All Government MPs Subject To Drug Testing

February 10, 2013

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Throne Speech said, “When the National Drug Commission was disbanded in 2006, the National Drug Commission Act 1993 was repealed, leaving the current Department for National Drug Control without a documented mandate.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.

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Comments (65)

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  1. Wtf says:

    SERIOUSLY !!!!!!

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    • Bermuda Shorts says:

      Its about time- i agree that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

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      • Black Soil says:

        All MP's and Senators should be drug tested in the same manner as police officers and fire fighters. Simple!!!! Why should only govt MP's we subject to testing? Do we really want any MP to be using illegal drugs. Damn, conflict of interest if nothing else.

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  2. MJ says:

    Would like to know what drugs are being tested for. Is it a blood or urine test ?....I have clean urine samples for sale !!!!

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    • Snakes a crawling says:

      careful MJ, de cobra snakes may steal your #1 cause they sure is full of 2

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      • Snakes a crawling says:

        careful MJ, de cobra snakes may steal your 1 cause they sure is full of #2

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        • Black Soil says:

          @MJ. You clearly have never been drug tested. Drug testing involves standing next to someone (an employee of the co. doing the drug testing) while you pee in a cup. So that pee you have for sale MJ can be flushed. Honestly MJ...what value would drug testing be if all you had to do was to show up with a cup of pee? Shit...no one would fail!!!!

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  3. navin johnson says:

    Marc Bean will never go for that and will have some press release with a lengthy reason why the PLP would not agree to drug testing....

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    • Bermuda Shorts says:

      I say if u have nothin to hide why be against getting tested-everyone knows politicians are human too-sure some may like a little draw now and then.lol

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    • Mad Dawg says:

      If Marc Bean is a fit and proper leader he will immediately confirm that all opposition MP's will be tested. What possible reason would he have for not doing that?

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      • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

        I say Only MP's who have been previously Convicted of Drug related crimes should be tested . Witch hunting is unethical and has no place in our progressive society .

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        • Black Soil says:

          So is it "witch hunting" to test police officers and fire fighters? Grow up!!

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          • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

            I just knew some fool would latch on to the 'witch hunt'. FYI , Police and Fire personnel are tested before hiring .. Also random drug testing is built into the terms of employment Fool . Try again . Now what about the other suggestion I made , any traction there ? Or is it to selective ?

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            • Rick Rock says:

              Exactly what is behind your immediate flood of protests about having the PLP MP's drug tested? Why are you taking this ridiculous position?

              Don't bother answering. We know why.

              In the meantime you seem quite unprepared to do anything to make sure your elected leaders aren't stoned out of their heads when making decisions.

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        • Mad Dawg says:

          It's not witch hunting. It's making sure our elected representatives aren't stoned when they're making decisions that affect our lives. There should be no reason why Marc Bean wouldn't immediately confirm that all opposition MP's will be tested.

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          • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

            Let us just test those MP's who may have a drug conviction and leave the Honor in Honorable for the rest , unless it's strictly on a volunteer basis . Another Question , who will have acess to this information and where will the bodily fluids end up . Remember that the DNA of the person supplying the urine may also become public property .

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            • Mad Dawg says:

              No. The are supposed to be making important decisions that affect us all. They should be drug tested. Stop making lame excuses.

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              • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

                You turn serious civil liberty concerns into lame excuses . So if one , two or three duly elected officials disagree to drug testing , than what ? Will there be confrontation or compromise ?

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                • Truth Seeker says:

                  I have to wonder if M.P. Mountbatton JP has actually read the Throne Speech re the OBA drug policy for Government Members of the Legislature. It's fairly clear and concise.

                  This Government is going to demand that all of their own MP's and Senators are going to be subjected to random mandatory drug testing. It matters not if anyone has ever been convicted of any offence related to drugs. They have decided that the policy will apply to ALL members of the GOVERNMENT Legislature.

                  Sounds to me like they will insist that the results of these drug tests are made known and that there will be consequences. Its called, "Walking the Walk"!

                  There is no stipulation that Opposition MP's or Senators will have to subject themselves to these drug tests unless the Opposition Party decides to do so of their own volition, and they can presumably do whatever they want to do with the results!

                  It will be interesting to see if all of the Independent Senators agree to be tested.

                  It remains to be seen what the Opposition decides to do, but I seem to recall that the Minister of Justice in the last PLP Government was a firm supporter of drug testing for Parliamentarians. Of course, he is no longer in office so his may be a voice in the wilderness.

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            • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

              @ M.P. Mountbatten JP: I don't know of any MPs with a drug conviction - that is a conviction for using drugs. From your comments I have to wonder are you an MP yourself?

              Please note: The previous government removed the 'honor' in Honorable for me and many others.

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    • Delaey Robinson says:

      I'll give you some reasons why PLP MPs should not subject themselves to drug testing:

      It is a political ploy on the part of the OBA formerly employed by the UBP to maintain and garner the support of like minded people who know and appear to care little about the harm caused by the 'drug war' at best and at worst an attempt to embarrass the PLP in the eyes of the electorate with an unexpressed hope that a PLP MP might be caught out. It demonstrates very little connection with the sentiments of Bermuda's youth who are particularly unlikely to follow the false and dubious example of people waging a war against them. Gangs have to be the most blatant example of a gross lack of caring of adults for youth as well as an enormous void of understanding between the generations. While not long ago some 70% of Bermuda College students surveyed acknowledged having ever been associated with cannabis, how can this be a demonstration based on any basic understanding of the situation. With many countries and states in the USA permitting the use of cannabis and the double standards between sanctions for cannabis use versus alcohol and tobacco (one of the most addictive substances known)use, our youth are unlikely to be impressed let alone follow this hollow example.
      It is time for government to recognize the simple economics of drug prohibition. The lesson was long ago learned with the prohibition of alcohol in the USA: when supply is artificially constricted black market entrepreneurs enter to make up the supply, they eventually become so successful that the supply of the prohibited substance on the streets soon outstrips both the volume and strength/concentration/purity of pre-prohibition days. This scenario has become entrenched with tragic consequences for Bermuda and its youth and sadly its black youth. Small wonder they resort to gangs. The stronger drug laws, the higher the fines, the higher the price on the street, the more attractive it is for new entrepreneurs to enter the market, the bigger the supply on the streets. The drug war has shameful consequences bringing untold suffering, violence and contributing even to death.
      It is indefensible for politicians to continue on this destructive and clearly unsuccessful path. It is unconscionable that politicians would parade this empty showmanship as a solution to Bermuda's drug problem while doing little or nothing to separate hard and soft drugs in the marketplace and nothing to take certain hard drugs, particularly heroin, off the streets by supplying it clinically to known addicts, methods which are known to have worked elsewhere. There is a huge literature, MPs have no excuse. For one, I have been bleating on about this since the PLP's first term.

      Honourable Members need to do the honourable thing and educate yourselves as fully as possible on the truth of what you are doing and not doing or face the reality of loosing the younger generations who will not believe you.

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    • CongressNot says:

      Lets test them for Morals - We need our public officials to have high morals. Not have ministers with gun arrested records. Not have ministers with drug convicted charges.

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  4. Will says:

    so i am assuming we can expect more of the same archaic handling of the situation which breeds only negative results....remember drugs aren't as bad as the persons life who is ruined by being in prison.
    Also drugs kill, but so do politicians

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    • Um Um Like says:

      I certainly hope we'll see negative results from the tests!

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      • Bermuda Shorts says:

        Why would u want to see negetive results-i hope they are all positive results -because that will send a strong message to our young people-if u want negative results u must be a negative person and that kinda tell me that u want to see the bad instead of the good in people.get a life -u need one.

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        • Pastor Syl says:

          A negative drug test is a clean one. I guess you didn't know that, Bermuda shorts

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          • Watching On says:

            I think they meant negative in the sense as used when someone is HIV negative or HIV positive.

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        • v!nce says:

          Keep Calm
          And Pee In The Cup

          A positive drug test, means that the sample is positive for the presence of drugs.

          While I cannot comment for someone else, I'd like to think that this person simply means that they are hoping for negative results from the tests.

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  5. Sensitive Guy says:

    What next !!

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  6. Ok says:

    Lets test all Government workers.

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    • Raised_441_ForeignLiving says:

      Lol, every Government in every country have employess that do drugs, so dont be shocked by the results in our country.

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      • tricks are for kids says:

        EXACTLY! !!!....and whats with the calling of names as to who would not go with it?....how do you know that???....worry about those that like sniffing the "white lady" or having their....but I guess that doesn't count....

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      • Rick Rock says:

        OK. So you agree with the idea then.

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  7. Nuffin but de Truth! says:

    oh I know the plp will be suckin their teeth now!
    (losers!).

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  8. v!nce says:

    I applaud this action.
    Leading by example.

    I do think that it is unfortunate that we cannot distinguish between when drugs are being used on the job or in our personal time, but I suppose illegal activity is illegal activity.

    Whether you feel that marijuana should be decriminalised or not is really irrelevant. As it stands, it's still illegal.

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  9. Plato says:

    And how easy would it be for them to fake a negative please I personally know far less powerful people who have passed this test.

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  10. Just sayin' says:

    A toothless bill, considering all OBA MP's have already been tested and it only gives a requirement that the OBA MP's will be subject to the mandatory testing, the PLP MP's will not. The bill should draw no distinction between Government or Opposition MP's. All sitting members of both the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament (that includes Senators and MP's) should be included no exceptions.

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  11. blankman says:

    Chris Furbert is due to go on record as demanding a guarantee that no union member will be subject to testing of any sort and that no ferry or bus driver will ever be penalized for operating their vehicle under the influence or refusing a drug test.

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  12. WhistleBlower says:

    Alcohol is a DRUG!!!!!!!

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  13. Opressed says:

    The plp will claim it a plantation move to be tested for drugs and will therefore refuse to go along with the scheme.

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  14. Let us NOT FORGET the MOST ABUSED DRUG!!!

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  15. WhistleBlower says:

    http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Controversies/1119724962.html

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  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    I had one word when I heard this...YES!

    Now, what will the consequences of testing positive be? Temporary banishment from The House until they are clean? If not clean in a certain period of time lose the seat, no pension?

    Give people a chance, yes. One chance to come clean.

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  17. Ringmaster says:

    What are the consequences if someone tests positive? The present law is backwards because you get prosecuted for possession, but could still test negative. Unless you are in pssoession, you can test positive and have no prosecution. Time to sort out the whole matter of possession of a small amount.

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    • here's a thought says:

      what you do then is go get a union-protected job. that human delight, chris furbert, will fight for you to be able to use any anti-social behaviour you wish - drink, fight, carry right on.... it's all good with him. i am being naughty here but i couldn't resist. tee hee.

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  18. Stop the Nonsense says:

    The police, customs, Regiment, Fire and corrections need to start random drug testing. The corrupt ones are the ones using, leaking info and working with the drug sellers/importers. OBA and PLP lets test them immediately.

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  19. haha says:

    decriminalize

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  20. Xman says:

    Lets not talk about lets get it done!
    to much talk about what there going to do and not enough action.
    All this talk about this and that without concrete action doesn't improve life in Bermuda.
    Bermudian residents start begin to speculate and the next thing you know the real truth goes out the door.
    Drug test them ASAP so we can get on with the people's business.

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  21. cba says:

    Im an OBA supporter but I think whatever to this. We have politicians who are convicted criminals for far worse than pot smoking. Bermuda is another world, and perhaps that's a good thing.

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  22. TJ says:

    Oh wow they opened up a ca of something!!!!

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  23. RJP says:

    What happened to decriminalizing Pot, or better still legalizing it, legislating it, taxing it and profiting on tourism.
    All means test for cocaine and and other drugs, marijuana isnt a drug its a natural herb that we are loosing millions of dollars to the gangs and the criminals who control it, lets put them out of business.
    fifty percent of bermudians partake in marijuana, lets get real. Alcohol is the real problem!

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  24. Truth Be Told says:

    If the government is being tested for drugs, why aren't the police, judges, & lawyers. Especially police!!!!

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  25. Really? says:

    LMAO Marc Bean! How you going to weasel out of this one!!!???

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    • Rick Rock says:

      Watch. Every excuse in the book will be wheeled out.

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    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Marc Bean? Why don't you ask Bob Richards, Leah Scott, pettingill, Susan Jackson etc.? Btw, what are they testing for anyway? Coke, heroin, alcohol and weed? There is a person who stole the worst drug of all, heroin, and distributed it amongst the black community, destroying countless families and lives, leaving children without parents, the same children that today are now the gangsters in this county, and he is a sitting OBA minister! Yet you want to talk about Marc Bean? Lol? Marc Bean entered politics as a rastaman, and is on record to not just decriminalise weed, but actually legalise and tax it! So I think the OBA is on the wrong path, trying to score political points, which will backfire. -- Oh my lord, this might get a little deep for most folk, but anyway, the OBA needs to focus on the pressing issues, and this patH that will lead to self exposure. Lol

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  26. shame says:

    nobody cares if you use drugs

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    • Rick Rock says:

      So you're ok with the leaders of the country being stoned when making decision that affects all our lives?

      Obviously you're a PLP supporter.

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  27. Mr Smith says:

    BLAH BLAH BLAH when do we realize that we are intelligent enough to discuss this without being foolish i mean talk about it like real adults i am of the the thinking that anything that we are still doing like it has been done for 50 plus years or more should be looked at to see if is still worth being done in that manner or does the style policies or methods need updating not just for drugs but for education and money making and all the like and just maybe we will come up with policies that actually make sense

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  28. yes says:

    too many weedhead dreamers in bermuda time to stop wrecking lives young old and talented with this sh.. and stop worshiping dead pop star bob marley and live life naturally

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  29. bang bang says:

    Looks like Ima lose my job

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  30. Nitty Gritty says:

    How do you test for Honesty?
    Why do you NEED drugs?
    Why would you think you can run a country when you can't even run a small business?
    How do you then try to run 60,000 people's lives, many of whom are smarter and more successful than you, while stoned?
    Why do you need to be stoned?
    Ohhhh now I see! It takes the edge of a bad conscience knowing you are not the most capable person to do this important job.Knowing you have destroyed the country economically and ruined so many peoples lives, stolen job security from thousands and damaged a generation of children's future.
    But Reggie B thinks they 'managed the economy fairly well' and their 'stewardship of the public purse had been better than billed'!!
    Thank god for THC.
    Now over here we have Ewart looking like Liberace on what has to be a grander piano than even Alicia Keyes might have, complete with a slave memorial atop, and he tells us he not only has sons in and out of jail but he's 'trying to become a better blackjack player'!
    Well I think he gambled with our economy just plenty and we know now that we lost over $2 BIllion and counting. Spend more time with your kids.
    this is an upside down world and it's no wonder so many are needing to get stoned or drunk just to cope. At least for the most part these people dont usually aspire to fly a plane, perform open heart surgery or run a country. Run an Island,...maybe.

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  31. Baileys Bay says:

    Hey Mom!!! i finally got %100 on a test. Too bad its a MP drug test. Can i still get an A+ tho!!!!

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  32. bda abroad says:

    I think it's a good idea - that should have been implemented years ago! Before I was hired by my current employers, I had to take a drug test. It's not unusual here - most companies will send you to a lab BEFORE making a final offer of employment. No rights violated - you have two choices - take the test or pass on the employment opportunity. My company takes it a step further - if you have any kind of accident at work - fall, trip etc., a drug test is mandatory. Fail it, and termination is immediate.

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  33. Y-Gurl says:

    This is a good move, i wonder if it could be extended to govement civil servants and workers?

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  34. True outlook says:

    People, pay attention to what's happening here.
    We need to fous on a plan on moving our country forward. This is a Political plot to distract us from the main focus. I support he OBA, but how could they preach about decriminalizing marijuana in one article, then look to drug test our people knowing it will effect jobs. Are we looking to create jobs or take them away from our people. I believe in Government doing a job which reflects the best interest of he country and the people. I don't care what they do in their free time that's their business. My opinion is that Maijuana is a waste of time and tax payers dollars in testing for. We should be following the US and tax it so we can decrease our deficet. No one, I repeat, no one, has cause harm to others or themselves by using Maijuana. It's a plant that grows wild from the earth. So if people decide to smoke another natural plant and get high are we gonna make that illegal too. Come on people pay attention and focus on building a better Bermuda. We are 1.5 billion in debt which our children will have to pay back and is increasing daily, lets put our focus on that as being the REAL ISSUE!!

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