Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More on drug-testing beneficiaries

The following is an example of how drug-testing will operate in practice from a publicly released cabinet paper:

Advice from the Ministry of Health estimates that "up to 5,800 people could face sanctions associated with the new drug testing regime".

Estimate seems light to me. But they don't specify over what period.


Blair said...

That would be all very well if THC didn't hang around in the body for at least two months. Seems like it is set up to let people fail.

Brendan said...

I have manufacturing customers in Northland who tell me they would increase the numbers of staff in their factory immediately based upon overseas orders, but very few applicants will submit to a drug test. Staff are required to use lathes, and this technology and dope don't go well together.

This approach is long overdue, and even if THC hangs around for six months in your system then frankly guys, you just need to stop smoking it and get a job. They are out there if you are prepared to go straight.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Or keep smoking it. That's your business. But don't then expect the taxpayer to keep you if you can't get a non-drug-tested job.

PM of NZ said...

Fact 1: Druggie admits using.
Fact 2: Drug used is already illegal under current laws.

Why are WINZ tasked with playing the cop? We have extensive laws for drug using scum. The druggie should be processed by the courts and locked up. End of problem.

No benefit is paid whilst incarcerated and has the added bonus (hopefully) of zero access to the drug.

Savings all round for the taxpayer and the criminal at release will be drug free ready for future employment.

Anonymous said...

The druggie should be processed by the courts and locked up. End of problem.

Except that the $100,000 per annum the bludger now costs comes out of the few percent of net taxpayers in NZ.

Want real savings: either the druggie bludger's family or gang pays for incarceration or they can pay $10 for the bullet and $100 for the pauper's cremation.

Either way: cash in advance within 24 hours of arrest - refunded on a finding of innocence.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Do we want to go down the road the US went down and lock up ever more drug users?

Blair said...

Drug use is not illegal in NZ. It has never been illegal. Drug possession is illegal. You can inhale cannabis smoke at s party from a bong, without ever being in possession of the drugs itself. So no crime is committed.

My problem with this is that unless you use cannabis regularly, it should have very little impact on your employability. I don't see why, if you have one toke at a party once in a while, that WINZ should deny or reduce your benefit. And furthermore, if you undertake not to use it, you are punished anyway because the THC is still in your system. It's not a fair way of dealing with people. Unless someone is a regular or addicted drug user, their drug use should not be an issue for WINZ or a condition of their benefit.

Anonymous said...

I hope they're testing for alcohol & nicotine use too - hell and sweets and the rest!

Never mind legalities: why should nett taxpayers pay for booze, fags, dope, playstations, mobile phones, nikes, washing machines, microwaves, indoor plumbing, for bludgers?

Every time nett taxpayers have been separated out in survey data the results are clear: we don't want to pay for bludgers for benefits, health, education, super, ACC, WFF and all the rest.

It's our money and we're sick of paying for everything else.

Anonymous said...

don't expect the taxpayer to keep you

you know Lindsay - that encapsulates the principle behind all the world's best welfare policies then and there.

all major welfare benefits are to end

and there's the practical implementation.

PM of NZ said...

"Do we want to go down the road the US went down and lock up ever more drug users?"

Lindsay, giving those that choose to thumb their noses at our laws more of my hard earnt money is definitely not the answer. We have laws to deal with drug users, let's use them to the fullest extent possible.

Blair - you really know how to dance on the head of that pin. In my book, drug taking in any form has consequences. Should bludging druggies wish to avail themselves of my taxpayer largesse via benefits, then I suggest that they firstly consider not partaking and secondly not putting themselves in harm's way.

Anonymous said...

It's not a fair way of dealing with people. "

Have a tantrum Blair. Life isn't fair. This view leads to the old problem of where the floor of the problem really lies - helping a few leads to more needing help. The most sensible things can be resisted unless there's an economic advantage in doing it. In this case the economic advantage is easy to see - fail, do not pass go or collect $200

Jobs that have drug testing are usually ones where people are entitled to expect you will be on the ball to a satisfactory degree to avoid danger or using expensive stuff the owner doesn't want broken.

I see no reason why someone on welfare should be excluded from the requirements imposed on someone earning a living.


Blair said...

Obviously life isn't fair. That's no excuse for ignoring unfairness and accepting it. It must be nice to have a job and not worry about the THC levels in your body. Some people aren't so fortunate. There is nothing wrong or immoral in smoking weed, and I don't see why the government should be making those moral choices for anyone, especially if it does not impair your ability to work or accept work.