WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter is reviving a fight over drug
testing that could have major implications in Georgia.
The Pooler Republican introduced a bill in the House of
Representatives on Thursday that would let states screen unemployment
insurance applicants for drug use if they so choose.
"Unemployment Insurance recipients should be drug-free and ready to
reenter the workforce and my legislation works to make that happen,"
Carter said in a statement.
Under Carter's legislation, an applicant would be denied unemployment
benefits for 30 days if they test positive for drug use. A second
positive test would bar people from receiving the federal perk for the
rest of the year.
Scientists, public health experts and volunteers working with them
have started to show up at music festivals, concerts, raves and other
public gatherings where illicit drugs are frequently used. Equipped
with special chemical testing kits, they help attendees test pills and
powder for purity in real time so people can make better informed
decisions about whether to take them.
The practice - more common in Europe than in the United States - is
controversial, and the debate has been similar to the early days of
needle-exchange programs in the 1980s. Proponents argue harm
reduction. They say people are more likely to reject taking drugs to
get high if the substances do not contain what they think they do,
which reduces the risk of overdose and other harmful effects. Critics
say such programs implicitly encourage the use of illegal drugs.
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As he prepares to run for a third term, Gov. Scott Walker of
Wisconsin, ever the devotee of low-road, right-wing politicking, is
hoping the Trump administration will allow his state to be the first
in the nation to mandate the drug screening of childless individuals
who apply for Medicaid help.
"It borders on immoral," Lena Taylor, a Democratic state senator,
warned, accusing Mr. Walker of indulging in a "meaningless contest to
see how cruel and discriminatory we can be to the poor."
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CEO says results 'concerning' but justify transit agency's push for
substance abuse checks
Well that didn't take long.
Two TTC employees have been suspended for being impaired on the job
after they both failed tests on the first day of the transit agency's
new random drug and alcohol testing program.
The first employee given a breathalyzer that morning blew over the
limit, according to agency spokesperson Brad Ross. The employee was
found to have a blood alcohol level of more than .04 per cent, which
the TTC considers impaired.
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Testing to see who's too stoned to drive is a cumbersome system that
results in few convictions, says a law professor who has studied
The federal Liberals have tabled legislation to legalize marijuana
while having severe penalties for drug-impaired driving. But Robert
Solomon of Western University says that enforcement of laws involving
pot and driving can be difficult.
First, forget about a handy roadside breath test like the test for
alcohol, he advises.
"There is some preliminary research indicating that a breath test can
be developed for cannabis. It's slow, expensive and not yet reliable,"
he said. "So we're a long way from a breath test for cannabis ...
(despite) some promoters out there who have been touting miraculous,
easy, cheap" breath tests.
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Despite a completely clean campus always being the goal, top brass at
Royal Military College are pleased with the results of a blind drug
test conducted in mid-October that weren't exactly perfect.
"Having now tangible, fact-based information is really great. It gives
us a good assessment of the current situation," Brig.-Gen. Sean
Friday, commandant of RMC, told the Whig-Standard on Wednesday. "The
whole idea of a blind drug test is so that we can get actual
information to see if our [Canadian Armed Forces] drug control program
at large is succeeding or not."
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Police forces in Canada testing out devices over February
Next time you come across a police checkpoint in Halifax, you might be
asked to help test a roadside drug-screening device.
Halifax Regional Police (HRP) began a new Public Safety Canada pilot
project a week and half ago, and have until the end of February to
collect 100 saliva samples from anyone who'd like to anonymously
volunteer for the testing in a regular traffic stop.
"This is for us. It's not about any of the public, it's about how
user-friendly are these devices for the police at roadside," Const.
Kristine Fraser of the HRP traffic unit said Thursday. "If you say
'um, no,' (it's) 'okay, thank you for your time,' and you drive away.'"
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A recommendation by state Rep. Joel Kleefisch would have parents request
their high school students be tested for illegal drugs.
Students drive out of the parking lot at the end of the school day at De
Pere High School on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Students who have parking
permits at the school are subjected to random drug testing throughout the
school year.(Photo: Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wi)
GREEN BAY - Rep. Joel Kleefisch had a ready response for lawmakers and
school administrators who were quick to speak out against a proposal late
last year for statewide random drug testing in high schools.
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Mandatory drug testing of students at a two-year technical college in
Linn, Mo., has been banned by a federal appeals court.
The court has reinstated the ban on mandatory drug testing for most
students at the State Technical College of Missouri. The decision was the
latest ruling in a 5-year-old lawsuit.
The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Associated Press reported that
by a 9-2 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit overturned an
earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the court.
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Lacey Township Middle School is one of the first in the region to drug
test middle school students. Here's why.
LACEY -- Middle schoolers here are among the first in the region to take
part in a random drug testing program that could shape the battle against
Superintendent Craig Wigley said the program is ready to launch after New
Year's, and he expects about 100 of the middle school's roughly 700
students to participate.
Parents must enroll their seventh- and eighth-graders in order to take
part in the voluntary program, under which students who fail a random drug
test would be removed from sports and extracurricular activities for 10
days after the first offense, 45 days after the second offense, and longer
for a third offense.
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A B.C. First Nation says it will implement a voluntary drug and
alcohol testing program for its chief, council and staff to combat
substance abuse in the northern community.
Chief Wilf Adam of the Lake Babine Nation said he will be the first
person tested when the program is up and running in the coming weeks.
"I think it's important as a community that the leadership and the
people that work for the community help find ways in battling drugs
and alcohol," he said in an interview on Wednesday.
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Music festival Secret Garden Party allowed people carrying illegal
narcotics to test the quality and strength of the drugs over the weekend.
The pioneering scheme had the support of local police, and was run by
the drugs charity The Loop. Thought to be the first of its kind in
the UK, the project appears to have been a success.
Festival-goers were able to have their stash tested without handing
over the rest. It was reported that over 200 people had their drugs
tested. Finding over 80 suspect substances, over a quarter was
disposed of after testing. The Transform Drugs Policy Foundation, who
assisted in the scheme, claimed that it was an attempt to "undo the
damage the War on Drugs had done."
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Re: This isn't the better way, Editorial April 25
The operation of a public transit vehicle by an impaired person
presents an immediate, clear and present mortal danger to the
operator, the passengers and, in the case of a bus or street car, to
the public in general. The loss of a single human life is too high a
price to pay for any individual's privacy.
Random testing offers both prevention and deterrence. TTC management
is doing the right thing.
Paul Eudore, Toronto
CEO Tells Workers Arbitration On Issue Was 'taking Far Too Long' To Finish
After years of being stuck in arbitration, the Toronto Transit
Commission (TTC) is moving ahead on random alcohol and drug testing
of its employees.
In a letter to employees sent Monday morning, TTC CEO Andy Byford
said the TTC board approved the funding for random drug testing at
its March 23 board hearing.
The TTC, which continues to see "instances of impairment while at
work," according to Byford, will also be asking the Ontario
government to make random drug testing mandatory for public transit agencies.
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Provincial commission reviewing flawed Motherisk analyses spanning
WATERLOO REGION - Fifteen adoptions are on hold in Waterloo Region in
the wake of flawed drug tests being reviewed by a provincial commission.
"It's a really difficult situation for all those involved," said Tina
Metcalfe, spokesperson for Family and Children's Services of the
For the children, she said, "they've already been through so much, so
it's a challenging situation for the children and their families."
An Ontario government report released in December on the Motherisk
Drug Testing Laboratory at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children
concluded hair analysis done by the hospital was "inadequate and
unreliable" for use in child protection and criminal
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota measure that would require adult
welfare applicants under age 65 to pass drug tests before receiving
food stamps or cash assistance failed in a House committee Thursday.
The Health and Human Services committee voted not to send the measure
to the House floor. Under the plan, welfare applicants who tested
positive would have been barred from receiving such benefits for a year.
Rep. Lynne DiSanto, a Republican from Rapid City who sponsored the
bill, said she wanted to create accountability for welfare recipients
and that such testing could deter drug users from seeking public
assistance or encourage them to get sober.
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A growing body of evidence demonstrates that the inexpensive field
drug test kits that police use to test substances found on people are
highly unreliable, resulting in arrests - and, sometimes, convictions
- - of innocent people with harmless substances.
Last year, a Minnesota man spent more than two months in jail because
a bag of vitamins in his car was determined to be amphetamines by a
police field drug test. A Florida man pulled over for an expired tag
in 2009 ended up spending three months in jail - losing his job, his
apartment and his car, which the police auctioned off while he was
incarcerated - after an officer said the mints the man was chewing
tested positive for crack cocaine.
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But Cannabis Users Say They Are Avoiding Detection
POLICE have warned Northern Rivers cannabis users that every police
car is a potential drug testing unit.
But cannabis users say they are outsmarting mobile drug swab tests by
swigging vinegar, gargling mouthwash, drinking chocolate milk and
chewing on vitamin C.
Thousands of people are using Facebook groups to avoid roadside drug tests.
With one in four Northern Rivers motorists testing positive for
cannabis between April and December 2015 an average of 141 positive
tests every month literally thousands of residents have taken to
social media to prevent detection.
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