|Own your ow legal marijuana business||
Your guide to making money in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry
|Carl Olsen's Marijuana Archive|
PUBLIC HEARINGS AT CAPITOL
Comments are mixed on drug-test
Some see the plan to beef up Iowas law as vital to workplace safety; others say it threatens individuals rights.
By HEATHER WIESE
Business leaders, union representatives and private citizens voiced a mix of approval and concern over the proposed workplace drug-testing law during a public hearing at the Capitol Thursday night.
The bill, approved Tuesday by the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, would allow employers to conduct unannounced drug or alcohol tests, which supporters say would strengthen the current law adopted in 1987.
In addition, the bill would give employers the option of taking disciplinary actions, ranging from requiring workers to enroll in rehabilitation programs to termination.
Sharon Louis-Goldford, an employee of Mercy Hospital Medical Center, said drug testing is vital and necessary for the safety of patients.
"How can we provide a safe environment when we don't know who did coke the night before?" she asked the audience of more than 50 citizens and legislators.
She said that 44 people have tested positive during preemployment drug screening at Mercy, demonstrating that there are "still people who are willing to try to beat the system in order to get a job."
Ron Smith, human resources director for Lennox industries Inc. in Marshalltown, said the bill goes beyond "past attempts of piecemeal fixes to an old quilt."
The bill "provides employers and employees with a reasonable process to address drug abuse in the workplace ... by eliminating the arbitrary and ambiguous wording of the current law," he said. However, record keeping should be restricted to protect personal rights, he said.
Richard Graham, an unemployed truck driver, spoke from firsthand experience about the effect drug testing can have. After 22 years of service without an accident or a speeding ticket, Graham said he was fired following a random drug test that came back positive in April 1996.
Graham, who said he has never taken methamphetamines, took a second test using a hair sample that showed he was not taking drugs. His company rehired him, and then fired him again in September.
"They fired me again, based on the same test in April," he said. The only reason given to Graham was that the company that conducted the first test said it never made mistakes, he said. Since then, Graham said he has not been able to find work, because the failed drug test follows him wherever he applies for a job.
"This has put a hardship on me ... on my family. It has caused me to be behind on my mortgage payments and other bills," he said.
Several union members and private citizens were also concerned that the bill would violate basic human rights.
The full House will debate the bill to expand drug-testing authority next week.
Des Moines Register, February 21, 1997
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
Information on Alcohol
Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
|Drug Information Articles|
Taking a drug test:
How To Pass A Drug Test
Beat Drug Test
Pass Drug Test
Drug Screening Tests
Drug Addiction Treatment