All Government Members of Parliament will be subject to mandatory drug testing and Opposition MPs will be invited to participate, it was announced during Friday’s [Feb 8] Throne Speech.
Governor George Fergusson said, “The use of illicit drugs in Bermuda is a problem that could benefit from leadership by example.The Government will, therefore, implement a policy whereby all Government Members of the Legislature will be subject to random, mandatory drug testing. A paper outlining the policy details will be released shortly. Members of the Opposition will be invited to participate.”
The relevant portion of audio from the Throne Speech is below:
This follows on from last year’s election campaign, during which One Bermuda Alliance candidates were all subject to random drug testing.
Following the news last year that a former PLP candidate was found in possession of a small amount of marijuana, some of the election candidates were asked at press conferences whether they have ever smoked marijuana.
Election candidates admitting they have used marijuana or “had a puff” in the past including Susan Jackson [OBA] Leah Scott [OBA], and Wayne Perinchief [PLP], while Craig Cannonier [OBA], Jonathan Smith [PLP], Louise Jackson [OBA], and Gaylynne Cannonier [OBA] said they had not.
Addressing drug use in general, the Throne Speech said, “When the National Drug Commission was disbanded in 2006, the National Drug Commission Act 1993 was repealed, leaving the current Department for National Drug Control without a documented mandate.
“The Government will table the National Drug Commission Act 2013 to ensure that the mandate, roles and responsibilities for the Department for National Drug Control are clearly set out. Additionally, the Government will refine and implement the National Drug Control Master Plan.”
You can read the full Throne Speech text and highlights here, view a slideshow with 500+ photos here, 12 videos of Cabinet Ministers at the post speech press conference here, and all our coverage of the 2013 Throne Speech here.