunteer work also.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  11. RickFromDetroit

    Drug testing for unemployment benefits would fall in the same category as "water boarding" and various other types of "torture" and would also be considered a "human rights violation."

    Anyone who attempts to deny someone a roof over their head, food in their stomach, health care, and any other basic necessity should be arrested and forced to live under the same deplorable conditions for a month. Then lets see what their opinion about "drug testing" for "food" is.

    Furthermore, drug testing of our Elected Officials would seem more appropriate since most of them are completely out of touch with the needs of the country, and appear to be hallucinating on their "so called" important status of power. Maybe "drug testing" would bring them back to earth!

    March 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  12. JD in NH

    No. It's a waste of money. The notion that people who have worked for years on end and have been let go will suddenly become drug addicts is nonsense. This reminds me of the unfounded "voter fraud" scare that has resulted in the disenfranchisement of many honest citizens who have voted their entire lives.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  13. Larry in Houston

    Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test?
    That all depends on who's paying for it. Most employers require it now days, and they have to pay for it, which in turn, reflects their bottom line. On the other hand, If they are on going on un-employment benefits, where's the money coming from ? the state ? the fed gov't ? Bottom line is, Somebody's got to pay for the drug screening, whether it is government, whether it's on the state level, or the federal level, or the employer.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  14. yvonne

    follow the money–what company is donating to what candidate to obtain lucrative drug testing contracts from the state? i'd rather see state funds go towards creating jobs than drug testing the jobless!

    March 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  15. Greg in Arkansas

    NO.....not unless, EVERY elected official and every candidate that is running for public office agrees to be tested FIRST.... because..... I am convinced that some of these clowns we hear about every day have got to be smoking something......

    March 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  16. Bert in Los Angeles

    Hi Jack, If making more work for lab technicians is the best these law makers can do to create jobs, then maybe we should require an IQ test to hold public office as well.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  17. Augusto

    i think it's okay to have applicants pass a drug test. Being drug free, with the exception of prescription meds is a valid factor in determining if the person is reliable and is able to do the work required.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  18. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Of course not. Now if you want to test people receiving Medicare, that actually makes sense.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Tom (Atlanta)

    No, and while we're at it, let's be sure and give them all the free birth control support they need. That way we'd contribute to keeping the unemployment down to a few who don't really care any more.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  20. Pete in Florida

    Funny how Republicans are always pushing for less government intrusion into our lives.....except for when THEY deem it necessary, like photo ID laws to stop voting fraud even though it is virtually nonexistent, and interfering with women's control over their own health issues. Studies have shown that applicants for jobless benefits have a lower illegal drug use rate then the general population, so it seems unnecessary. Even so, here in Florida Governor Scott insisted on it. Of course, he says that his wife owning the Solantic drug testing clinics that does the testing has nothing to do with his decision.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  21. Ike of Stone Mountain GA

    Give the applicant an incentive choice. For Example
    Option A: Those who elect NOT to take the test will receive a maximum of 30 weeks of benefits.
    Option B: Those who take the test and pass will receive 40 weeks of benefits. Those who fail the test, benefit check pays for rehabilatation. Once they successfully complete rehab their benefits will be extended to equal 40 weeks.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  22. Audrey Klesta

    Only if the Golden Boys on Wall Street have to do the same!

    March 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  23. tom chico,ca.

    If people are guilty of a crime they should be tested.workers have money pulled from their pay for unemployment insurance ,and their childen would pay the biggest price for loss of benifits. We need mandatory drug testing for all polititions who put our country in this mess.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  24. pat in michigan

    Absolutely! I had to take a drug test to get my job. Why should I pay to fund a slackers drug habit?

    March 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  25. Richard Texas

    Only if people applying for welfare and any other social benefit are tested regularly. Personally I would like to see all our politicians tested on a regular basis too. And if they test positive for drugs or alcohol without a lawful medical reason then they should be terminated from office immediately.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  26. Janne from NC

    Most of us have to pass a drug test to get a job. I don't think its unfair to expect someone to have to pass a drug test to draw a paycheck from the taxpayers.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  27. marcia in west virginia

    No. Not unless everyone that works for the unemployment offices have to take the same test at the same time.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Kevin SD CA

    YOU BET! Anything you reward you just get more of! When is government and media going to start demanding that all corporate and social entitlements be based on merit and not just the Communist creed “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”? Let’s see what happens if people “inflow what they outflow”, PERIOD!

    March 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  29. bob z. from pa.

    nothing that will hurt obama voting block will pass so no need to ask this question

    March 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  30. texastee10

    This seems reasonable. In a sense, it's becoming part of the governments expenses. There's little chance of the person become a viable person of society being a drug addict. No one is in the business of hiring drug addicts and neither should the government.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  31. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    As long as every Congressman, aide, government employee anywhere, or anybody that recieves money in any fashion or form from government takes a drug test also. That would include Supreme Court Justices, governors, mayors, city officials and all their underlings. And, they should have to submit to these tests every pay period and for as long as they recieve retirement benefits. If they are not willing to go that far, then the idea that someone unemployed is automatically a drug abuser is obviously as stupid as the notion that everyone in government is a lazy, tax sucking moron that can't hold down a private sector job.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  32. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Nothing is worse than having an individual, who is willing to work, umemployed. Adding "insult" to "misery" never resolved anything. If becomes a requirement, then they need to start sampling Congress--because their behavior and performance resembles an "outside influence"--of course you have the converse-–being addicted to "stupidy"--no cure.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  33. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes, and they should also pay for it and all of the people that are receiving welfare, food stamps and any other social program should be included. This should be done on a 6 month basis. Now, with that said we'd better hire a lot of extra police officers, build some more prisons and get ready for riots like we've never seen before. Just the facts Jack.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  34. Bill of New Mexico

    Yes! If they have drugs in their system, they are into crime.

    Drug addicts spend hundreds of dollars a day on their drugs. They steal to do that. Their driving destroys others, and they steal to support their habit. They are unproductive and prey on the productive.

    Drugs have destroyed Mexico. Mexico is under the control of the Drug Lords. There are horrible incidents along the border every day.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  35. Don in Saint Louis

    Chances are the future employer will require a drug test. Getting a drug test before getting jobless benefits might help the applicant clean up their act prior to getting a new job. Maybe it will keep the freeloaders from spending their jobless benefits on drugs. Those who truly need the money shouldn't have to go with less because of those who abuse the benefit. Go for it.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  36. Mack from Michigan

    Of course they should Jack! If they don't have the good sense to be born into the top 1% then they're probably too dumb to know about the fourth amendment and all that illegal search drivel. If your poor then it's fair to assume your guilty until proven innocent, and if you can't afford to pay for a prescription to get your drug of choice then too bad for you!

    March 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  37. Bob

    First welfare recipients, not those who are laid off are all drug addicts? What an inane question.

    Yes, most people have to take a drug test before they're hired and/or pass a background check. I did for the job I was laid off from in 2008. What is it about being laid off that becomes probable cause for another drug test to collect unemployment insurance benefits? I paid into that system for more than 25 years before I took a nickel out of it. I've jumped through enough hoops.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  38. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I say YES, Jack, only because most companies now REQUIRE a drug test during their hiring process of new employees AND you are subject to drug screening once employed. WHY should people applying for unemployment be treated differently?

    BUT the unemployed should NOT be required to PAY for it. just like with a private employer, the govenment should pay IF they require the test.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  39. Bob

    That should say: First welfare recipients, NOW those who are laid off are all drug addicts?

    March 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  40. Sylvia in San Diego

    No, but they should have to show that they are looking for employeement or improve their skills.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  41. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    iI don't think o person should have to be tested. After all a beer, a shot of vodka, or a few wines should not make any difference, no more that prescrition drugs or the ones made in someones garage, or grown in their backyard.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  42. Roger MacDonald (in Halifax, Nova Scotia)

    Absolutely! At the very least, a drug habit makes them unemployable.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  43. Karl in Flint, MI

    In a word, NO. Most applicants for unemployment today weren't fired for drug use but laid off when their jobs were eliminated. I dare say none or few have resorted to drugs since losing their jobs. Now, welfare, on the other hand, especially those on it over a year, should be tested. That is where the bulk of abuse takes place. The tests aren't cheap and would be useless with the unemployed.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  44. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    No, its too expensive ! Jack and it wouldn't keep synthetic heroin junkies like Rush Limbaugh of the air, either ! They should probably legalize weed anyway. It's totally ironic how Republicans say they want the government out of your life but they can't wait to check your urine. When I look at the Republican field of Presidential Candidates, I have no doubt Cheech and Chong, are better leaders and a heck of a lot more honest.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  45. calaurore9

    Better to put everyone to work. Mandate volunteer jobs until paying ones are available. More self-esteem. Fewer drugs.

    C in Mass

    March 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  46. Norma Ross

    Anyone and everyone should have to take a drug test. before any job. We would be amazed if we only knew all
    the people who smoke pot. Dade City, Florida

    March 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  47. Ed Crocheron- Venice, FL

    No. It's expensive and unnecessary. Florida passed a law requiring it and uncovered just a 2-1/2% failure rate. Also, Kentucky spent over $7 million in 2008 to catch 216 welfare recipients who failed.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  48. Annie, Atlanta

    Not unless all Federal employees (including our illustrious lawmakers) have to do so. Florida tried this even though statistics showed about 2% of those receiving government help were drug addicts. And Rick Scott owns the drug testing company. Fail! Hate to be cynical here, but in this era of corruption and greed I'd like to know which lawmakers would benefit by this law, financially.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  49. Roy Birdzell

    Most definity. It is illegal here in the US to sell, to buy, or to use those drugs classified as illegal. We spend billions of dollars in drug interdiction, on drug preventative programs, and on drug eradication programs here in the US and aboard. The idea that any applicant for federal benefits should receive those benefits while using illegal drugs is not only breaking federal laws, but contributing to the breakdown of society by removing personal responsibility from ones individual choices and actions. Not to menioned, that it is a complete contradiction to those preventative programs. Not only wrong, but just plain surreal.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  50. Gary H. Boyd

    Since most on unemployment are part of the 99% "Occupy" segment I am sure they would welcome drug testing as a condition of receiving benefits since they obviously have nothing to hide. If I were unemployed I would expect there would be requirements to receive assistance. So, my answer is a resounding "yes" Jack. Only question being, will it be filling a cup, giving blood or blowing in a breathalyzer.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  51. jk in MN

    It sounds good on paper, but a lot of the jobless persons have substance abuse issues that prevent them from gaining employment. They also aren't likely to have health insurance coverage thanks to cutbacks to low income persons that that will help them deal with their abuse so they can be productive again in medical assistance from states because of budget deficits. Most employers require drug tests to gain employment. These people need help somehow – I'd say if they refuse to get help then they don't get unemployment. I have a close relative caught in the abuse cycle and can't find work; I see it day in and day out. It makes me sad to watch it.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  52. Doug Ericson

    Oy. No, no, no, no, and no. Either we are a merciful society are we are not. What is the next step for the proponents of this idea? Dig a canyon sized hole and bull doze all the weakest members of our society into it and bury them. Try drug testing Congress, the Executive branch, the Supreme Court, and the Justice Department first. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  53. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,
    This is yet another effort to dehumanize the disadvantaged. Why don't we use testing for something practical like a breathlayzer before any car ignition can be started or better still a mental acquity test with published results for every public officeholder ?

    March 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  54. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Why not give drug tests to movie stars who are unemployed between films. They are also eligible for unemployment benefits and just as likely to take drugs.

    Some people defend a barely liveable minimum wage because if the workers make more than they need they will only spend it on drugs and alcohol.

    Let's not go overboard with drug testing. It will cost a heap of money.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  55. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    If applicants for jobless benefits need to pass drug tests, I presume the assumption is that those individuals will use the benefits to buy drugs. Jack, if that's the case then I'd like to also include applicants who are spendthrifts; idiots; tasteless; too fat; too generous; too well off, etc. Let's just outfit every applicant with a chip that rewards good spending choices and punishes bad ones. Give me a break!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  56. Vanessa Harrington

    No, they should not be required to pass a drug test. 99 weeks of unemployment is cheaper to the taxpayer than another level of Government bureaucracy.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  57. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Absolutely not! Nobody should not have to have their right to privacy invaded to receive government benefits. What's next? Drug testing for student loans? Drug testing for getting an FHA home loan? Drug testing when you apply for Social security? Have we turned into a society where the government assumes everyone is a drug user and must prove otherwise to apply for givernment benefits?

    March 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  58. Jim

    Jack,

    An interesting idea, but those testing positive shouldn't just have their benefits denied. All that does is force them to turn to crime to get the money to support their habit. A better idea would be to make the benefits for those testing positive contingent on signing up for drug counseling and treatments.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    March 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  59. Julia, Fayetteville, NC

    Jack, In my opinion -If you drug tested everyone who has been using, 70% of our people would have to look in the mirror before asking for benefits of any kind.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  60. Mike

    Absolutely. Unemployment benefits are for those earnestly seeking employment but are unable to find it despite their best efforts. Those unable to pass a simple drug test are clearly not seeking a job in good faith. Taxpayers should not be expected to subsidize their destructive choices and habits.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  61. Mike

    Absolutely. Unemployment benefits are for those earnestly seeking employment but are unable to find it despite their best efforts. Those unable to pass a simple drug test are clearly not seeking a job in good faith. Taxpayers should not be expected to subsidize their destructive choices and habits.

    St. Petersburg, Florida

    March 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  62. chris

    yes they should the difference between getting assistance from the taxpayers they stay too long and when people get college scholarships they earned those so when joe the taxpayer for example wants to make sure they are not doing drugs while getting money from the hard working over taxed americans

    March 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  63. Ted

    Y E S...As a post script...anyone running for president should be given a lie detector test.....and who better to ask the questions than Jack Cafferty....

    March 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  64. Sandstone.

    "Yes. But not severe. When they reapply they should be given a form with certain questions, one of which is a medical check. You have to do it for the military so why not?"

    March 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  65. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Only if members of Congress have to pass drug tests, too, especially the newest, most radical members who are pushing these bills. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  66. Paul - North Carolina

    No, this is just another example of rampant right wing paranoia. Is a drug test required to buy a gun or get a concealed carry permit? How about to get a driver's license? Maybe members of Congress or state legislatures should be drug tested before they can take the oath of office. Once again the far right, those staunch defenders of of individual liberty, have gone over the edge of their flat earth.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  67. TomInRochNY

    Here we go again, trying to legislate morality. That never works. I have a better idea, how about we drug test bankers, executives and hedge fund managers before they can get their pay checks or bonuses. Maybe we can legislate away greed. Let's test members of congress too, before they can vote on something. It might improve the legislation they pass since most of it seems to have been written while they were high. I wonder how many would flunk the test.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    March 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  68. Jeff In Minnesota

    If anyone wants a job these days, they better be drug free when they apply. So, I suppose having them take a drug test to get jobless benefits gets them thinking in the right way from the start.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  69. David of Alexandria VA

    Why not, Jack? Even if it has to be random in order to avoid excessive costs, drug useage in this country is helping to fuel the current Mexican Revolution. May be this will help. And - by the way, "stigmatize?" My foot! You have to take a drug test to be a school bus driver and any pursue any number of occupations– are they stigmatized?

    March 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  70. hamsta

    of course they should!to bad drug tests cant detect gambling addiction.besides you get drug tested when you are hired at most jobs.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  71. Duane North Dakota

    Absolutely! This should also be applied to welfare recipients, food stamp recipients, anyone who is receiving tax dollars for aid or assistance. Let’s face it. Many employers require pre-employment as well as random drug screening for continued employment. If you can afford to buy drugs, you don’t need a government handout.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  72. ken from connecticut

    Absolutley not!! Next thing you know we 're going to have to get a chip in our arm to get our medication.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  73. barbara in nc

    SO – Brewer can mandate drug testing on unemployment INSURANCE payouts?

    People paid in to unemployment insurance. I hope the people of that stat realize what a dictator she is (taking kickbacks from privately owned prisons that are filled with legals and illegals)

    March 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  74. Steve

    If the jobless applicants can afford to buy illegal drugs than we are paying them too much. Free money doesn't create incentives. We as a society should help these poor people, create an incentive for them to go to work. It sounds like they should be tested right?? It's only logical that they should be tested , but all the Liberals on this blog will tell you otherwise.
    What does Obama say?
    Jack, you need to post all your comments as 50% for and 50% against. I notice other comments that you posted your leaning too much to the left, giving the impression that the majority of the people are on the left. Which is not really the case It only gives you the perception that the liberals are either unemplyed or get paid to comment on your blog. To be fair you should release comments as 50% vs 50% for and against from now on. .

    March 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  75. Linda from Kentucky

    Yes they should, Jack. I have witnessed someone who has collected unemployment only to use that money for pills and booze, while NOT actively looking for employment and NOT paying any child support while his ex-wife struggles to pay the bills and take care of their children. Too many people are using the system as a paid vacation, while we foot the bill. And, I'm not being "uppity"...I was on unemployment too a few years back, but I scrambled to find another job before it ran out. Lots of folks have to submit to random drug tests in order to keep their jobs, they should have to do it to keep their unemployment as well.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  76. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    No! Next they'll want my first born in order to get my social security check.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  77. david doherty

    Yes if the type of work their looking for requires drug testing, especially if they lost their job for failing a drug test. This is a no brainer! If theres objection's to this policy, perhaps the state should cut out the middleman and send the money directly to the drug dealer

    Dave from NH.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  78. Rick Martin, Charlottesville VA

    Well, Less Government Republicans have already wormed their way into a woman's vagina ... I guess they couldn't stop there!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  79. curtis in philadelphia

    So this is life in the post 2010 Tea Party influenced America; what a great way to limit governments' reach and to expand personal freedom. I'm sure Sarah Palin is smiling as she views Russia from her house.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  80. Bill in PA

    Jack,
    Makes no difference. NO one is willing to pay for it. No, no testing on our tax dimes!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  81. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Yes. But I hasten to add that this should only apply to this very narrowly defined area; i.e. applicants who work in a field where drug testing is required or where the applicant was fired for drug use such as public transportation (bus and train drivers, for example). Again, this is not a government handout. It is insurance that employees pay for with every paycheck. The rest of us should not have to be tested routinely. Besides, it is expensive. Now the only problem is how do you stay away from the “slippery slope” where everyone is forced to be tested?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  82. Robert

    Of couse they should take drug tests. After that, they can go to the clinic and have their legs open and cheeks spred to make sure they aren't hiding any drugs. After which they can sign up for a govronment ID card and then vote for who they would like in office. Not that it will matter, Im sure the state will redistrict, and the nomination they voted for will be forced to step down. Oh and Who will pay for this testing? Sounds like a winner to me Jack!

    Robert, Dallas Tx

    March 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  83. lynnej in nc

    No because that money was paid in by the employees and they are entitled to it when they are out of a job. This does nothing but stigmatizes a group of people just because they can get away with it.

    The sad thing is that these unemployed people will vote for these politicians that propose this even though they see them as dirt.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  84. Wilson - Toronto, Canada

    No its not fair

    March 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  85. Jerome from Louisville

    Of course not. Leave the unemployed alone, for God's sake. Drug test congress instead.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  86. Leo in NC

    Does drug testing stigmatize the military as drug users? We've tested the military for years to ensure that they are of sound mind to perform their duties. What's the difference?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  87. Dave M.

    If we start drug testing citizens for jobless benefits, then why not test them for small business grants, or what about tax breaks? Hey, free money is free money, right?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  88. cristy

    Only if they are also going to drug test police officers, fire fighters, judges,and most importantly...POLITICIANS.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  89. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    This is big government Jack. So, it surprises me that Republicans are proposing it. I can go either way though, as long as it's fair. If the unemployed should be of sound mind to get a job, I think our law makers should be of sound mind when making our laws. They all should be drug tested. But I don't think you should drug test one demographic, and not the other.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  90. Ed in California

    For once I agree with the liberal media. Drug testing for unemployment benefits is an excessive intrusion into ones personal life. Don't forget that employees also pay into the unemployment insurance fund so they should have some say in the distribution of benefits.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  91. GeorgeGray

    No. 1. You are innocent of wrongdoing until proven otherwise in the United States. 2. Unemployment benefits are not a privilege but rather damages paid by the gov't for a society that requires work, but offers none. 3. The unemployed will just take any necessaries if the gov't gets cute.
    George, Honolulu, HI

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  92. truthteller

    Jack, sounds like another republican stunt so that they can say that we are saving money! Some of the idiots that are posting should know that if their job was depleted by the past administrations policies they would be outraged if they were subjected to testing. Another attack on the low income citizens that continues this class warfare.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  93. Morgan

    Yes - if they are asking for an extension of their benefits. Most employers require drug tests, and those who are clean can find some kind of work within 8-12 weeks. Beyond that time, there's a reason for chronic unemployment and drugs/alcohol are probably the reason.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  94. rick

    Sure, if members of congress are required to take them every day.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  95. Canute J Chiverton, Houston, Texas

    Applicants should not have to be tested. Unemployment benefits is just simply a payout from premiums paid by the workers when they were employed. Everyone would have you believe that any benefits received is paid for by other taxpayers and is in essence a handout. It is not!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  96. Sad American

    Say–why don't we just drug test those who already have jobs that way we could "weed" out millions of slackards and put the unemployed back to work!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  97. Tess

    As soon as they pass a law that makes all in govt be mentally evaluated every 3 months to make sure they're capable of following the laws of this land, the Constitution that they keep shredding every chance they get!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  98. Jan Hare

    What's next from the Arizona legislature, Jack? Maybe these are the people who most need to submit to a drug test.

    Jan Hare
    Elmwood, WI

    March 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  99. Terry in Virginia

    Sounds like a way to make government bigger and more intrusive. Sure, test everyone, but let's start with members of Congress for drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse. If it's good for us common folk, it's good for our elected leaders who are supposed to lead by example instead of being prime examples of lying, power-mad hypocrites.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  100. Shane

    The only way that forcing drug tests should be allowed is if 'ALL" people receiving government money takes them. That includes all politicians, police, fire, city/state/county workers, lawyers, etc. If the only excuse for doing this is that people with unemployment benefits receive govt money then why not force everyone that gets paid from our tax dollars to take it. Of course we will need to raise taxes probably to pay for all these drug tests, but why do some have to when others don't?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  101. Justin

    Of corse you should have to take a drug test to get jobless benifits if you have the money for drugs you should not get hard earned tax money just becouse your lazy. I feel every state should be doing this!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  102. ctec280

    Yes, as long as our senators, representatives, and congress have to pass it too. If you want any money from the government, you can't make one group of people pass a test without including everyone that gets a government check. This country is about being equal and having the same opportunity, so our government's representatives should have to take a drug test too, it's only logical & fair.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  103. Jon Franke

    This is an invasion of privacy, what people do when not working is their own business!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  104. Mike - Virginia

    Jack, no they should not. That is like asking my wife to take drug test before she can collect my life insurance if I die. We and employers pay into the unemployment insurance fund. Is this another wonderful republican idea.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  105. Graeme Rodgers

    A test for what drugs, they test for nicotine or Oxycontin or just harmless drugs like marijuana. If downtrodden are forced this indignity then all employes should be able;e to opt out of the system including any contributions and tax payed in. Test for alcohol that will kill the bill, hypocrites.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  106. Mike Dunn

    Jack, the legislators who want to require a drug test for unemployment insurance need to be drug tested and a mental health evaluations themselves so they can run and stay in office every year.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  107. Raymond James Thibault, SFC,USA Ret

    Yes, You need to take one to get a Job lately. Why not insure this money is not being used for Drug or Alcohol abuse.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  108. michael from phoenix

    Absolutely! Why should tax payers feed the bad habits of people? We need to stop rewarding bad habits and laziness. I am in the employment business and similarly find it amazing that someone who receives unemployment, pace (healthcare) and food stamps, is offered a job @ 40,000 annually and turns it down because the safety net is better than working. Something is wrong w the system!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  109. Aaron

    ABSOLUTELY!!! If i have to take one to keep my job, you should have to take before you benefit from any type of local, state, or federal government assistance. Plain and simple!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  110. David

    I like the idea but the results speak for themselves. It cost more then it saves, 99% of the unemployed do not take drugs, and if you are going to do that then you should also randomly test politicians that hold public office.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  111. MIke McMorris

    Absolutely should have to pass a drug test, and they should help pay for its cost with the public money they receive.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  112. Woody from Portland

    sure – as long as all the politicians also got a mandatory drug test. Oh, while you're at it, lets get a drug test for all the banksters that received a bail-out. I let you speculate which will be more likely to fail the test.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  113. stefan christian

    A legitimate idea but who's going to pay for it? The Republican Mational Committee, I don't want to with my tax money..

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  114. Mike (ky)

    YES!!!!!! Every month and make it random every month. If I have to pass the test to work and pay taxes, then those receiving benefits should have to pass a random drug test as well. This goes for unemployment, WIC, food stamps, any govt assistance!!!!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  115. Charles - San Antonio

    No. The goverment has no business requiring unemployed americans who have not been accused of or charged with using drugs to undergo drug testing in order to obtain unemployment benefits. Even if someone has been accussed, they still should not be subject to drug testing just to obtain unemployment benefits. The goverment is over-reaching and needs to back-off.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  116. Kurt

    Yes, most definatly. Money should be spent on food rent etc. I get drug tested on the job several times a year and believe that it curbs drug use. It should be manditory for public workers also.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  117. Lisa

    Come on. If you are out looking for a job you should not have time to do drugs. I believe every state should pass this law because working for a manufacturing company shows me that too many people are not looking for jobs they are having fun illegally. This should include food stamps, welfare, medicaid. I am tired of paying for these people to live off me when I am struggling to meet my bills but I work.
    Alabama

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  118. Jeff Trathen

    Jack, one point everyone is missing. Drug testing is really only pot testing. Someone can be drunk and snorting coke and doing acid all weekend and they can pass their drug test the next week. But if you smoked a little pot three weeks ago in Jamaica, you're busted. Stupid stupid stupid! If your employee has a drug problem, it will manifest itself in many other ways. Drug testing is just a feel good notion for people who know nothing of the subject. However, if they had a test that could tell if someone was high while AT WORK, I'd be all for it!
    Jeff Trathen
    Portage, IN

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  119. Chris

    No. What is it about the poor that offends the Republicans so much?! With their reasoning always being that it's "The tax payers money", where was the push to drug test the people on wall street when we bailed them out with BillIONS of 'tax payers money"?!?!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  120. Walter

    If I have to take one to get a job you should take one to get a check!!!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  121. Bill N

    Congress cannot pass a sound mind test, corruption from top of food chain goes unpunished, so of course hammer the
    great unwashed at every opportunity, eventually they will be treated as well as all who have received the much touted purple finger from Uncle Sugar.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  122. Tom

    No. Should oil company executives have to take drug tests for the billions in subsidies that they get? Should any individual who receives a huge tax break that is many times more than what a person receives in jobless benefits have to take a drug test? Just because a person wears a suit and tie and drives a nice car doesn't mean that he is morally superior.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  123. Dennis

    Given that some people are subjected to urine test (drug tests) for work, it would only make sence that people receiving welfare should be subject to same, given it is ultimately the tax money from the working class that pays for such benefit?
    Dennis
    Hamilton ON, Canada

    March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  124. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Absolutely!!! You have to take one to get a job, why should they not have to take one to NOT have a job and live off the public money? The same is true with housing subsidy or food stamps. They should not be using money from people who do work to buy drugs. If they are not on drugs, what is the problem??????

    March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  125. John, Phoenix AZ

    Absolutely not. Creating a litmus test for a specific class of people such as the unemployed creates an undeserved stigma, adding to the burden of the challenging circumstances of the underemployed. You could use the same logic to propose drug testing for teachers with poor student outcomes; for brokers representing under-performing investment vehicles; for all fathers delinquent on their child support... Logic and common sense say this is a violation of the rights of a specific class of people and it is an arbitrary, unbalanced, and feeble attempt to express anger at those who need help.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  126. Carla B in Missouri

    Sure, thest the jobless for drugs. But, ONLY if legislators are also tested for them. I'll bet more of them do drugs than the jobless!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  127. Abigail-Pittsburgh, PA

    As good of a help this would be, no. If their working methods and professionalism are not negatively impacted, why waste the time and money? What if you were tested Jack?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  128. Alan

    YES!!!!! If they cannot pass a drug test they are not able to work.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  129. Walter

    If I have to take a drug test to get a job then you should take one to get a check!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  130. Justin va

    Why should lazy non working people get hard earned tax money when there spending money on drugs. So yes I belive all states should drug test for jobless benifits

    March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  131. van n tx

    Absolutely not. It's a waste of money and we ARE looking for work.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  132. David Stephan

    Drugs tests to get unemployment. Whats next? Drug tests to get your social security check! I suggest that anyone who runs for political office in Arizona should be required to take a drug tests every 3 months during the election and then every month once in office. Enough.

    David, Los Angeles Ca

    March 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  133. Charles Marshall

    Should be of "sound mind"? Is this a keyword for whats to come? Psychological profiling of the unemployed? What drugs are we talking about? Cigarettes, alcohol, prescription drugs? More information gathering to act on prejudice but they now have psychological and social masks. What ever happened to LESS GOVERNMENT into our personal lives? Privacy means the space not to be perfect. Who has rights to this data? Will this help or hurt the unemployment numbers? Sad day. Another lost right to privacy.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  134. Kathy Colorado

    Yes it would create a whole new industry and give jobs to testers who could be unemployed. And keep the man on the street (dealer) HAHA employed also. Just a viscious circle.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  135. Biz Mark

    Oh Yeah! they should take a drug test because I think it's really fair and accurate and the cost of the drug should be paid by them after they find a job.... This country is rewarding people for been just lazy... UNEMPLOYMENT+DRUG TEST+A STABLE JOB RECORD = UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  136. Rusk

    Let's say lawmakers should lead by example and pass a bill that require them to take a drug test monthly, then we can all take one too. Like John Boehner said about congress, "We got some of the smartest people in the country who serve here, and some of the dumbest. We got some of the best people you'd ever meet, and some of the raunchiest. We've got 'em all,

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  137. Ray in Knoxville

    Yes, Jack, they should have to pass a drug test, and so should members of congress.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  138. BOB FROM PHOENIX

    I would agree to this only if everyone running for public office be tested also, that includes all members of congress, those nominated for the supreme court and all people appointed for the cabinet.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  139. Frustrated in California

    Sorry Herman from Portland but Unemployment is funded by EMPLOYERS. How ridiculous is this?....A man is fired from his job because he failed the drug test. He is subsequently denied unemployment benefits. He files an appeal because he thinks he was wrongly denied. The judge finds in his favor and low and behold, he gets unemployment benefits. Why? the poor 22 year old is smoking medical marijuana. Then he decides he wants State Disability too! Well, he gets his disability and then the Unemployment Office decides to take their money back. Well, they cannot get it back because it would be a hardship for him to repay, according to the judge. All this money to waste because he is smoking medical marijuana. Yeah, let's legalize it too! Why should the State subsidize this guy's addiction?
    I'd like to move to Arizona, they get it!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  140. juan lopez

    I absolutely feel drug testing should be mandatory For jobless benefits as well as welfare recipients Maybe if we had a drug free workforce we can get the economy moving again in the right direction.
    Juan lopez /drug free employee

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  141. Lynn

    Cost vs. Benefit. Doesn't anybody run numbers anymore? Where are the numbers? If it costs a state millions but only saves them 500k then no this doesn't make since.
    Perhaps a short trial would make sense.

    On a side note personal feelings shouldn't over rule logic. I'm starting to think that the elected officials need mandatory drug testing! Are we assuming that those who lose there job are druggies? Really? In this economy? In my state if your are fired for drug use you don't qualify for benefits.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  142. Jay

    Absolutely drug test them all. I have worked for 2 decades and every job I had, I went through drug testing. So if they are going to get my money make sure it is not for illegal drugs.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  143. Carl

    Absolutely people on unemployment should be subjected to regular drug tests. Tax payers are shelling out millions to pay for this assistance program and they should not have to pay for someone to smoke pot and eat Cheetos all day. There should also be more vigorous drug testing for people currently employed, so that those of us who are unemployed and drug-free can get the jobs that some stoner is currently occupying and either has never been tested or cheats the system. It might be expensive, but it would be much smarter to test prior to giving benefits, rather than give benefits for lengthy period of time and pay for someone's drug habit.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  144. Lucia Chappelle

    Gee, I sure do love small, non-intrusive government! Don't we pay into unemployment insurance, making the benefits theoretically our money in the first place (of course, unemployed people are also taxpayers, but don't tell anybody that!). If we're going to test unemployed people for "drugs," are we going to include providing them with Antabuse to keep them from drinking alcohol, too? And how about something to stop them from wasting time having sex while they're supposed to be job hunting?
    Lucia
    Los Angeles

    March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  145. Pete, Columbus, Ohio

    Absolutely! Some of these folks may have lost their jobs (or may have been denied jobs) because of their drug usage, and it seems wrong to allow them to collect jobless benefits without the same accountability. I know the drug tests are not cheap, but the resulting savings in jobless benefits would quickly out-weigh the costs.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  146. Karen

    Do welfare recipients have to pass drug tests? I'm just sayin....Welfare has no expiration date, but unemployment does. Don't know why the unemployed have so many haters..... I'm 62 years old, worked ALL my life, have been unemployed for a year and haven't had one interview. So people think I should pee in a cup? There are 25 million unemloyed workers, and there have been 3 million jobs created since the President took office, As they say in the NFL, "Come on Man." The unemployed workers want to be part of the solution, but those jobs just ain't coming back! Thanks Jack.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  147. Michael Katz

    If an unemployed person fails a drug test, will the government spend the money to help that person seek treatment? Of course it won’t. So what happens to those people? They become a part of the permanently unemployed. Will it screen out those who are alcoholics? Nope, being an alcoholic is perfectly legal. This bill doesn’t seek to help anyone, just punish. So why not also exclude from unemployment benefits anyone who has outstanding parking tickets? Why should the government subsidize scofflaws? Maybe if the lawmakers try hard enough they can rationalize why no one deserves unemployment.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  148. Kevin in CA

    Yes they should, right after Congress. After all, isn't the ability to prove they're of "sound mind ..." more important for those that lead this country?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  149. LaMonica from Greenville, MS

    You mean to tell me that losing my job in this economy brands me a drug addict? This is cultural warfare from the Right and they'll do anything to keep the upper hand. If the employer giving me the job wants to give me a drug test, fine. But drug testing to get unemployment insurance? Really? I'd do it if I had to survive but I think it's an invasion of privacy and utterly ridiculous.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  150. Dave, Dallas TX

    Yes, all Govt assistance beneficiaries should be required to prove they are drug-free. Welfare beneficiaries should DEFINITELY be required to pass a drug test. It is required for many jobs. It should be required to get a Handout also,.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  151. Diane Fanning

    We're laying off teachers, cutting services to the elderly, mentally ill and children so that we can do what? Squander the money on drug testing of the unemployed, adding to the stigma they already feel. That makes a whole lot of sense. NOT!

    Diane Fanning
    New Braunfels, Texas

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  152. Sarah (Wisconsin)

    Sure, provided that EVERYONE who receives any kind of government benefit is subject to drug testing. This includes the mortgage interest tax deduction, corporate welfare, the earned income tax credit, all government salaries, Medicare, Medicaid (drug testing for infants should go over well), pensions for former lawmakers, Secret Service protection, agriculture subsidies... the list is long. The majority of Americans receive some sort of government benefit, whether they are aware of it or not, so maybe it would be best not to be too judgmental of those who receive certain kinds of benefits that we think are being wasted on "less worthy" citizens.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  153. Evan, formerly of Arizona

    Jack, this idea was first proposed by David Duke (remember him?) for welfare recipients in Louisiana in the 1980s, and the underlying motivation hasn't changed since then. This Arizona bill, like almost every other coming out of the AZ Legislature, is intended only as red meat for racists, xenophobes and the "poor people are lazy" crowd. You'd think a state with unemployment well above the national average would be more interested in creating jobs than punishing the jobless, but that's Arizona for you.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  154. ROJr

    No. If this prevails, then I would suggest anyone receiving taxpayer monies in any shape or form, should also be subjected to this same testing. Beginning with these politicians supporting this ridiculous bill.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  155. AB

    Yes, Jack, I support drug testing for people applying for unemployment benefits and for all public benefits. In fact, I support drug testing of all American citizens. Critics claim that drug testing is costly, I have news for them: The consequences of drug abuse are ten times more costly. They claim that drug testing is violative of 4th Amendment rights, I say it is not because there is no legitimate right to abuse any drug or use illegal drugs. The reasonable cause and purpose of drug testing is to protect society from criminal activities and their consequences.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  156. Karol

    When I graduated high school, I joined the military – drug testing required and random throughout enlistment.
    I went to work at a financial institution later on – drug test required
    I applied for a federal student loan – questioned about drugs and drug arrests
    I'm now a college professor – drug test required.
    Why is it that folks applying for jobs, welfare and needing an ID to vote – why should they be treated any differently. If I were unemployed and needed drug testing results to get a job – I would not hesitate to do so.
    I have never been insulted when asked to submit to drug testing – as a matter of fact, usually it means you got the job if you are indeed drug free.
    What's the problem?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  157. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The jobless should no more be required to get a drug test than the job-ed should be. It is a great matter of privacy and preventing stereotyping.

    Besides who wouldn't want the possibility to see a Jack Cafferty half out of his skull, now that would be entertainment.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  158. Susan from Idaho

    Any application for government assistance should have to pass a drug test. Last but not least any congressman/woman or senator that is blocking a good bill should have to under go one as well. I figure they've got to be on something. What is a good bill? One that benefits their consistences.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  159. Irmgard

    No. People collecting unemployment benefits have paid for those benefits. Why isn't anyone demanding that those public officials supporting this be required to undergo drug testing, since their salaries and benefits are supported by the same citizens who are now forced to collect the meager unemployment benefits to which they are entitled.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  160. Randeen Coleman

    from N California, my answer to the question is NO, and we have medical Mj laws as well, so forget it, it won't fly, NOT in this state, no matter what the Feds have to say about it. peace

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  161. Ryan

    Since only around 2 percent of the unemployed fail drug tests, it is obvious that the Republicans are out to placate the drug testing lobbyists looking for more government sanctioned business. What is the difference between the idea of a health care mandate and the idea of forcing poor, out-of-work, hard-off people to pay for and take a drug test? The Republicans are against a Health Care mandate but are for mandatory drug testing, showing that they are both hypocritical and heartless ,with priorities that are out-of-line with the rest of America.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  162. Steve, Phoenix Az

    Absolutely. I had to submit to drug tests as a U.S. Marine, a Cop and now as a pilot in SW Asia. I expect people accepting assistance to help them pull themselves up and have a place to live and food to eat, to be held as accountable as those of us who pay for their assitance. This money they are asking for is not a right.
    If they show positive then they should be given a chance to clean up over a time frame that involves already exisiting programs and live in a shelter. But there should also be a limit with a break off point in which they are no longer eligible for these assistance programs since they will have shown an unwillingness to become a productive member of society. It's all about choices they as individuals make.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  163. Richard Frost

    Should people be drug tested to get access to the unemployment benefits that they've earned through working? Absolutely not. Fourth Amendment, anyone? Aside from the blatant trampling of the Constitution, what about the fact that you're automatically assuming that the unemployed are drug-addicted, leeches that are draining the very life force of our entire society? Just because somebody lost their job, it doesn't mean their incompetent or are a crack pipe hitting sub-human. But those two arguments aside, let's look at the facts. Florida enacted this same type of law and in the end, it cost the state money and only a meager 1% of people failed the test. So much for non-intrusive, fiscally sound government, huh (R)s? I'll tell you what, the second that every member of Congress, every state lawmaker and every government official has to piss in a cup, then I'll gladly follow suit. Lead by example or shut your pie hole.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  164. alamin

    No Jack, Have you forgotten that they smoked the time they worked and paid the taxes before becoming Unemployed. /

    March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  165. Patrick Harasyn

    Oh definitely!

    For one, most jobs already require a drug test before hiring, so not having a drug test is just saying its ok to get fired and smoke a lot of pot as long as you arent truly apply for jobs.

    Secondly, if your willing to take money from the government, you should be willing to take a drug test to receive that money.

    Having this debate just shows how much Americas becoming an entitlement society

    March 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  166. Diallo,Mamadou B

    It is my belief that everyone get checked for drug from time to time- I am confident that one cannot be a weedhead and be coherant in their journalistics functions at CNN or any other news network, or make sound judgement w/r to security matters in the defense department. Should one expect for tax payers to pay for one's bills, the minimum sacrifice would be to submit oneself to a drug test, and this should include any and all public servants or beneficiaries(eleceted or not).

    March 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  167. Randy

    Yes, right along with the private government contractors, congressmen, governors and anyone working in government. But I bet they'll stop at the "little guy" as usual.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  168. Gigi Oregon

    This is why we need to vote for Ron Paul. Our government has become insane. Congress can do insider trading we go to jail. Congress can drink on the job we get fired. Congress makes laws for them and different laws for "We the People". If you pay into unemployment insurance and become unemployed you/we collect it. That's why its called unemployment insurance. And if it's managed right there should be money available. Only a little over 8% is unemployed but the greater majority are still paying in. Many never collecting a penny in the life.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  169. Carol

    Yes – I had to pass a drug test to get my current job. What is so controversial about passing a drug test in order to receive money for NOT having a job????

    March 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  170. Steven in MO

    YES provided a way to contest the results due to false positives. While they are at it, deny unemployment for state / federal prisoners.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  171. Bob Rush

    Not a bad thought until one considers that these tests have a cost. If Millions of unemployed undergo the drug tests on a monthly basis, we are talking about a potentially very large expenditure just to weed out the few who might test positive. Also, presumably, anyone who is paid unemployment benefits has worked to earn the benefit. If they were fired for cause, such as drug use, they are not elligible. So it seems unfair to punish them for future behavior and deny them a benefit that they have worked to acquire.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  172. BlakeB

    I've been clean for 12 years, and while using drugs I needed a job just like everyone else. Treating drug attics like sub-humans who deserve nothing is shameful. Whats next, testing body fat indexes and caloric content screenings? obesity is a much bigger problem. Their must be a better way. I wonder what Jesus would do in this case?

    Thanks

    March 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  173. Ken

    NO. It's like telling some one how to live. You can drink. You can smoke cigeretts. But touch that weed and loose everything.
    Obama wrote on page 86 of Dreams of my Father. "Smoking weed allows one to laugh at the folly of life.
    That's all any one want's to do with out the fear of arrest or loosing unemployment survival benifits.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  174. Brent

    I agree as well. If I have take a pee to get hired at job I think people who want to get welfare or unemployment should also have to do the same thing.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  175. thom richer

    I don't believe that is asking too much of someone in need of financial and social help. Everyone has responsibilities for whatever action or road they may be forced to take. That includes the wealthy, the rich, the middle class, the lower class, and the poor. Not to forget...Congress. Which they seem to have put aside. Drug testing may be just the responsibility needed to qualify for assistance. However, voters must keep in mind that this is more government and is proposed by the Right, so do not blame the Left.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    March 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  176. Loathstheright

    Drug test congress and the senate first...see how they do.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  177. cw

    Only if it'll save the taxpayer money in the end. And from initial returns, it looks like it costs more money to test than it is actually purports to save.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  178. Rick Albany,New York

    NO!!! I,m a seasonal worker Having this beautiful New york Winter In the construction Field.I myself do not drink or do any type of drugs.But if i did and my Job does not call for drug testing why should I or whoever Have to take a drug test to receive my Unemployment benefits That I and my employer pay for 9 mnths of the yr. I believe in individuals applying for welfare Benefits were the real issues lie Should have to be drug tested.... Not us workers who earned there benefits I have claimed my benefits every yr for the better part of 20 yrs.I work 9 mnths out of the yr for an average of 70hrs a week do the math it equals out... Back off Get your Hands out of my Pocket Uncle sam!!!!!!!!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  179. John, Phoenix AZ

    Leave it to AZ to propose another unfair and unbalanced law that targets the disenfranchised and is not economically sound! Joe and Jan are surely proud of this one!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  180. Ryan, Raleigh

    Since only around 2 percent of the unemployed fail drug tests, it is obvious that the Republicans are out to placate the drug testing lobbyists looking for more government sanctioned business. What is the difference between the idea of a health care mandate and the idea of forcing poor, out-of-work, hard-off people to pay for and take a drug test? The Republicans are against a Health Care mandate but are for mandatory drug testing, showing that they are both hypocritical and heartless,with priorities that are out-of-line with the rest of America.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  181. Jerry from Louisville

    I have no problem holding people that get government assistance, to this standard. There are two stipulations that I feel should apply. The first is that it be used to help fight the drug epidemic through required retesting to maintain benefits in the future; two positive tests end your eligibility. The second is that upper management of companies that are receiving government subsidies be held to the same standard. Our country needs help, from top to bottom!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  182. Eric

    The real question to ask is who lobbied for this? Drug testing firms or their shareholders?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  183. Tim

    Why is this even up for debate. The drugs they are testing for are illegal and would not qualify that person for work so why do they get a check from the government and not have to do the test. And the argument saying that what if the job they want doesn't do drug tests that has to be a joke. I you want to do drugs that's on you and your right to put what ever you want in you but if you want to spend my tax money by sitting at home and smoking pot and getting a free check think again.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  184. Jonathan

    No. I dont even think that drug testing should a requirement of getting employment. This is all just an invasion of people privacy. I dont use drugs, but if I did, what I do in my own personal time is my business. As long as im not coming to work high is all they should be concerned with.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  185. Terri from Blountville TN

    No. It would serve no real purpose except playing into the phony game Republicans want to play. The cost benefit ratio would not be beneficial. Kind of like the election fraud that seems to only be rampant in the caucuses of the Republican party.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  186. Jeff

    Critics that say a random drug testing program stigmatizes the unemployed as drug users have no basis to make that conclusion. Are the millions that are currently employed by corporations, government, and the military that utilize random drug testing programs, all stereotyped as dug users?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  187. Patrick frm PLYMOUTH

    Oh definitely!

    For one, most jobs already require a drug test before hiring, so not having a drug test is just saying its ok to get fired and smoke a lot of pot as long as you arent truly apply for jobs.

    Secondly, if your willing to take money from the government, you should be willing to take a drug test to receive that money.

    Having this debate just shows how much Americas becoming an entitlement society

    March 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  188. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    Yes, as long as anyone who receives any check that comes from the state of federal government does the same. Postal workers, Social Security recipients, senators, govenors, DMV employees, get the picture?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  189. Allen

    No. Unelployment INSURANCE has been around for many decades without "drug tests". We pay a premium of our paychecks for this and durg use has nothing to do with it it. Ok they can drug test if "claim payments" never run out because then it would be a true "benift" rather than a claim.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  190. Danni Z

    I think we should drug test the politicians that are trying to pass this Jack !

    Danni Z
    Upland Ca

    March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  191. Michael Katz

    How hypocritical that this law is being proposed by members of the same political party who claim the government should have less of a role in our lives

    March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  192. D.Lewis

    If I am not mistaken, we pay our own unemployment benefits through taxation while we are employed. Who the hell do these politicians think they are by trying to dip into that cookie jar too!! What are they trying to do keep our hard earned tax dollars that we paid forward as a safety net for hard times just in case we get laid off or fired. Maybe the politicians who came up with this stupid idea need to be DRUG TESTED!!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  193. Aaron

    its amazing the comments that are on here that specifically defend or at least seem to stand-up for the use of marijuana. The drug test in question is more than likely the same one that most employers and clinics use. A simple 7 panel urine drug screen. guess what, it tests for alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, barbiturates, etc etc. if you are unemployed and want or need any kind of assistance from anyone, and truly want to work, this should be a no-brainer...quit your whinning and take the test..do whatever needs to be done to get back to work. we have enough living off of everyone else. not to mention that if you have money to buy drugs, you don't need assistance then do you?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  194. ZoeyKay

    Who is going to pay for the test? For the few states that have implemented this, it is costing the taxpayers even more money, because the welfare recipient pays for the test ONLY when they fail it. Since the failure rate is so low, the taxpayers are left footing the bill for the drug test AND the welfare benefits, only causing the government to shell out even more money that they don't have.

    If you paid into unemployment, then you should be able to receive it, no questions asked. It will eventually run out.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  195. Jim P

    Couple this with drug test for members of Congress and the Senate and all members of the states government and mayby I'd go for it.Otherwise it's just the hypocrites stepping on the little people again.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  196. Frank Zaber

    Hey.. no drug test, no benefits. You have to pass a drug test to stock shelves at a grocery store, and that pays about as much as maximum level unemployment benefits. If you want to use drugs, go find a seedy job that doesn't require you to pass the test and you'll be fine.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  197. PDXGuy

    Maybe if they exclude Pot since Fed and state policy are too far apart. The problem is the majority of people are fine, why punish them for a few? who's really benefiting? Alcohol is by far and away the leading cause of diminished work performance and time off....and it's legal. Everything else is a total waste of time and money, you know, all those wasted added expenses I thought those Republicans were against.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  198. bfpierce

    Jack,

    I see no reason that people accepting government benefits should have to submit for a drug test. However, I do believe that should extend all the way up the chain of command. There's no reason somebody in the Legislature should be collecting a pay check without a drug screen either.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  199. Romany

    yes- i pay their benefits with my hard work, i had to pass a drug test to get my job, why should they get paid and be able to take illegal drugs, just like any person paid by an employer they should be subject to random tests, same should go for our governors and senate mind you

    March 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  200. Dave in Wisconsin

    If we test one person for drugs to get unemployment, because its " Tax money" we should test everyone with a hand in the cookie jar. i.e. politicians, social security recipients, retired US presidents, congress,etc. How about people with businesses who contract with the government I could go on and on.what this really comes down to is most everyone is judging others and making assumptions.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  201. Tim

    Ohh and to the people saying it was their money they put In from working is paying for there unemployment I'm pretty sure that you didn't put 99 weeks worth of pay checks aside from your very own contribution😉

    March 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  202. Bob

    Does the drug test test for pharmaceutical pills? Probably not. Does it test for hard drugs? Probably not, because hard drugs are out of your system in 3 or 4 days. Does it test for Marijuana? Yes. Does smoking marijuana affect your ability to work? NO. Are drug test companies getting rich off this and the ones behind all of these bills? YES. WAKE up People!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  203. Juan Carlos de Burbon

    Yes. Government assistance is to keep you alive, not high.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  204. Timothy B

    I do not agree with unemployment drug test. I do not feel the unemployment dept. is qualify to drug test. Then is going to do the test. Nonsense

    March 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  205. Carolyn - W. Palm Beach, FL

    When you are emloyed, your employer puts money into the fund for your benefit should you lose your job through no fault of your own. Why would I approve the government to put a self imposed drug test to collect money that was put there for my benefit? I'll tell you why...it's just a way for the government to keep the money and apply it somewhere else. HANDS OFF MY MONEY! Who's the communist that thought this one up?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  206. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    OMG really, Jack??? When will the 'Big Brother' syndrome stop? I can see that if someone were to suspect a drug problem, that a test should MIGHT be required. But to make everyone on unemployment take a test – one word NO!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  207. paulyballgame

    "They also say drug tests stigmatize the jobless as drug addicts?!" This is simply ludicrous.

    So I guess that the vast majority of job seekers being drug tested by employers share the same stigma? Give me a break!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  208. Davit

    I believe that there is an inherent racial bias in this, so I would say, sure, it's a good idea, but lets give it a trial run and only drug test the caucasians claming benefits. It would be interesting to see how fast support for testing dwindles.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  209. Tommy A

    Only, if it presents a problem. For example, Fla tested their recipients and concluded that less than 2% of recipients popped positive. You've got to consider the cost of the drug test program. Fla also stated that anyone receiving gov't funds should be subject to drug testing. Well, all elected officials are receiving gov't funds in their paychecks. Shouldn't they be subject to drug testing? This is another attack on the poor and unfortunate.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  210. Al

    Absolutely! If i have to wake my but up early everyday and stay clean of drugs at my work and work hard for my money, then someone who doesnt work at all and wants free govt. help then they better pass a test too. There should be a random screening to determine if the applicant is on drugs. Im tired of seeing People abusing these services to buy everything and anything BUT food or pay for rent. maybe they should change the way they give money. Dont give em a check give em a deibt card with no withdrawal cash option

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  211. Damon G

    A $2 joint can ruin your life, not because it will make you stress less over responsibilities, but because our government will forever label you an undesireable.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  212. Jenna Roseville CA

    And which friend of the GOP is going to get that no bid contract? No drug use and unemployement benefits should NOT go hand in hand. Unemployment benefits are the payout of the unemployment insurance you paid into when you were employed. No one is doing you any "favors" with you receiving what you paid into. Nor should anyone deny you your benefits should you partake in recreation usage. Otherwise you would have to lump alcohol and smoking in with that and I doubt both industries would allow that.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  213. Reggie

    Okay jack here we go again, another push to take a peek into the lives of free citzens of this country,
    I've had it up to Here!!! why dont they put the time into looking further into outter space, do a study on
    angry chicken farmers. no more illegal searches okay!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  214. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    Yes, I do not want my money to help a drug addict to buy more drugs.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  215. John Altanta

    Typical republican big brother. grow government attitude. First of all these people paid for unelmployment insurance. this would not solve any problems other than placating the ignorant attitudes of today's extremist GOP.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  216. Lancem

    It is interesting that I have had to take a drug test for every private sector job I have had, but not for a public sector job. All of them being white collar type jobs. "They also say drug tests stigmatize the jobless as drug addicts." – I never felt stigmatized by taking a drug test, so why should the unemployed? Now, the practicality and costs are probably a bigger issue.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  217. Joe

    Drug testing does cost money. However, I am fairly certain that the cost of the drug test is MUCH CHEAPER than one week of unemployment benefits paid for those out of work. After the initial cost, all benefits NOT PAID is SAVING the State hundreds of dollars because they are not going to a drug addict.

    I had to pass a drug test for my job. If you don't have a job you should have to pass one to in order to receive unemployment/welfare benefits. I don't want my tax dollars and my company's tax dollars funding your illegal habits.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  218. Zack, JAX FL

    Yes. Although people may not want to admit it, unemployment benefits are being abused more than ever. Drug screening would only help crack down on the abuse and fraud.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  219. Jeanette

    Yes, just as soon as we require drug tests for our elected officials, I'm pretty sure the majority of tea party republicans are smoking something!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  220. Graeme Rodgers

    I thought drug use was mandatory to be an American. How else can you stand yourselves?. My money, my benefits, my, my, my...what a lovely place.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  221. Deb in MT

    Considering the craziness coming out of Arizona lately, maybe the Arizona politicians ought to be drug tested –on a daily basis–first! Betcha 'Sheriff Joe' couldn't pass!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  222. Captain Tom

    This is one of those great ideas unless you give it some thought.

    First, it will mostly hurt children.
    Second, there is the cost.
    Then, you are only creating more problems by making some people more desperate.

    The war on drugs in the second biggest mistake this country had made.
    Of course the war in Iraq was the biggest.

    Alcohol and Tabaco kill far more people every year tan illegal drugs. Wake up America and move on.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  223. Michael Chapel Hill

    Public assisted drug abuse? Are we a Welfare State?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  224. Bob

    Gee, another law meant to degrade and stigmatize people needing government assistance (AND one that awards millions of dollars in government contracts to a big corporation in order to get government into private lives). Do we even have to ask which party came up with this?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  225. Stephen

    Yes conditionally, if the argument is that people who are on the taxpayers dime should be drug tested then all government officials including elected officials should be tested otherwise this isn't about making sure that people who get payed by the tax payer are drug free is about humiliating those who were unfortunate enough to be laid off in a down economy.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  226. Reasonably

    Yes – and the same for welfare, food stamps, etc. We may not be able to keep you from buying Air Jordan's with your welfare check, but we should be able to keep you from riding the white horse!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  227. FedupwithGovt

    I get the concept here but this is ridiculous. Drug tests will end up costing more money to administer and state budgets are already cut enough. What happens in states where medical marijuana is legal? How are they going to administer to ensure accuracy and that over the counter drugs don't accidentally trigger a positive test. I agree we don't want lazy drug addicts receiving jobless benefits and abusing the system. I'm sure the privacy advocates will get involved in this one too. If someone fails a test is that information going on public record for future employers to see? I get the idea but the execution of this will fail and create more issues and cost more money in the long run.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  228. Jon

    Remind me – how many of those tested in Florida fail the drug test? Something like 2%, maybe?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  229. Dot

    I have always thought that there should be drug and alcohol tests for people on unemployment, welfare, disability, etc. and it should not be just one at the beginning. While it might cost money to test people, I think we would save money when you found how many people would not qualify.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  230. Michael in Boston

    It's amazing to me how so many people are lined up to vote away their own basic liberties and rights, simply because it does not apply to them. I do not do drugs, I do not condone their use. This is purely separating one's personal liberty to spite a fear that doesn't really exist in reality.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  231. JMFB

    Yes, unemployment benefits are not a handout and people that view them as such are missing the point and commiting fraud. People should not automatically be given these benefits, and to retain the benefits they should have to maintain the same drug free atmosphere the rest of the US workforce have to maintain.

    To all the people that say it will be too expensive, think of all the money we will save by not paying people to continue a drug habit while living off the government and not providing anything in return. Drug testing wil lforce these people into action. Get clean, or don't get paid.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  232. John from Santa Maria, CA

    I worked in the transportation industry, taking speed among long-haul truck drivers was rampant until they required random drug testing. It worked and has no doubt saved alot of lives. Testing any part of the population, unemployment appicants no exception, will no doubt save even more lives.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  233. PDXGuy

    And BTW...I though Republicans were against mandates? Is this the height of hypocrisy?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  234. Dana

    Absolutely, The optimum word used is "Jobless" benefits. I'm pretty sure if you get a job as your supposed to be looking for one that more than likely you'll be asked to take a drug and alcohol test and if you can't pass then you'll not get the job so why should you be allowed a free Magical Mystery Tour Ride on the taxpayers dime?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  235. Chris G

    By all means yes!! I work public service and I can't remember how many times I have went out to patient's that have been on drugs and alcohol and show you their medicaid and medicare cards for insurance; or they tell you they don't have insurance because they don't work. Oh yeah...that means the working class are paying for those medical bills on their insurance premiums! Drug test should be a no brainer.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  236. Jane in CA

    Only if they test for alcohol and tobacco use also. That should get rid of most applicants.

    The only experience records on these programs have shown less than 2 % positives. 100% of unemployed humiliated and debased, for less than 2%?

    Jobless benefits are based on your past employment – your former employer paid for them with his taxes to support the program. He has already paid for the benefits and the state should not be able to deny them, any more than they can seize your house after you paid your property tax. Extended benefits may be iffy, but federal rules should cover them. I don't believe that the Feds require drug testing.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  237. GrogInOhio

    Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test? Only if EVERYONE that gets public money gets tested. Let's start with the CEOs and Directors of the companies bailed out by taxpayers in 2008 and 2009. Then members of congress and state legislatures. Include governors and mayors next.

    Mike in Columbus, OH

    March 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  238. Al

    Love it when people unemployed are called "slackers" most people at some time become unemployed nowadays and to the people who aren't just you wait..
    Waste of money cause i would bet 99% would test negative.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  239. Leonard

    Absolutely. Better still, everyone receiving money from a taxpayer – government officials, police, teachers, welfare, food stamp, unemployment, civil service, military ..... everyone spending my 'stake in the game'!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  240. Susn

    I work in the obstetrics/gynecology department of a large university hospital. I don't know what the percentage is, but my guess would be that 60-70% of our pregnant patients are on Medicaid. I don't care about drug testing–I want Medicaid recipients to be required be on birth control!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  241. john1galt

    No reason not to require it. Every federal employee is subject to random drug testing, I've been with the federal government 25 years. Ultimately the welfare and unemployment benefits flow from the government (which is to say the taxpayers) and the government should not be using taxpayer money to subsidize anyone using dope.

    The savings just from the fraud that would be stopped would more than pay for the screening program.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  242. LOU S....OHIO

    Of course they should, Jack just as soon as these "I want the government out of your life" phonies we keep electing take a drug test so we will know once and for all whether they are on drugs or just plain nuts

    March 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  243. Margaret

    What happens when the person is legally taking pain medication due to a medical problem? Will a doctors certificate be enough? I have a son who has a rod in his spine, extreme pain in his back, neck, shoulders and arms. Plus extreme neuropathy in his legs. Had a foot of colon removed. A little tylenol won't work. Should people like him be penalized? Or are we talking about drugs like meth, heroin or cocaine? Will there be a chance of appeal? Could the legislators pass the same tests and would they be willing to take one every year?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  244. steven

    well, since we pay state and city taxes we the employer have the right to insist that state government employees be and congress be drug tested, for both drugs and alcohol...why limit it to uneployment applicants..

    March 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  245. Tommy A

    Did the US Gov't drug test the corporate CEO's who received millions, if not billions from the bailout?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  246. Larry, Waterloo IA

    Yes they should take the test, and the cost of the test should come out of their allowed benefits. Consider it the cost of doing business. I know there are people deserving of this because of circumstances they did not control, and I think they would understand and if they have not taken drugs, would consider this just another "form" to fill out to qualify for the funds. For those that try to get high on the tax payer payroll, I say if you get caught, you wait 30-60 days before you can re-apply. I am getting tired of havong an element of our sociey living off the rest of us like it is a free party or they are deserving of it.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  247. tallulah

    No, because the Government is requiring it, it constitutes a search without probable cause. I though the GOP was all for *smaller* government? This seems like more money bein spent on bigger government. Hmmmm.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  248. Niccolo, Florida

    No, if the costs to run the tests exceed the benefits saved (which some studies have suggested they do), then it is a waste of money. My opinion would change, however, if there was a way to know that the individual has failed to find employment REPEATEDLY because of failing the potential employer's drug test. In this scenario the individual has volunteered for the test and it was paid for by the potential employer, only the information is being passed along.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  249. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Of course they should.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  250. Greenspam

    If drug test is required for unemployment, can I opt out paying into unemployment insurance then?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  251. Frank V.

    No. I think most people are embarrassed to begin with when they have to apply for unemployment. I don't believe there's a need to humiliate them further by making them take a drug test.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  252. Dean

    Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test?

    Yes. And also for food stamps, medicaid and any other kind of public assistance from the government.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  253. seanster5977

    Well the funny thing is most jobs require you take a drug test before being hired. Wouldn't it be common sense that you should be drug free if you are looking for work?

    Oh yeah I forgot a lot of the jobless AREN'T looking for work. Not all but a lot. I think you should be drug tested to receive any federal benefits. To receive welfare it makes sense if you don't have money to buy food how do you find money for drugs?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  254. tom sullivan

    No. Very simple answer. When the collapse of the economy occurred as a consequence of financial industry malfeasance these people may or may not have been taking drugs. The people receiving unemployment benefits at that moment in time were not required to be tested. Once again an example of a social agenda getting intertwined with an economic question>

    And, might I ask, how much will this testing occur on top of the unemployment expense.

    If every federal employee, as well as every state employee in those states requiring a drug test, are also under this mandate then I would agree. We might find that we are paying a lot of drug users that are not, to use the logic that was presented above, of their right minds. I am guessing we would find a great many legislators and administrators guilty of drug transgressions. They get taxpayer money too so that they will perform at their job.

    If drug testing is good for the goose it should be good for the gander.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  255. Rick

    NO. Only if a similar law passes to drug test everybody in government and fire them if they fail or refuse. Our government is getting a way out of control with our privacy.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  256. J. Boles

    Absolutely YES! I do not believe that all people on unemployment are drug users, but I do believe it's a fair trade to require those who want government assistance to pass a drug test. I don't think that's too much to ask. If I were on unemployment I would gladly submit a drug test, and say THANK YOU for the help. I believe any type of welfare assistance should require a drug test to be submitted. This would definitely help many welfare abusers clean up. No more free money, so it's time to clean up and get a job. I think the amount of money saved on people who can't stay clean would more than pay for the drug testing cost. And besides, couldn't a state find a cheaper way to test for drugs? It shouldn't have to be that expensive, unless someone is looking to get rich abusing their position as the testing agency.

    J. Boles
    Childress, Tx

    March 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  257. Matt

    "He says the least applicants should do is prove they're of "sound mind to get a job.""

    Well, that rules out anybody who's voted Republican in the last 30 years as well as the sufferers of the mental illness otherwise known as "religion". That should save LOTS of money!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  258. tom sullivan

    And using the logic above–any institution that receives federal, state, or local tax dollars (banks, schools, ngo's) should have employee mandated drug testing so that we are not artificially singling out one small sliver of our society.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  259. Greenspam

    Most jobs require to take a drug test before being hired – FALSE. Most jobs do NOT require a drug test.

    If govt can mandate drug testing for unemployment, can an employee opt out of paying into unemployment insurance then?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm |