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Millions of workers should be tested for drugs: Met chief declares war

By Cash.Nexus, Jan 31, 2013 | Updated: Feb 1, 2013 | | |
  1. Cash.Nexus
    Professionals should face drug testing, says Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
    Met Police Commissioner said action was needed to discourage demand
    He said testing could take place in 'all occupations', but in particular teachers, intensive care nurses and transport staff

    Millions of professionals should face mandatory drug testing at work, Britain’s most senior police officer has suggested.

    Anyone who failed a test and refused help to get clean should lose their job, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said.

    The Metropolitan Police Commissioner said as well as ‘robust’ policing of dealers, action was needed to discourage the demand for illegal substances. He said testing could take place in ‘all occupations’ but cited in particular teachers, intensive care nurses and transport staff.

    In a speech to the all-party parliamentary group on cannabis and children, Sir Bernard said drug testing and the fear of losing their job would act as a deterrent for drug users. He said: ‘It seems to me we have got to plant in people’s minds something to affect the demand as well as supply. You can think of many occupations where if you were working with a colleague you would want to be sure in fact that they were drug free.’

    Employers who discovered a staff member abusing drugs would not have to turn ‘informant’ and tell the police, he added.

    Anyone caught with drugs in their system should be offered help to stop, he said – but anyone who refused that help should suffer ‘consequences, which would probably be about their employment’.

    The suggestion that workers should be drug tested is likely to cause outrage among trade unions. It will also raise civil liberties concerns. In America, however, random drug testing is already prevalent – and widely accepted – in workplaces, with staff tested in the retail, financial, manufacturing, education and health sectors.

    Companies say that the tests are not just carried out for safety reasons, but also to identify theft risk, employee reliability and improve productivity.

    During his speech, Sir Bernard told the group of his concerns that parents born in the 60s and 70s when cannabis was weaker are failing to warn their children about the dangers of super strength skunk.

    He said the potency of cannabis has increased five-fold in the last half century but many parents were unaware of the damage it can do to young brains.

    Teenagers who smoke new powerful strains of skunk run the risk of developing schizophrenia in later life, and must be told they are taking a ‘major’ health risk.

    Sir Bernard warned any move away from a ‘robust’ approach would lead to even younger children taking the drug and even more serious damage to their health.

    His hard line approach also marks him apart from other senior officers who in recent years have called for a more relaxed approach to enforcing drugs laws, especially around cannabis.

    As Chief Constable of Merseyside, Sir Bernard was credited with adopting a zero tolerance approach known as ‘Total Policing’, which included a relentless crackdown on drug dealers.

    Sir Bernard told the group he had never smoked cannabis and had only smoked one cigarette, when he was seven years old.

    His comments on Monday night are at odds with a series of parliamentary reports in recent months calling for a more permissive approach to drugs. First the home affairs select committee called for cannabis to move from Class B to Class C. Then, the all-party parliamentary group for drug policy reform called for possession of heroin and ecstasy to be decriminalised.

    Campaigner Mary Brett, of charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: ‘It is refreshing to hear a senior police officer who is deeply aware of the dangers of today’s cannabis. It is also reassuring to hear one who is unafraid of enforcing the law and taking on drug dealers.’

    Jack Doyle for The Daily Mail
    30th January 2013


  1. Phenoxide
    Mandatory drug tests = more dismissals = higher rates of unemployment = more crime = larger budgets for policing = larger salaries for the smarmy top brass in the Met. No conflict of interest in his opinion whatsoever. If Nutt was dismissed for policitizing his position by lobbying for law changes then surely the same should apply to members of the police force, who are there to enforce the law, not to define it.

    Would be great to get Mary Brett on this site for a Q&A session. Could be a good laugh.
  2. enquirewithin
    Britain's workforce 'needs drugs to cope with the shame'

    [imgl=red]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=31261&stc=1&d=1359705614DOING[/imgl] Your job is probably less ethical than taking drugs, it has been claimed.

    As Britain’s top policeman called for more drugs testing in the workplace, experts asked him whether he wanted corporate drones to start self-harming with staple guns.

    Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “Most people work in sales, marketing or ‘financial services’, and are required to fuck over their fellow man on a daily basis.

    “Smoking weed is the only way they can get to sleep at night.”

    Office workers Emma Bradford said: “My job is to ring up vulnerable people and get them to buy some double glazing they don’t need or can’t afford.

    “Apparently doing this makes me a pillar of the economy. But I could lose my house for smoking a bifter. Go figure.”

    Banker Tom Booker said: “My job is basically to ruin people’s lives. And at the end of a long day’s life-ruining, I need cocaine to take the edge off my waking nightmare.

    “I hope no one ever realises alcohol is a recreational drug, then I’m really fucked.”

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/...ds-drugs-to-cope-with-the-shame-2013013058033 ~ 30-01-13

    Forgot the source-- quite important;)
  3. Adam Cecils
    Re: Britain's workforce 'needs drugs to cope with the shame'

    'Tis fucked up, this world we live in. God forbid anyone should want to escape it for a while. When drugs are finally legalise I hope there is an outright ban on marketing -- that's the only good thing about prohibition... the fact that I'm not being pushed drugs bus stops, billboards, TV ads, sponsored events sports kits, telemarketing etc.
  4. RClover
    This angers me so much! Is this man an idiot?!

    I have actually started a recent thread about why it is unethical to test people for drugs (metabolites) Link: http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=204685&page=2

    One of the first things that comes to my mind is how many talented people will be wasted in there area of work because of metabolites that are found in their system from doing something they choose to do as a personal lifestyle choice.

    It really is becoming a big brother state here in England!
  5. makin
    I think they need to drug test all the politicians and cops. I know here in the US the politicians required mandatory drug testing for all employees of the government.......except them of course. Most of the drug war is run by hypocrites.
  6. Mindless
    A little information on Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe; this is a man who called for families of those convicted of firearms offenses to be evicted in a 'total war' on crime. He was also critical of the successful health and safety case against the Metropolitan Police for the unjustified 'execution style' killing of the innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles De Menezes, complaining that this impaired the ability of officers to do their jobs (well I suppose it would, as the job evidently entails unlawful killings). 'No More Brave Policemen' says Sir Bernard, if this is bravery them let's see less of it please. He also wants to see more tazers issued.

    Hogan-Howe's stance is completely at odds with the recent findings of the Home Affairs select committee's recent Inquiry into Drugs and years of advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). It is interesting that successive governments ignore the findings of the groups or panels that they have appointed. It is even more interesting that a man focusing on 'total law enforcement' seems to have more influence than either advisory and expert panels, or real scientific evidence.

    Of equal interest is Police Regulations 2003, schedule 1:
    As pointed out by Clear (a UK cannabis law reform group) Hogan-Howe is acting more like a drug-war politician than a police officer. This reflects the growth of an unaccountable and increasingly powerful police force:
    Peter Reynolds of Clear has made a complaint to the Metropolitan Police Force's Professional Standards department. He states that Hogan-Howe's misconduct has led to prejudice and propaganda.
    Reynolds goes on to argue that Hogan-Howe seems to be making sensationalist and meaningless claims, 'superskunk' is an emotive and subjective term which does not reflect real potency. Additionally there is no standard of potency for cannabis and other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol may counter the effects of THC. The causal link between cannabis and schizophreniia has never been established. As for the impact on children, illicit vendors cannot be restricted from supplying children (whereas licensed vendors could).

    Reynolds adds:
    I look forward to the reply. I wonder if UK members might consider making a similar complaint. The trade unions and professional bodies are likely to be a good way to oppose this intrusive and unwarranted suggestion. This poisonous seed must not take root. Should anyone be subject to testing, they could obtain help from their union. Release have a legal advice line, the number of which can be seen on the Release UK website. I urge anyone who is asked to participate in employment-related drugs screens to consider refusing. Hogan-Howe hasn't just declared war on drug use, he has declared war on our basic freedoms and privacy.

    This is typical Daily Mail fodder. The only votes that the current UK governing parties will earn are those of drug-user hating Mail readers. Neither party in the coalition is likely to do well at the next general election, at least by hanging on to their current policy they might keep some of their existing votes and hang on to a few seats in the House of Commons. At the end of the article there is a quote from the rabid anti-cannabis writer Mary Brett of 'Skunk Sense'. On her organisation's website there are links to papers cited as providing evidence (of dubious quality) on the harms of cannabis. CanSS is a registered charity, but it also appears to be a business with a vested interest in cannabis prohibition and no interest in evidence-based drug policy. Or am I confusing them with the Daily Mail?
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