|Own your ow legal marijuana business||
Your guide to making money in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry
|Carl Olsen's Marijuana Archive|
The Des Moines Register
Drug test proposal sent to Branstad
By JONATHAN ROOS
The House, on a 53-46 vote gave final legislative approval to a bill that would allow random testing of workers and would make other significant changes in Iowa's 11-year-old workplace drug-testing law.
The measure, one of Gov. Terry Branstad's long-standing priorities, was sent to the governor for his signature.
Business groups and some of Iowa's largest companies have been trying for several years to get the Legislature to rewrite a drug-testing law that they regard as weak. Labor groups, fearing that employees' rights would be compromised, have resisted wholesale changes.
Supporters of the bill contended Wednesday that employers need greater authority to root out drug users who could jeopardize the safety of others.
"We're left with a simple choice. We can ignore drug abuse in the workplace or we can provide the tools to address the situation," said Rep. Steven Sukup, a Dougherty Republican who guided the bill through House debate.
"This (bill) will put Iowa in step with other states" that have adopted broader drug-testing laws, Sukup said.
Rep. Jeffrey Lamberti, R-Ankeny, agreed. He said the current law "virtually guarantees that effective drug-testing can't exist in the workplace."
Critics of the legislation said it would upset the balance between workplace safety requirements and employees' privacy rights. They said the legislation would subject workers to humiliating trips to the restroom to give urine samples, and it could leave them vulnerable to harassment.
Rep. Minnette Doderer, D-Iowa City, called it a "stringent, oppressive, unnecessary and even stupid bill."
Rep. Michael Cormack of Fort Dodge, the only House Republican who voted against the bill, said it did not respect individual rights. "It doesn't matter if rights are being trampled on by big government or by big business," he said.
Rep. Ed. Fallon, D-Des Moines, said lawmakers should get a taste of their own medicine and require drug-testing of the Legislature. His proposal was rejected, however, on a procedural vote.
"What we're talking about here is sending our workers to the restroom, with cup in hand, and subjecting them to the humiliation and embarrassment as suspects," Fallon said. "If we're willing to do that to the workers of this state, we ought to be willing to do it to ourselves."
Members of the House Democratic minority dominated Wednesday's long debate. They offered a series of amendments to temper some of the drug-testing law changes pushed by Republicans.
However, all of the amendments were rejected. Leaders of the House Republican majority said they didn't want to risk having the bill get bogged down because of changes that might be unacceptable to the Senate.
The drug-testing legislation cleared the Senate last month by a bare majority of 26 votes.
Elements of this year's bill include:
The bill approved Wednesday applies
to workers in the private sector, not public employees.
Reporter Jonathan Roos can be
The Des Moines Register
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