Michigan lawmakers are determined in their efforts to prevent illegal drug users from collecting unemployment benefits.
Earlier this week, the Senate voted 28-10 in favor of a piece of legislation that prohibits workers from receiving unemployment benefits if they were fired from a job as the result of a refused or failed drug test. That means that any employee who refuses testing or tests positive for a drug that has not been prescribed to them runs the risk of being rendered jobless, and will have no chance of receiving assistance from the state while they search for work elsewhere -- fiscally exiled.
Now, the proposed law is set to meet final approval from the House sometime next week, before being sent to the desk of Governor Rick Snyder for his final signature of approval.
The opposition believes that Republicans are simply using the drug-testing bill as a solution in search for a problem: they want to paint a portrait of a wicked society in an attempt to secure approval from the voters.
"If you were really interested in helping people gain employment, you wouldn't kick them and their family off of (unemployment)," said Senator Coleman Young II, a Democrat from Detroit. "You would offer them drug treatment so they can lead a sober life."
Yet, supporters of the bill argue that employers should not be forced to pay into the unemployment trust fund just finance a junkie’s degenerate lifestyle.
"It's not politics to me," said Republican Senator Mark Jansen. "The employer has the right to basically say, 'I don't have to pay them if they test positive to drugs. I'm giving them a choice. You want this job. I want you for the job. Don't forget if you don't pass a drug test you're not going to make it and by the way you're going to lose your unemployment.' The employee is ... going to have to come to the realization that you shouldn't be doing drugs. It's illegal. I'm not sure what's wrong with that."
This situation could get tricky for medical marijuana users because the bill states that a “valid, documented prescription” must be provided to avoid disqualification from benefits. Unfortunately, while medical marijuana patients are “certified” by a physician to use the drug, under law, it is not technically considered a prescription.